Reign 3, Bakersfield 0.

Mike Zacharias stopped 33 shots and the Reign snapped a three-game losing streak with their first win at The Bank.

Adam Henrich and Dwight King scored on deflections off long shots by defensemen, and Jon Rheault scored into an empty net in the final seconds.

The route to victory was similar to the Reign’s method of last season: They were outshot (33-24) but limited their opponent’s Grade-A scoring chances, while working hard for their own. Karl Taylor said after the game that the team is still searching for its identity, but Saturday appeared to be a step in the right direction.

The Reign’s postgame jersey auction fetched $27,000 for the Frontier Project. Shawn Germain ($2,150) sold for the highest.

More details in tomorrow’s editions.

Las Vegas 4, Reign 3: reaction.

It seemed to be the perfect recipeĀ — bring back the same leadership corps, the same coach, the same system, add some physical toughness and skilled forwards — and you’ve got an Ontario Reign squad whose physical talents match their mental acumen.

The only problem, especially Friday, is that the mental toughness wasn’t present.

“I think we did it to ourselves,” said Jon Rheault, asked if the Las Vegas Wranglers had gotten under their skin in a 4-3 loss in the Reign’s home opener. “We have to learn to control our emotions. The reactions to some of the calls we had – we got hit and then we’d spear someone – it’s part of the game. We’ve got to be more mentally tough than that.”
Continue reading “Las Vegas 4, Reign 3: reaction.” »

Las Vegas 4, Reign 3.

Tied 3-3 heading into the third period, the Reign put themselves short-handed one too many times to win their home opener.

With Tim Kraus in the box for tripping, Ned Lukacevic netted the game-winning goal with 6:14 left in the third period, lifting the Las Vegas Wranglers to a 4-3 victory before 8,067 at The Bank. It was the only power-play goal for the Wranglers in nine chances Friday, seven of which came in the final period.

Jon Rheault scored two goals and assisted on the third, Jon Francisco’s first goal of the season. Curtis Darling got the start in net and stopped 31 of 35.

More notes and postgame quotes to come. If you went to the game, let me hear from you.

Why five road games to start the season isn’t all that bad…

Karl Taylor said he prefers to start the season on the road. With five straight away from the Bank to start the season, his Reign squad got to find out why.

“Playing some games on the road probably made us a little closer as a group,” goaltender Curtis Darling said. “We got to spend a little more time together. We had some highs and lows on the road that I think were exaggerated a little bit, but it gave us time to sort that stuff out early on in the season, so we can get all the kinks out and get rolling.”

That’s the good news.

The bad news is, there’s still some kinks to sort out from a 2-3 start. The Reign met for an hour and a half Thursday, followed by an optional skate. Karl Taylor talks about the team’s objectives in tomorrow’s editions.

The Reign begin a stretch of 7 home games in 10 days tomorrow night against the Las Vegas Wranglers at 7:30 p.m.

More notes on the Reign’s home opener.

In case you missed it, here is my preview of the Reign’s home opener tonight against Las Vegas as it appeared in the paper.

A few more notes about tonight’s game:

  • Reign C Tim Kraus is tied for fourth in the league with a team-leading six assists. 
  • Las Vegas’ Robbie Bina is tied for the league lead among defensemen with six assists and six points.
  • David Walker is tied for third among defensemen with five assists, and is tied for fifth with five points.
  • Las Vegas’ Mick Lawrence has a two-game point streak (1g-2a).
  • The Wranglers’ team bus features flat-panel TVs with DirecTV.

Finally, tomorrow’s opponent, the Bakersfield Condors, will be wearing a unique tribute uniform tonight.

Condors 8, Reign 3

On a night full of penalties and short on 5-on-5 play, the Reign’s special teams were rather ordinary.

The Bakersfield Condors scored five power-play goals en route to an 8-3 win Wednesday at Rabobank Arena.

The Reign’s power play, which entered the game converting at a blistering 8-for-18 rate, took a step backward, going just 1-for-11.

Greg Hogeboom, Peter Lenes and Jon Rheault scored for the Reign, the latter coming 1:29 into the second period to erase a 3-1 deficit and tie the game at 3.

The Condors ended goaltender Mike Zacharias’ night early by scoring four goals in less than 26 minutes on the Reign starter.

More details in tomorrow’s editions.

Reign at Bakersfield tonight.

As reported elsewhere today, the Ducks signed ex-King Kyle Calder and assigned him to Bakersfield, where the Reign (2-2) are headed for a game at 7 p.m. tonight against the Condors (3-2). No word yet on whether or not Calder will be in the lineup.

Some more notes:

  • The Reign lead the league on the power play at 44.4 percent (8-for-18).
  • Ontario’s Greg Hogeboom has four goals and six points in his last three games.
  • Bakersfield rookie defenseman Stu Bickel had a career-high two assists on Saturday at Victoria.
  • Condors left wing Dan Sexton is second among ECHL rookies with seven points (3g-4a).
  • According to the Bakersfield Californian, the Condors will roll out some different lines than the Reign saw during their opening weekend.
  • The Reign won’t have to face goaltender Justin Pogge, who shut them out on opening night. He’s in Anaheim while Ducks goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere rehabs a strained groin, while Timo Pielmeier gets the start in net. Pielmeier allowed seven goals on 19 Reign shots in the Reign’s 8-2 win Oct. 17

Reign back at home.

The Reign practiced at Citizens Business Bank Arena today for the first time all season. It’s good news for the players, especially those who haven’t seen the rink before, but bad news if you’re a fan who set aside your mornings to see the Reign practice at Center Ice Arena.

“It’s nice to not have to drive over to the practice rink every day,” forward Greg Hogeboom said. “It’s a beautiful facility; you don’t see these in Europe, that’s for sure.”

The Reign had to wait for a fresh sheet of ice to be laid following the Lakers’ exhibition game last Tuesday against the Golden State Warriors. The new sheet features the 2010 ECHL All-Star Game Logo at center ice and a few new sponsors embedded below the surface. …

Check out my story about Hogeboom in tomorrow’s editions. Everyone was on the ice today, save forward Jon Rheault, who was struck in the foot Saturday by a puck.

Stockton 3, Reign 0

It seems to be all-or-nothing this season for the Reign, who lost 3-0 in Stockton on Saturday night to give the Thunder their first victory of the season.

Through four games so far, the Reign have scored 0, 8, 7, and 0 goals. Andrew Perugini stopped all 35 shots he faced in net before 6,155 at Stockton Arena.

Though the Reign generated chances, outshooting the Thunder 35-22, they benefitted from only one power play. And though they were able to stop the Thunder (1-3) on five power-play shifts, Garet Hunt, Kenny MacAuley and Chris D’Alvise scored at even strength against Curtis Darling (19 saves).

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

The Reign (2-2) play the Condors on Wednesday in Bakersfield, then host their home opener on Friday against the Las Vegas Wranglers at Citizens Business Bank Arena.

Reign 7, Stockton 1.

The only thing more perfect than the sunset over the Inland Empire on Friday was the Reign power play. The Reign (2-1) converted on all five of their power-play chances, and got goals from six different players, in a 7-1 blowout victory over the Stockton Thunder before 5,805 in Stockton Arena.

Tony Voce came off injured reserve to score two goals; Adam Henrich and Jon Rheault had a goal and two assists each; and Curtis Darling picked up his second victory of the season, stopping 30 of 31 shots. The Reign knocked out their opponent’s starting goalie for the second straight game, sending Bryan Pitton to the home bench after one period and three goals. Andrew Perugini came on to stop 10 of 14 shots over the final two periods.

The Reign also proved adept down a man, successfully killing six of seven Thunder power plays. Stockton is 0-4 to start the season after eliminating the Reign in the first round of last season’s playoffs.

Forward Greg Hogeboom scored his fourth goal of the season, and defensemen Shawn Germain and Andrew Martens scored their first for the Reign. Captain Jon Francisco added two assists, and Hogeboom, Peter Lenes, Dwight King, Tim Kraus and David Walker added one. The game also featured penalties assessed for five separate fights, two involving Reign enforcer James McEwan, and Michael Pelech, King and Walker in the others.

More details in tomorrow’s editions and, in case you missed it, here is my feature about the Reign’s captains and alternate captains this season that appeared in the paper Friday.