It was a strange game, one that didn’t go to script in multiple ways, one in which the Reign “thought the game started at 8 o’clock, not 7,” as Karl Taylor said.
Phoenix recorded the game’s first 18 shots and two goals in the first 12-and-a-half minutes from the opening faceoff — not what one would expect from a Roadrunners team that lost six times in seven meetings between the teams before Friday.
Once the Reign decided to show up, they showed up in a big way. Bud Holloway scored twice, including a short-handed goal that could have made SportsCenter’s top 10 plays — it was that good. Probably the best goal I’ve seen in the new arena. For the record, Holloway has seven goals and two assists in seven games since being sent down from Manchester.
And yet, after the Reign battled back to tie 4-4, Phoenix got two third-period goals that deflected in off Reign players. That was the difference.
Jeff Zatkoff took the hard-luck loss, making 39 saves, a few of which were downright spectacular. The big problem was the 45 shots allowed; the Reign had previously allowed 46 on three occasions, but there was little Zatkoff could do tonight.
More details in tomorrow’s editions and an official scoresheet here.