The Reign match their largest defeat of the season but, as Jon Francisco said, “we didn’t play as bad a game as the score said we did.”
Scoring chances were close to even tonight and the Reign actually led in shots on goal, 35-30. But thanks in large part to Vegas goalie Matt Keetley, fresh off an AHL demotion, only one went in – Ryan MacGregor’s third-period power play deflection of a nice Geoff Walker pass in the crease.
The Reign got torched for three goals in the first period, all by the same forward line. That put them in a 3-0 hole that may have been easier to make up if they had scored the game’s fourth goal, but they didn’t. Kellen Briggs looked OK in stopping 25 of 30; the defense let him down on a few plays and one of the goals went in off Shawn Germain’s skate. But the official scoresheet reflects it was another Shawn (Limpright) who scored it for Vegas.
Two significant developments from this one:
1. The Reign are no longer in first place; Las Vegas (which won its 8th straight) moved two points ahead in the Pacific Division standings.
2. Chris Curran got a game misconduct and could face an additional suspension upon review of his second-period boarding infraction. Karl Taylor declined to theorize whether the league would punish Curran because he didn’t see the play. The coach did offer, however, that he thought “an instigator penalty should be called in that situation,” as the Wranglers’ Jason Dest – who wasn’t the victim of the boarding – skated over to fight Curran immediately after the play.
More details in tomorrow’s editions.