ROOKIES BOWNESS AND HOWE HEAD TO ONTARIO
Recent College Graduates Make Pro Debut with Reign
ONTARIO, Calif. – The Ontario Reign of the ECHL, proud affiliate of the NHL Los Angeles Kings and the AHL Manchester Monarchs, announced today that they have signed rookies RW Ryan Bowness and F Mike Howe to the 2008-09 Reign roster.
Ryan Bowness (BOW-ness), 25, joins the Reign after playing four years with Saint Mary’s University (CIS) in Halifax, NS, where he tallied 13 goals, assisted on 15 others and accrued 112 penalty minutes during his collegiate career. His best season at Saint Mary’s came during his Junior year when he accumulated 14 points (eight goals and six assists), tallied 40 penalty minutes and was named as the team’s most improved player.
“I am excited to begin the upcoming season with the Reign,” said Bowness. “This is my first year pro and I am glad to be a part of this club. Coach Taylor and the organization came highly recommended and I feel like this team is a perfect fit.”
Ryan, the son of former NHL player and current Vancouver Canucks Associate Coach, Rick Bowness, was named the team co-captain of the Huskies during his senior year. Selected in the eighth round (#236 overall) of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft by the Columbus Blue Jackets, Ryan was awarded the Father David Memorial award during his final year at Saint Mary’s. The award is given to the Huskies player that best exemplifies leadership and dedication to Saint Mary’s hockey.
Prior to joining Saint Mary’s, the 6-foot 2-inch, Halifax, NS, native spent four years in the OHL. He played 173 games with the Brampton Battalion from 2000-03, suited up for a 13-game stint in 2003-04 with Brampton and finished out season with the Oshawa Generals (32 games). In 2002-03 Ryan scored 15 goals, assisted on 17 others and tallied 70 penalty minutes, for his best season in the OHL.
Mike Howe (HOW), 24, comes to the Reign from the University of Minnesota (NCAA) where he played the past four seasons (2004-08). During his time as a Gopher, Mike scored 31 goals, assisted on 34 others (65 points) and accumulated 82 penalty minutes. Mike’s best season at UM came in 2007-08 when he scored seven goals and added 17 assists for 21 points.
During his senior year, Mike was named assistant captain and was awarded the team’s Unsung Hero Award. He ranked third on the team with a plus six rating as well as ranking third in scoring with seven goals on the season. Mike was a member of the WCHA All-Academic team his final three seasons at Minnesota (2005-08) and was named the team’s John Mayasich Outstanding Student Athlete during his sophomore season.
“I am really excited to get into a new program,” said Howe. “This will be a new experience and I am eager to get things rolling. I have heard good things about the city, the new rink and the new team and I am expecting a positive experience.”
Prior to playing at the University of Minnesota, Howe enjoyed a successful USHL career. In 2001-02, he suited up for a 5-game stint with the Omaha Lancers and from 2002-04 he skated for the River City Lancers where he played in 108 games. Over his junior career he scored 62 goals, assisted on 60 others (122 points) and accumulated 70 penalty minutes. His best season came in 2003-04 when he led the league in scoring with 36 goals (42 assists, 78 points) in 56 games, was named the 2004 USHL Player of the Year and the USHL’s Top Forward, and was a member of the first team All-USHL. Mike finished his USHL career with a +39 rating.
“Ryan [Bowness] and Mike [Howe] will be excellent additions to this team,” Reign Head Coach Karl Taylor said. “They are both coming off of good university careers and are looking to begin their professional careers in the ECHL. We are happy to have them as a part of the Reign this season.”
Bowness and Howe join Reign teammates D David Walker, C Jon Francisco, LW Chris Curran, D Ryan Card, F Eric Thomassian, D Andrew Martens, RW Denny Johnston and RW Jon Rheault as the ninth and tenth players inked to the 2008-09 Reign roster.
Began in 1988-89 with five teams playing in four states, the Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League has grown into a coast-to-coast league that will have 23 teams in 16 states and British Columbia playing 828 games from Oct. 17, 2008 to Apr. 4, 2009. Eighteen of the 23 teams have played at least five years in their current city.
The third-longest tenured professional hockey league behind only the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League, the ECHL averaged 4,174 per game last season, marking the fourth year in row and the 16th time in the last 18 years that the league has averaged over 4,000 fans. The league has drawn over four million fans each of the last five years and 11 times in the past 12 seasons.
Visit the all-new Reign website on the web at www.ontarioreign.com for all of the latest news surrounding Ontario Reign Professional Hockey. Sign up and enter-to-win two FREE season tickets to the Reign’s 2008-09 Inaugural Season just for visiting the site!
Season tickets and mini-plans for the Ontario Reign’s Inaugural season presented by the Mission Inn are on sale now and offer an affordable entertainment option for families and residents of the Inland Empire. For more information about Reign season tickets or mini-plans contact the Reign office at (909) 941-PUCK (7825) or visit www.ontarioreign.com.