The Reign went 1-2 against the Steelheads on their road trip to Idaho last week, including a 6-0 loss in Saturday’s series finale.
According to Karl Taylor, it wasn’t as poor a performance as you might think. Here’s what he had to say after Tuesday’s practice:
It’s official: Dusty Collins has moved on.
The center, who started the season with the Reign, signed his first American Hockey League contract over the weekend with the Manitoba Moose.
The Reign will play one fewer team during the 2009-10 regular season than it did this year. The ECHL announced that the Phoenix Roadrunners would cease operations at the conclusion of the season.
Two other teams in the American Conference, the Mississippi Sea Wolves and the Dayton Bombers, will suspend operations after this season.
With the Pacific Division title locked up, as well as the home-ice advantage that comes with it for the first two playoff rounds, only a first-round opponent remains in question for the Reign. The Phoenix Roadrunners (who occupy last place in the West division) have just a miniscule chance of unseating Bakersfield, Las Vegas or Stockton. So among those three teams, who would you want the Reign to play?
Is it Bakersfield, where the Reign opened their season with a victory, and where they’ll finish the regular season Friday and Saturday? The Reign are 6-3 against the fastbreak-happy Condors, the Ducks’ ECHL affiliate.
Is it Las Vegas, which injected some tension into the rivalry by attacking Reign captain Jon Francisco during a last-second brawl March 22? The Reign are 7-3 against the Wranglers, who will play without the Ferraro twins, Chris (broken leg) and Peter (suspended).
Or is it Stockton, which started slow, got hot after adding some former Fresno Falcons, struggled toward the end of the season, but still managed to shut out the Reign in the teams’ last game? The Reign finished 6-4 against the Thunder.
The playoff-bound Reign are still seeking some sort of momentum after a 6-0 loss to the Idaho Steelheads on Saturday.
Jeff Zatkoff stopped 34 of 35 shots, Bud Holloway, Denny Johnston and Jon Rheault scored goals, and the Reign (36-28-3-2) evened the three game series 1-1.
The Reign have announced their first-round playoff home game schedule at CBBA:
Game 1: Friday, April 10 vs. (opponent TBD)
Game 2: Saturday, April 11 vs. (opponent TBD)
Game 6: Tuesday, April 21 vs. (opponent TBD) (if necessary)
Game 7: Wednesday, April 22 vs. (opponent TBD) (if necessary)
Itan Chavira became a repeat victim of diminishing roster space today, when the Southern California native was released by the Reign for the second time this season.
Updating my earlier post on Vegas’ fight-filled game Tuesday against the Alaska Aces, it looks as if the Wranglers’ Peter and Chris Ferraro aren’t going to face the Reign (or any other team, for that matter) in the playoffs as a result.
Chris broke his left leg in the middle of a second-period brawl that resulted in the ejection of brother Peter, who was suspended for the remainder of the regular season and the playoffs by the ECHL on Friday.
For all you die-hard ECHL fans out there, some Fresno Falcons jerseys from their final (half-)season are up for auction online until April 2. Take a look here but keep in mind that 1) it doesn’t benefit charity, 2) the only benefit to you is a Fresno jersey and 3) the team may very well be reincarnated, at some time, in some league. Just FYI.