But we couldn't let the Reign's first campaign end without one more "well done."
Unfortunately, the local team was eliminated by the Stockton Thunder in the first round of the playoffs. The Reign showed great heart in the series, winning a do-or-die sixth game and then battling furiously in the finale, losing by one after having a goal nullified by a penalty that some observers considered an unusual and questionable call.
So the first season is in the books. The Reign played well and the overall presentation was entertaining and brought out the fans. (Free parking and reasonable ticket prices didn't hurt.) Ontario was second in attendance in the ECHL with an average of 5,856 per game.
The ECHL All-Star Game will be played in Ontario next year, and there's talk of the Los Angeles Kings - the Reign's NHL affiliate - playing an exhibition game next year at the Citizens Business Bank Arena, as the Lakers did to open the terrific new facility. So there's plenty for local hockey fans to look forward to next year.
We mentioned in that editorial last month that the team had done a great job of getting involved with the surrounding community, sending players and coach Karl Taylor to many events and raising tens of thousands of dollars for Inland Valley charitable causes.
The team finished up the season in that same vein, auctioning off postseason jerseys on Tuesday night to raise money for the Reign's Hope Foundation.
Again, our congratulations to the Reign organization, from executive vice president Justin Kemp and Coach Taylor to the players and the staff members, on a successful first season. We're glad to have you in the neighborhood.