Cut day for open-tryout invitees.

Four days into training camp, Josh Newton, Gabriel Andre and Mike Thomson have been released from their open-tryout invitations, and Aaron Lewadniuk has been added to the roster.

The three open-tryout invitees had their moment in the sun. Thomson will probably try to continue his; the forward from La Habra said he had spoken with coaches in the Central Hockey League and the Southern Professional Hockey League in case the Reign tryout didn’t work out.

Five more players are expected to return to Ontario from AHL camps this week, which pushed the tryout players out of a spot as anticipated.

Lewadniuk arrives in camp; still waiting on Manchester quintet.

Center Aaron Lewadniuk took part in his first ECHL practice Monday, after being released from his tryout with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose and arriving in Ontario at noon. Lewadniuk was with the Moose for nine days, and scored a goal in an exhibition game against the University of Manitoba.

“It was a good experience,” Lewadniuk said. “The older guys took care of themselves real well – eating right in the mornings, really taking care of their bodies. Everything was real quick, a real eye-opener, seeing how fast it is in the next level.”

Though Lewadniuk thought he made a favorable impression, he wasn’t surprised to get cut after Manitoba received an influx of players from the Vancouver Canucks’ camp.

“They had a lot of guys under contract,” he said. “I kind of expected it. I knew from the get-go I was probably going to come here. I’m glad I got to stay as long as I did, had a real good experience and see what it was like at that level.”

The five players cut from the Manchester Monarchs’ camp had not arrived in time for practice. A couple more notes:

Continue reading “Lewadniuk arrives in camp; still waiting on Manchester quintet.” »

Sunday practice notes.

No earth-shattering news, and no new players, at Sunday’s practice at Riverside Ice Town.

The only unusual sight was that the Reign were down to 14 skaters by the end of practice. Josh Newton, a Riverside resident in camp on a tryout, suffered a recurrence of the left groin injury that he incurred late in Saturday’s practice, and was off the ice after 20 minutes. Even though Newton said he expects to be back on the ice tomorrow, that’s some seriously bad luck in your one practice with a pro team in your home town.

A couple more notes …

Continue reading “Sunday practice notes.” »

Notes on practice, tryout players, Rheault.

Back from the Reign’s afternoon practice at Center Ice Arena, where there were some fairly tired hockey players.

Taylor said the players were on exercise bikes for an hour prior to the practice. “The guys were tired when we got here. We went really hard.” In spite of that, Taylor said, “the guys had lots of pace, lots of energy. I really like what we did. We got our systems started. Lots of work to do, then just decided we needed to shut it down.”

The goalies got more work today than on Friday, as Garrett Zemlak, Mike Zacharias and Kellen Briggs faced plenty of point-blank, one-on-one chances toward the end of practice. “It shows them that we care,” coach Karl Taylor said, “and it’s also to help them.”

I caught up with the three open-tryout invitees — Josh Newton, Gabriel Andre and Mike Thomson — and will have a story about them in tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin.

There were no new players in practice today — just the same 15 skaters and three goalies as yesterday — as all the absent signed players lived to see another day in American Hockey League camps.

Meanwhile up in Edmonton, Jon Rheault scored for the Calgary Flames in a 5-1 win over the Oilers. Rheault started the game on a line with former Kings enforcer Raitis Ivanans, which if anything means the Calgary staff is serious about possibly keeping him on as a fourth-line winger.

Hold on to those Jon Rheault memories. He won’t be making any new ones here this season.

Open tryout invitees announced.

Three lucky open-tryout campers have been invited to take part in the Reign’s main camp beginning Friday:

Mike Thomson of La Habra Heights, Josh Newton of Riverside, and Gabriel Andre of Edmonton.

Thomson, you might recall, was among six open tryout players invited to take part in the Reign’s inaugural training camp. He was also among the final players cut (check out the story I wrote about Thomson at the time, after the jump).

Newton is an experienced player from a large hockey-playing family that includes younger brother and Ducks prospect Jake Newton.

Andre was also an invitee to the Las Vegas Wranglers’ camp a year ago after passing the Wranglers’ open tryout. He has quite a story, and a collection of gnarly videos, from something known as Red Bull Crashed Ice.

Thomson, Newton and Andre will be needed with a total of 10 off-season signees currently in American Hockey League camps: Pierre-Andre Bureau (Manchester), Eric Doyle (Manchester), Jordan Hill (Manchester), Kyle Kraemer (Manchester), Jordan Morrison (Manchester), C.J. Stretch (Manchester), Reggie Traccitto (Manchester), Aaron Lewadniuk (Manitoba), Matt Delahey (Providence) and Dusty Collins (San Antonio).

Continue reading “Open tryout invitees announced.” »