Reign make debut at USPHL Nationals

by Jordan Driscoll

The Ontario Jr Reign embarked on a journey to Utica, New York, marking their inaugural appearance at the United States National Premier Hockey League Nationals. Their playoff campaign commenced against the RiverKings Hockey Club on Thursday, March 21st. In this historic game at Nationals, the first period witnessed goals from RiverKings' George Goodwin and Shawn Lecomte, countered by Jettson Koch of the Reign with a powerplay goal. Despite a courageous effort, including a goal from Eamon Julian in the second period and another from Mason Welsh in the third, the Reign ultimately fell short, succumbing to a 5-3 defeat against the RiverKings.

The puck hit the ice on Friday, March 22nd, marking the start of another intense battle between the Ontario Jr Reign and the Vernal Oilers. This encounter was their third this season, with Vernal having visited Ontario earlier, where the Reign emerged victorious in both games. However, this postseason showdown yielded a different outcome. Despite a valiant effort, the Reign fell short, suffering a narrow 4-5 defeat in overtime against the Oilers. Mason Welsh, Kaedin Larocque-Wolfe, Cooper Kantola, and Tristen Friedman all contributed goals in a hard-fought effort, but it wasn't enough to overcome the resilient Oilers.

After the seeding round, the Ontario Jr Reign faced a do-or-die situation against the Florida Eels in their playoff matchup on Saturday, March 23rd. The Reign delivered an impressive performance but encountered a challenging battle, ultimately falling short in a 3-5 defeat against the Eels. The game saw three powerplay goals, two from Reign players, Nicholas Fiolleau and Tristan Lam. Diego Flota scored in the third to bring the score to 4-2. The final goal was an empty net goal scored by Sebastian Potter of the Eels. 

The Ontario Jr Reign left a significant mark on the league this season by clinching the Pacific Division Championship, securing their debut appearance at Nationals. This achievement solidifies the Ontario Jr Reign as the "Best in the West." Congratulations to all the players for their outstanding performance, and heartfelt gratitude to the fans for their unwavering support throughout the season!

Join the reigning Pacific Division Champions and discover if you've got what it takes to board the Reign Train! Register for our 2024 Saskatoon Showcase the weekend of June 28-30. Tier 2 Junior A programs, Utah Outliers, NCDC, Johnstown Tomahawks NAHL, Nipawin Hawks, SJHL, will be attending camp as well. Camp is open to All 2008 to 2004 DOB’s. Sorry Goalies registration is full. 8 current members of the 23-24 OJR Pacific Division Championship roster participated in previous camps. 

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