Phoenix 4, Reign 2.

The playoffs will have to wait again, as the Roadrunners scored the game’s final four goals and spoiled Linden Rowat’s Reign debut.

The stars were aligned quite well for a celebration: The Reign were wearing special camouflaged uniforms in honor of Military Appreciation Night; it was Jon Francisco’s 200th professional game; the announced attendance of 9,644 was 15 shy of a CBBA record; and, just for good measure, it was Karl Taylor bobblehead night.

More than that, the Reign came out looking motivated to win one for Rowat. They outshot Phoenix 13-2 through the game’s first 15 minutes, and only a fine effort by former NHL netminder Chris Beckford-Tseu (who had to switch helmets at midgame) kept the game scoreless through one period.

Bud Holloway and Mike Howe took advantage of a pair of rebounds early in the second to give the Reign a 2-0 lead. But the game seemed to turn just before intermission, when a “non-call” on a collision that sent Jon Francisco to his knees, bleeding, led to a Roadrunners goal with 13.9 left. The Roadrunners went on to score three more in the final period, when the Reign were a frustrating 0-for-3 on the power play and allowed a short-handed goal with 4:20 left.

More details in tomorrow’s editions; official scoresheet is here.

This entry was posted in Ontario Reign/ECHL by J.P. Hoornstra. Bookmark the permalink.

About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.