GAMEDAY - Ontario @ San Jose, 10/5 - LA Kings Insider

WHO: Ontario Reign (0-0-0-0) @ San Jose Barracuda (0-0-0-0)
WHEN: Friday, October 5, @ 7:00 PM
WHERE: SAP Center – San Jose, CA
HOW TO FOLLOW: VIDEO: AHLTV – AUDIO – Mixlr (Away Feed) – TWITTER: @ontarioreign & @reigninsider

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: The Ontario Reign open the 2018-19 regular season in San Jose with a divisional matchup against the Barracuda. Ontario and San Jose square off for the first of eight meetings on the season and the first of four in Northern California.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Tonight’s game marks the beginning of Ontario’s fourth season as a member of the American Hockey League. The Reign narrowed their roster to 24 players to open the regular season, consisting of two goaltenders, eight defensemen and 14 forwards. The Reign open on the road for the fourth consecutive season, having previously debuted against San Antonio, San Diego and Bakersfield. On the personnel side, Cal Petersen was the first goaltender off tonight for the Reign while forwards Boko Imama and Drake Rymsha, as well as defensemen Chaz Reddekopp and Austin Strand, were on late after morning skate.

FIRST THINGS FIRST: Ontario is 2-1 all time in regular-season openers. The Reign were defeated two goals to one in San Antonio last season but preceded it with victories over San Diego (2-0) in 2016 and Bakersfield (5-0) in 2015. Tonight’s matchup against San Jose marks the fourth straight season that the Reign have opened away from home, the third time that game has been in the State of California.

PERFECT IN THE PRE: The Reign concluded their 2018 preseason slate with a perfect 2-0 record, after a come-from-behind 4-3 victory over San Diego on Monday evening in Anaheim. Ontario came back in both of its preseason contests, a pair of victories over the Gulls, with both wins coming by the same scoreline. This marks the second straight year the Reign have gone unbeaten in the preseason, building off of a 3-0 mark a season ago.

TOTALLY KYLE: Ontario forward Kyle Bauman found the back of the net in each of his team’s preseason contests, including the game-winning goal on Monday. Bauman also scored the game-tying goal in last Thursday’s preseason opener and was the only Ontario player with multiple tallies in the preseason. Bauman joined the Reign at the end of last season on an AHL contract that continues through this season.

ETEM MY DUST: The Reign rounded out their Opening Night roster earlier this week with the signing of forward Emerson Etem to a PTO. Etem spent 2018 training camp in the NHL with the Kings and was the last player released from the NHL roster. The former Anaheim Ducks draft pick brings 173 NHL games to the Reign roster, in addition to 136 games at the AHL level. Etem has amassed 98 points (56-42-98) in his AHL career to date, including a career-best season in 2013-14 with the Norfolk Admirals, when he totaled 54 points (24-30-54) from 51 games played.

WE GOT THAT POWER: Ontario’s power-play unit was on the mark on Monday as it converted on three of four opportunities in the 4-3 victory over San Diego. Forward Zack Mitchell, along with defensemen Sean Walker and Austin Strand, tallied on the man advantage, which also struck once in Monday’s victory. Overall, Ontario converted 4 of 6 power play opportunities during the preseason, good for a 66.7% clip.

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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.