The United States Premier Hockey League expansion is continuing on the West Coast.
The Ontario Jr. Reign has been announced as the newest junior hockey franchise to join the USPHL Premier Division for the upcoming 2021-22 season, combining with the Fresno Monsters, Long Beach Shredders, San Diego Sabers, Lake Tahoe Lakers and Las Vegas Thunderbirds to make up the league’s Pacific Division.
The USPHL, founded in 2012, operates in 24 of the 50 United States and is the nation’s largest amateur ice hockey league with teams in a variety of divisions. Teams have been selected to participate in specific USPHL divisions based upon geography, strong player pools, rink ownership, financial strength and history of success and integrity at the highest level.
The ultimate goal of the USPHL is to prepare and develop players for college hockey and beyond. The highlight of the last season was the introduction of the Hub City Tampa where players were able to experience a unique environment and exposure not only to the NCDC, one of the highest junior leagues in the country, but also to NCAA Division I and Division III colleges.
The Jr. Reign will play home games at the Ontario Center Ice facility in Ontario with a fully equipped locker room, gym and small shooting rink.
“We’re really excited about the growth of junior hockey in California,” said Jr. Reign president Ben Frank. “For us, we’re passionate about providing opportunities to players in California and we want to help them reach their dreams of college hockey while staying at home and going off to college when they are ready. Our major focus for this team is serving the Inland Empire with junior hockey. We have kids that are aging out of 18U hockey and not ready to leave the state and are still pursuing their goal to play college hockey.
“As we know, not many players start college hockey right out of high school, and they need a year or two of junior hockey. We also want those late developers to continue to chase college hockey, and this league produces players who go on to NCAA Division I, NCAA Division III and ACHA. The path is different for every player, and we want to extend those opportunities to have these kids keep playing top notch competitive hockey.”
Longtime California youth and junior hockey coach Tomas Kapusta has been named the Jr. Reign’s general manager, with Dave Hyrsky serving as head coach.
“Our biggest priority is to serve top local players who want to play at the junior level and have an opportunity to enter NCAA Division I, Division III, and ACHA college hockey while not having to leave the state, their community, and their families,” Kapusta said.
The various developmental camps start with an ID camp as early as June 6, continuing into the USPHL Ontario Jr. Reign Combine on June 25-27 and ending with an additional select camp on July 11, prep camp on August 14, and culminating at main camp on August 29. The 2021-22 season starts on Monday, September 13.
For more information, visit www.OntarioJrReign.com.