The Los Angeles Kings recently teamed up with the Long Beach Bombers, a junior team from the Western States Hockey League, to bring a Kings game day experience to Glacial Gardens in Lakewood. The Bombers were looking to increase their home ice advantage, so they enlisted the entire Kings Game Presentation Staff for their regular season game against the Dallas Ice Jets in Lakewood on Sunday, November 18.
The Kings hosted a Fan Fest before the game in the Glacial Gardens parking lot. As part of the Fan Fest, the Kings set up both the Inflatable Puck Shoot and the Street Hockey court, and a team merchandise truck was also on hand for the fans. The team also hosted autograph sessions for the LA Kings Ice Crew (featuring the Ice Crew’s latest calendar) and the LA Kings Alumni. Representing the alumni were Bob Miller, Nick Nickson, Ian Turnbull and Daryl Evans.
“Well, it was a good experience going to a junior game here locally,” said Evans. “It was a nice day and by the response we got from the fans, you could tell that they were very pleased with having us there in attendance. I stayed around to watch the game. It was a fun day, and I’m glad we were able to do it.”
In addition to the two teams on the ice, the game also featured Dieter Ruehle, the Kings Music Director and Organist, Jay Flats, the Kings In-Arena Host, and the late David Courtney, the Kings Public Address Announcer since 1989. Ruehle played the organ and mixed in some contemporary hits (just like he does at every Kings game), and included in that mix of music was the Kings’ goal song. Flats worked the crowd, interacting with fans and giving away prizes, and Courtney tied it all together with the professionalism that he was known for. Bailey and the Ice Crew also were busy during the game, entertaining the fans and shoveling ice during time outs. The intermissions featured some game day favorites for Kings’ fans, including Sumo Hockey, the LA Kings Roster Challenge and the T-Shirt Toss.
Evans said the Bombers – Ice Jets game provided the excitement fans have grown accustomed to at STAPLES Center, only on a smaller scale.
“You could tell that there was a lot of energy around there,” said Evans. “There were a lot of people in the stands, there were players that were directly involved, and there was a little bit of a buzz as fans heard David Courtney announce things.
“I thought it went over very well. Talking to fans prior to it, they were looking forward to the game taking place and I think even from an energy standpoint, the visiting team that was in from Dallas, I think it energized them as well. I think it changed the whole climate of what was going on in the building. It was a little bit more revved up and you could tell in the physical play. I think it set the stage for a real competitive hockey game."
The game ended with the team from Dallas pulling out a 6-3 victory. Still, it was an entertaining experience for all involved, and it’s a type of event the Kings would consider to participate in again in the future.
For more information about the Bombers, the Western States Hockey League or Glacial Gardens in Lakewood, please checkout the websites listed below:
Long Beach Bombers:
Western States Hockey League: