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California dreaming becomes an NHL reality

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We like to give shout-outs to local kids who make it to the NHL because it’s a great accomplishment no matter where you’re from — and even more difficult for kids here because there are no major college programs nearby for them to hone their skills.

So we’d like to congratulate Ray Macias of Long Beach, who is scheduled to make his debut in the show with the Colorado Avalanche against Phoenix on Wednesday in Denver.

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Macias, a defenseman, was a fourth-round pick by the Avalanche in 2005 and 124th overall. He got his start with the L.A. Junior Kings and later played junior hockey for Kamloops of the Western Hockey League.

Props also to Garrett Stafford of Los Angeles, who made his NHL debut last season but is scheduled to play in his hometown tonight for the first time when the Dallas Stars face the Kings at Staples Center.

Stafford, also a defenseman, has bounced around quite a bit. The Stars, depleted by injuries, called him up from their Grand Rapids, Mich., farm team a few days ago, and he had two assists — his first NHL points — in a 6-5 loss to Phoenix on Monday.

— Helene Elliott

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