Postgame Reign notes and quotes.

— On paper, the Reign outshot the Thunder 14-2 in the final period. They looked just as good in real life. Of course, that means they were outshot 21-15 over the first two frames, which doesn’t even take into account the defensive lapses that allowed Stockton to go up 4-1.

— Karl Taylor said he had no thoughts of pulling Jeff Zatkoff, who sprinkled in more than enough tough saves among his 17 on the evening to validate that decision.

— Darren McMillan was back in the lineup and Dan Knapp, who had a nice assist Friday night on Jon Rheault’s breakaway goal, was scratched.

— Bud Holloway’s hat trick brought a cavalcade of hats to the ice, as well as one shoe and a T-shirt. It’s only my opinion, but when something other than a hat hits the ice, it’s more embarrassing than amusing.

— Colten Teubert got into his first fight of the playoffs. After getting under their skin plenty the night before, Teubert was seen jawing with Stockton during the first period (and even during warmups). But he waited until the third period to dance with Craig Valette. The 6-1 Valette landed a few small punches before the 6-4 Teubert landed on top of Valette when they fell to the ice, which couldn’t have felt good, but I’m sure will declare Valette the winner.

The game finished perilously close to deadline, so here are the condensed quotes I was able to get from the Reign:

Karl Taylor:

We weren’t prepared to play. We thought it was going to be easy. That’s my responsibility as a coach. I take full blame for the first two periods — I didn’t have the guys prepared.

Bud Holloway:

We didn’t draw that up, but we said we’re not going to quit out there. We didn’t want to give up the four-goal lead. We came off our game plan a little bit. We just got out of the gate a bit slow.

On where to go from here:
You’ve just got to wipe the slate clean. It’s a best-of-five series now.

Another playoff prediction.

Cleve Dheensaw of the Victoria Times-Colonist felt so bold as to handicap the entire National Conference playoffs, series-by-series. His analysis of the Reign-Thunder matchup:

With Los Angeles Kings first-round draft-pick Colten Teubert and third-rounders Bud Holloway and Jeff Zatkoff, the Ontario Reign has some fine young talent to showcase. So does the Stockton Thunder, which is bulging with Edmonton prospects. But Ontario plays a stifling, defensive style which is perfect for the playoffs. Stockton has been too erratic a team to have any edge in this series.

Prediction: Ontario in five

Shawn Germain postgame quotes.

When’s the last time I scored two goals in a game, period? Maybe beginner novice. Way back. I can’t remember the last time I scored two goals, not in juniors. I honestly can’t remember. It’s a huge team win. I’m proud of the guys, coming out of the gate. We had some horses back there in Tebuert and Starling, and Zatkoff kicked well back there for us.

On Atherton’s presence:
Any time you get a P.J. Atherton back in the lineup, he’s going to get shots on net and get them hard. To have a big bomber on the point it adds a lot. You know most of the time, he’s going to get it through. He’s a power play guy for sure.

On scuffle after horn:
Anytime you get into a seven-game series, it doesn’t matter. There’s going to be bad blood.

P.J. Atherton postgame quotes.

When did you arrive here?
Three days ago.

Was there an adjustment period?
I had kind of a tough time in the first period, kind of a feeling-out process, trying to anticipate where people are going to be before you get the puck. I had to settle into it. Luckily Shawn (Germain) was real good behind me when I made a couple mistakes, but I settled in pretty good as the game went on I started to feel real good. Started to play like myself again.

Did you feel pressure to contribute?
I’m one player. I’m not going to change the world here in Ontario. I think you feel as much pressure as you’re going to put on yourself, to help the guys win. Power play’s something I enjoy. I want to be on the power play every single power play we have. I don’t feel pressure; I have fun. It’s a great time of the year, a great group of guys, so I’m just here to have a good time and contribute any way I can to help these guys win hockey games.

On possible bad blood in the series:
They have some guys who like to mix it up a little bit. We want to get wins, that’s the important thing. Everything that happens after the whistle doesn’t really matter. Guys are going to do things that other guys don’t like. You’re not going to like things the other team’s doing. That’s hockey. That’s the way it goes. That’s part of the fun, trying to get under other guys’ skin.

Colten Teubert postgame quotes.

On stepping into the atmosphere:
I had butterflies coming in, but I thought we played well as a team, and our defensive game was good. Just got to stay out of the box a bit. Our power play was great tonight.

On your role:
I just want to be there for the guys, and be that defensive guy on the back end who stays solid the whole game.

On ECHL experience:
I just got to take it like an opportunity. Sadly my season was cut short with my WHL team, but this is another opportunity to show my stuff. I hate losing, so I want to keep winning. As long as we can go on this run, I’ll be happy.

You think the Kings’ front office is watching you?
I think so, for sure. I think everybody’s being watched no matter who you are, you’ve got somebody watching you.

Karl Taylor postgame quotes.

On special teams play:
There’s no question that it’s been hurting us as far as scoring goals. I think we were 1-for-30. Getting the guys back, getting P.J. back helped as far as getting us more of a threat. You have to have good specialty teams. I thought we were outstanding on the penalty kill [5-for-6] and decent on the power play [2-for-7].

On Stockton coming back:
In the middle of the second period … every team wants to win, every team’s got a lot of will and they’re trying hard. There’s going to be times when the other team pushes back, and how we handle that as a team has to be better than we did today. We’re going to watch that little five-minute segment when they pushed back and got that goal. We got away from our game. the key thing is to simplify at that moment and not allow big plays to happen.

On Colten Teubert’s 1st-period hip check on Robby Bina:
Colten, that’s what he does. He’s got to be a big physical guy, take the body when he can, and be a great defender. That’s what he takes pride in. I thought he played very well tonight, and he was a force on the back end for us. Him and Chad (Starling) both shut down their number one line tonight [Mike Lalonde, Ryan Huddy, James Bates]. (Cory) Urquhart came alive and hurt us, but we were able to keep Huddy off the scoresheet for the most part.

Every game you’re going to readjust, guaranteed. For us and for them. You always keep your core the same, your values the same, but you’re going to make tactical changes game to game.

I think that hurts them initially, because they’re disappointed. (Andrew Perugini) has been their guy the last little run here. That’s been their number one. It doesn’t mean that the other guy is not a good goalie, it just means that when that happens your team takes a shot to their confidence. We were fortunate that we snuck one by him [on Atherton’s goal] that he’d like to have back. So it’s a situation where their team probably settled a little back, and they competed even harder to protect him, to give him a chance to get his feet under him. You never like to see guys injured, but it’s part of the game.

On Stockton regaining momentum:
They did a good job generating shots and getting pucks to the net. That gave us a little bit of a step back, because their team pushed hard through that power play to get that energy. It kind of took the early energy away from us. Fortunately Jeff (Zatkoff) was really good through that sequence, and our kill was able to hold the fort, and let our team recover.

On Zatkoff:
He was able to control his rebounds for the most part, and hold them to the outside. It’s his job to stop the puck.

Reign postgame notes

The Reign finished 1-for-30 on the power play over the regular season’s final five games, but ended that bad streak with a flourish, going 2-for-7. P.J. Atherton’s third-period goal was basically a power-play goal too. It fell five seconds after a minor penalty to Daryl Marcoux had ended, the puck stayed in the offensive zone, and Marcoux was scarcely entering the play (which was on the opposite end of the ice) when Atherton shot and scored.
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