Tim Kraus put in a rebound of a Chris Curran wraparound 90 seconds into overtime, bringing the Reign back within one point of first-place Vegas in the Pacific. A big game against Stockton looms tomorrow, and the Reign are heading north tonight.
Because they were loading the busses almost as soon as the game ended, I couldn’t grab too many players for their reaction, but P.J. Atherton confirmed what seemed to be true at a glance – it was a big win. Bakersfield helped the Reign’s aspirations to regain separation in the standings by posting four goals in the third period to upset Stockton. In Stockton, no less.
Curran notched a “Gordie Howe hat trick” – a goal, assist and a fight – and was generally outstanding. So was Kellen Briggs, who stopped 24 of 25 shots, including plenty from close range in a game that was tied for all but five minutes, 31 seconds of its duration. Mike Howe, Dale Reinhardt and Andrew Martens had the Reign’s other assists.
Reinhardt (a healthy scratch in recent weeks) and Howe (who missed 10 games with an upper body injury) haven’t contributed much lately. But both were summoned tonight, a day after Geoff Walker sustained a concussion in the second period against Bakersfield. Walker, whose 14 goals and 34 points rank second on the team, will also miss Sunday’s game in Stockton and said he won’t play until Wednesday (against Victoria at CBBA) at the earliest.
Game summary here; more details in tomorrow’s editions.