I just realized this didn’t get in the story for Saturday’s paper: Forward Ryan Bowness, who is on 30-day injured reserve, underwent surgery on his hand Thursday and there is no timetable for his return.
And yes, that’s what I do at 2:30 a.m. on Sundays.
The Reign got the revenge they were looking for Saturday night in Stockton, beating the Thunder 4-0 a night after the Thunder won 3-2 at CBBA. John Murray stopped 26 shots in the Reign’s first shutout of the season; it was the second shutout of his young career.
Other noteworthy developments:
• The Reign went 1-for-3 on the power play and denied Stockton on their four power-play chances.
• Todd Jackson (4th goal of the season), Dusty Collins (5), Brad Mehalko (4) and Geoff Walker (8) scored the goals.
• Mehalko was on the ice for three of the Reign goals, a very good game for a guy not known for his offense.
• The Reign host the Victoria Salmon Kings (who bear the corniest logo I’ve seen this season) Sunday night at 5 p.m.
With No. 1 goalie Jeff Zatkoff injured, it looks like John Murray got more than just three wins out of his four straight starts recently. Murray was named the ECHL’s goaltender of the week for the week of Nov. 24-30.
That timespan doesn’t include the losses (one start, one in relief) that Murray absorbed after Zatkoff strained his groin Nov. 21 in Fresno. So officially, the 21-year-old was recognized for going 3-0 with a 1.62 goals-against average in wins against Stockton, Bakersfield and Alaska. He lowered his GAA to 2.49, eighth among active ECHL goalies with at least eight games played (Zatkoff is fifth at 2.38).
Updating my previous entry, Reign coach Karl Taylor was able to shed light on two facets of the Augusta Lynx’s cancellation of their season following the Reign’s win Wednesday.
First, all the Lynx players immediately became free agents — not waiver-wire players — so any ECHL team with the necessary roster (and budget) space can sign the “Augusta 18” at any moment, regardless of their position in waiver priority.
Second, the Reign will not be signing any of them. Said Taylor: “I like my team. They have some players that could help our team, but there’s nobody that would change us drastically enough. I’m comfortable with my group.”
The Augusta Lynx, a member of the ECHL’s American Conference, was forced to cease operations 17 games into the season, canceling the remainder of its season.
Augusta’s attendance was bad and reportedly needed at least $200,000 by Tuesday afternoon to stay afloat.
So what does this mean for the Reign?