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09-16-2012, 01:55 AM
Oilers Chick
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SoCal Guide to Hockey (Lockout edition)

I posted a similar thread for the Northern California-based fans on the Sharks board, but felt the SoCal -based fans needed one too. So here it is.

Yes, the NHL Lockout is now official. Just because there's no NHL doesn't mean you still can't get your hockey fix. Here in Southern California there is LOTS of hockey well worth checking out. Below is a guide to what's out there.

ECHL: SoCal has two ECHL teams: Bakersfield Condors, Ontario Reign as I'm sure many of you are aware of as well as both are ECHL affiliates of their SoCal NHL counterparts Anaheim and LA respectively (at last check they were anyway). If you want to check out both teams, the two have their first meeting of the season on Nov. 4 in Ontario.

College Hockey: While California does not have a D-I or D-III Hockey team, the schools here do have teams in the ACHA (club level). The Pac-8 is the main conference amongst many California-based collegiate teams, which includes both USC and UCLA. The Trojans have been one of the most dominant teams in the Pac-8 in the last decade or so. USC plays their home games at Anaheim Ice. The Trojans and Bruins have their first meeting of the season on Nov. 9 at Anaheim Ice. The following Friday (Nov. 16), the two teams meet again at the Valley Ice Center in Panorama City.

Travel/Youth Hockey: This spring, SCAHA (Southern California Amateur Hockey Association) went through quite a change with all of the mergers that have happened. Perhaps the most notable was the merging of powerhouses LA Selects (LAHC) and Jr Kings. The teams now play under the Jr Kings umbrella. If you want to see some potential future NHL Draft picks, THIS is the team to check out! Newest NHL signees Beau Bennett and Jason Zucker are among the many former LA Selects players that dot the hockey landscape, while current Anaheim Duck is a former Jr King.

The Jr Kings call the Toyota Center home, while the Selects called Glacial Gardens in Lakewood home. I'm not sure if the revamped Jr Kings will be playing any games at Glacial Gardens this season.

BTW, several youth teams, including the Jr Kings are coached by former NHL players, including those that played for the Kings.

High School Hockey: The Varsity and JV season of the Anaheim Ducks HS Hockey League is already underway. And don't let the name fool you, there are teams in this league from around SoCal, not just in Anaheim and Orange County. In fact, the league has actually expanded this season that includes Los Alamitos and Huntington Beach in the JV Division and Corona del Mar and Corona-Norco in the Varsity Division. If you want a great SoCal HS grudge match to watch, I'd highly recommend a game between Santa Margarita and JSerra, two of the league's original teams.

So there you have it. It's not the NHL, but it's a way to still get your hockey fix. It's also a great way to support your local teams as well.

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