Next time you see Chris Curran, make it a point to joke that the Reign should start all their games at midnight.
The center hadn’t scored all season before the wee hours of Tuesday morning, when he scored the lone goal in a 1-0 Reign win over the Las Vegas Wranglers. The game started at 11:59 p.m. Monday and finished around 2:20 Tuesday morning before a paid crowd of 5,101 at the Orleans Arena. It’s the sixth straight year the Wranglers have hosted a midnight game, but the first time the Reign have played an official game at such an ungodly hour.
Curran hit jackpot 1:24 into the second period. The goal came about a week after he shaved his moustache — go ahead and joke about that too — and came off a Geoff Walker assist. Jeff Zatkoff got the start and made 35 saves, the first shutout of his professional career and the second ever for the Reign, who were outshot 35-20.
Second-place Ontario gained some separation on third-place Las Vegas despite suiting up just 13 skaters (9 forwards, 4 defensemen). That’s two fewer than Vegas skated and three above the ECHL minimum. No telling when they got into town; the team bus had to re-route through Arizona because of snowfall along I-15 Monday morning.
More good news: The Reign get four days off before their next game, on Friday in Vegas.