In a game that finished just before 11 p.m. Pacific time, the Reign came up empty in the shootout after playing the Alaska Aces to a 2-2 tie through 65 minutes.
Michael Pelech and Tim Kraus scored to give the Reign a 2-0 lead they held until late in the second period. The Reign (13-15-2-2) then had to hang on after being outshot 12-3 in the third period. Curtis Darling stopped 35 of 37 shots in net.
Pelech’s fourth goal of the season came during a Reign power playat 3:35 of the first period. Mike Howe and defenseman Mike Egener picked up the assists. Kraus made it 2-0 at 6:08 of the middle period, putting a slapshot in from the left circle off assists from Greg Hogeboom and Shawn Germain.
But Alaska netminder Scott Reid took over from there, while Jason Ryznar (with 23 seconds left in the second) and and Bryan Miller (4:00 into the third) managed to tie the game up. Reid took over in the shootout, stoning Tony Voce, Hogeboom, Peter Lenes and Chad Starling in order, while Nick Mazzolini and Alexandre Imbeault scored on Darling.
The Reign will play the Aces again tomorrow night — their ninth game away from home out of 13 games in December — and ring in the New Year in Alaska an hour later than the rest of us.
In case you missed it, Lenes, Hogeboom, David Walker and Jon Rheault (who’s been in Manchester the last month) were named to the National Conference All-Star team earlier Wednesday.