The Ontario Reign’s Playoffs Journey Begins Tonight

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Do you already find yourself missing Adrian Kempe? Do you want to see more out of the young Swede? Did you wish the Kings had taken more of a look at Jonny Brodzinski? Want to evaluate the only goalie prospect left in the Kings pipeline and see how the Jack Campbell Reclamation Project is going?

You’re in luck, because your Ontario Reign begin their playoffs journey tonight, opening game one of their five-game series on the road in San Diego.

We previewed the Reign’s first round match against the Gulls a few weeks ago. If you need a refresher on who and what to watch for in the series, head back there. If you’re already set and just wonder how you can get your eyes on some Reign games, then keep reading.

What’s the schedule?

The AHL, being the AHL, uses a best-of-five format only for the first round of playoffs.  While most teams have a 2-3 series split, there are also a few 2-2-1 splits, and, if you’re the Reign and the Gulls, you’ve got a 1-1-1-1-1 split. So neither team will really get to build momentum with an extended homestand, which maybe isn’t such a bad thing for the Reign, given that the Gulls have some of the biggest crowds in the West.

Pacific Division Semifinals
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 21 – Ontario at San Diego, 7:00 PT
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 22 – San Diego at Ontario, 7:00 PT
Game 3 – Fri., Apr. 28 – Ontario at San Diego, 7:00 PT
*Game 4 – Mon., May 1 – San Diego at Ontario, 7:00 PT
*Game 5 – Tue., May 2 – Ontario at San Diego, 7:00 PT
*if necessary

How do I watch the games?

The AHL does offer a streaming package, so you can watch from the comfort of your own home-or-place-where-your-computer is. Now, don’t shoot the messenger, but it’s a little pricey. An all access pass (all teams, all games) is $250.  A pass just for Reign games (home and away for the first two rounds) is $45. For now, this appears to be your only legal streaming option to watch the games. (Also, please note that the HD streaming you’re generally used to from NHL games is generally not present in AHL streams.)   If a full playoffs package is still too much commitment for you, you can buy individual games for $10 each.

The AHL usually allows free streaming of the Calder Cup Finals, so if (when!) the Reign make it that far, you will most likely be able to watch for free.

For now, though, paying for a streaming package through the official AHL site is your best option. Games can be streamed from your browser or via the AHL Live phone app.

If you’re not into paying for the video, you have several radio streaming options, including Mixlr (which is also available via the Kings page in the NHL app) and TuneIn.  San Diego locals can listen to the game on 1090 AM.

But I would like to see the games in person, not on a stream that looks like it was filmed with a flip phone.

You’re in luck! The AHL continues to be an affordable hockey option if you’re local to either of the teams.

Tickets are still available for the series, both home in Ontario and away in San Diego.  Tickets in Ontario start at $19 plus fees. (And parking. And beer. And hot dogs.)

Isn’t, like, half the team broken?

Not anymore! Congratulations, Reign: you’re getting some guys back in the lineup!

In addition to the return of Adrian Kempe, Jonny Brodzinski, and Paul LaDue, the Reign also get back several key players who had been out due to injury. Defensemen Kurtis MacDermid and Zach Trotman are both skating with the team and poised to return to gameplay, giving the Reign increased depth on the blue line.

The Reign have dealt with injuries and call-ups all season long, so it’s been quite some time since they’ve even been able to play their ideal roster. The only core player whose status is questionable is Andrew Crescenzi, but other than that, the Reign should be able to roll their best lineup throughout this series.

The Gulls are relatively healthy, but have lost a lot of players to the Anaheim Ducks’ playoff run, whether they’re playing or just up with the team as Black Aces. Shea Theodore and Brandon Montour, two of the Gulls most talented defensemen, are currently up and playing regularly with Anaheim. While this is bad news for the Gulls, it’s excellent for the Reign that they’re not playing against the NHL-ready talent the Gulls could otherwise be boasting on the blue line.

Who’s gonna win?

Watch the games, nerd.

Too many words. Please convey information to me in easily understandable Tweet format.

We’ve got your social media follows right here:

Official Team Twitter: @ontarioreign
Joseph Zakrzewski, Reign broadcasting/PR: @JoeyZReign
Lindsay Czarnecki, Reign Insider: @ReignInsider
If We’re All Real Nice to Sheng, Maybe He’ll Post Game GIFs: @Sheng_Peng
Ugh, The Opposition, I Guess: @SDGullsAHL