March 31: Bus Texts with Stothers - LA Kings Insider

This edition of Bus Texts with Stothers comes during a sleepover in Bakersfield, where the Reign were victors and shrunk their magic number to reach the postseason to five with seven games left.

Reign 3, Bakersfield 1
Brett Sutter scored the go-ahead goal to break a 1-1 tie just 54 seconds into the third period and the Reign got an insurance goal from Philippe Maillet, who was playing in his first AHL game, to earn their first road win in Bakersfield this season. Ontario overcame sleepy first period where their first shot on goal didn’t come into well over halfway through the frame. They also lost top left winger Michael Mersch mid-way through the second period. Mersch hit Condors defenseman Jordan Oesterle from behind near the Bakersfield bench and was met by the fists of Brodie Dupont. Mersch has given a game misconduct for boarding. But as the penalties sorted out, Alex Lintuniemi scored the game’s opening goal just 30 seconds later. Lintuniemi, the trailer on a 3-on-2, was hit on a pass from T.J. Hensick to score his second goal of the season. Bakersfield answered on a power play rush minutes later, a putaway from the right wing by Joey LaLeggia on a 2-on-1 after the Reign had nearly scored on the other end. Sutter’s game-winner was set up by Sean Backman, who stripped the puck from a Condors player just outside the offensive blue line and fed Sutter in the slot. Maillet’s mark was a finish of a Teddy Purcell pass that came from behind the net, and padded the Reign’s lead with just 4:06 left. Reign goalie Jack Campbell finished with 24 saves for his league-leading 29th win.

ORI: Did you get a reason as to why Mersch was kicked out? Injury to Oesterle?
Stothers: Referee did not even have his arm up to make a call or indicate penalty. After talking with the linesmen they ring up a fiver on the scoreboard. Five minute major and a game misconduct.
ORI: Originally the box score never read a game misconduct for him. Not necessarily a pretty win, but you get a big goal from Sutter and then an insurance goal from Maillet. At this point, just take any wins whichever way they come?
Stothers: A good win, not necessarily a good game. We will need to be better tomorrow and also know Bakersfield will be better.
ORI: Very brief sample size but any first impressions on Roy?
Stothers: Easy to spell his name. Quiet. Low maintenance. All the things I like about a player.

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Kevin Gravel

#4 | 6′ 4″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: DOB: 2/17/1996
Birthplace: KINGSFORD, MI
Position: D


Gravel made his NHL debut with Los Angeles in the 2015-16 season, skating with the Kings for four games before returning to AHL affiliate Ontario.

Rob Scuderi

#0 | 6′ 1″ | 212 lb | Age: 37

Born: DOB: 12/30/1978
Birthplace: SYOSSET, NY
Position: D
Handedness: Left


Scuderi is currently playing for the Reign while under contract with the LA Kings. He has won two Stanley Cups, once with the Pittsburgh Penguins and with the Kings.

Michael Mersch

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 225 lb | Age: 24

Born: DOB: 10/2/1992
Birthplace: PARK RIDGE, IL
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Drafted by the Kings in 2011, Mersch is currently playing forward for the Reign. Last season, he drew into his first NHL game for the Kings, where he registered 2 shots and 3 hits.

Michael Latta

#24 | 6′ 0″ | 207 lb | Age: 25

Born: 5/25/1991
Birthplace: KITCHENER, ON
Position: F
Handedness: Right


Prior to turning professional, Latta played major junior hockey in the OHL with the Ottawa 67’s and Guelph Storm. He was drafted into the NHL in 2009 and joined the King’s affiliate Reign in 2016.

Adrian Kempe

#09 | 6′ 1″ | 187 lb | Age: 20

Born: 9/13/1996
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Growing up in Swedan, Kempe made his hockey debut in 2014 in the Swedish Hockey League. He has since been drafted by the Kings, where he is playing for their AHL affiliate team, the Ontario Reign.

Brett Sutter

#07 | 6′ 0″ | 192 lb | Age: 29

Born: 6/2/1987
Birthplace: CALGARY, AB
Position: C


Drafted in 2005 by the Calgary Flames, Sutter was traded to the Reign in 2016. He is the son of LA Kings head couch Darryl Sutter, and the eighth member of the Sutter family to play in the NHL.