A couple notes for the weekend.

1. Defenseman Andrew Martens was playing forward last night for the Reign in Idaho, skating on a line with Mike Howe, Michael Pelech and sometimes James McEwan. This isn’t a new development; Martens did the same last year for the Reign when injuries hit particularly hard, and Karl Taylor recently joked that Martens did so well at forward it was hard to move him back to the blue line. He took the place of winger Chris Curran, who was placed on 3-day injured reserve prior to the game, a move that will keep Curran out of Friday’s rematch in Boise. We’re not sure if Curran has been set back at all in his recovery from a broken leg, or if it’s something else, but will try to update when the team returns Monday.

2. Greg Hogeboom and Peter Lenes continue to be the main men responsible for picking up the scoring slack with Tony Voce injured, and Jon Rheault and Dwight King in Manchester. Hogeboom has at least one goal in every game this month, including a hat trick on Dec. 2, for a total of six goals and two assists in four games. The rookie Lenes is clearly adjusting to the ECHL level, with four goals and two assists in December, as well as the only goal in Wednesday’s shootout. His shootout technique was predictably fast and furious, finished not by anything fancy but a simple forehand that Rejean Beauchemin didn’t see coming. Beauchemin, who is second in the ECHL with a 2.43 goals-against average, had not lost in a shootout this season.

3. The Reign will wear specially-designed L.A. Kings affiliate jerseys Friday and Saturday in Idaho. It might seem weird to debut it on the road, but it might equally seem unfair that the Steelheads wore specially-designed Dallas Stars affiliate jerseys on Wednesday.

Reign 4, Victoria 3, OT.

Michael Pelech’s goal 2:44 into overtime was the difference as the Reign snapped a five-game losing streak at Citizens Business Bank Arena.

Peter Lenes scored twice, Greg Hogeboom once, and the line of Lenes, Hogeboom and Tim Kraus accounted for three of the team’s four goals.

Mike Zacharias, pulled from his last start Wednesday in Utah, stopped 27 of 30 shots to improve to 3-4-1.

More details in tomorrow’s editions.

2010 ECHL Hall of Fame class announced.

The ECHL on Thursday announced its 2010 Hall of Fame inductees: Cam Brown, E.A. “Bud” Gingher, Olaf Kolzig and Darryl Noren.

Along with members of Gingher’s family (he died in 2002), Brown, Kolzig and Noren have been invited to the induction ceremony, which will take place in conjunction with the 2010 ECHL All-Star Game on Jan. 20, 2010 at the Hilton Ontario Airport.

In a statement released by the league, ECHL commissioner Brian McKenna said, “This is a unique and very worthy group of inductees. It is unique in that it includes our first inductee in the Development Player category.

“Cam Brown is the all-time leader in games played and helped pave the way for many of today’s ECHL players while Bud Gingher played a lead role in the early development of the ECHL as both an owner and Chairman of the Board.

“Olaf Kolzig got his start in professional hockey and key development time in the ECHL. As one of the first prospects to go on to a long and distinguished career in the National Hockey League, he helped bring credibility to the league and became an example for many young players to follow.

“Darryl Noren is always mentioned and recognized as one of the most skilled and consistent performers in league history.”
Continue reading “2010 ECHL Hall of Fame class announced.” »

Utah 7, Reign 6, OT.

The Reign survived a miserable first period that saw the Utah Grizzlies go up 5-0 after 15:28, and somehow salvaged a point.

Held to one goal in their past two games, the Reign mustered six Wednesday, including the game-tying goal by Greg Hogeboom on a redirected shot with 48 seconds left in regulation. Hogeboom finished with a hat trick — his second of the season — Peter Lenes scored twice, and Tim Kraus added another for the Reign (8-10-1-1).

Mike Zacharias started and allowed three goals on 13 shots before being yanked at the 9:09 mark. Curtis Darling finished the game, stopping 21 of 25. At 3:08 of overtime, Darling was drawn out of position by the Grizzlies’ Tom Maxwell, who then fired the puck past defenseman Mike Egener attempting to cover the net.

Defenseman David Walker finished with three assists for the Reign, who will play the Grizzlies (12-6-0-0) again Friday.

More details in tomorrow’s editions.

Curran article, and a few quotes that didn’t make the paper.

In case you missed it, Chris Curran’s comeback is complete: http://www.sbsun.com/sports/ci_13898271

Only twice as a reporter have I seen a player leave a hockey rink in a stretcher. One was Curran, the other was James Wisniewski in last year’s Stanley Cup playoffs. Wisniewski suffered a lung contusion but only missed one game. So I asked Karl Taylor if it was the worst injury he had seen as a coach; turns out he once had a player nearly swallow his tongue and die … never mind.

Here’s what else Taylor had to say about Curran:
Continue reading “Curran article, and a few quotes that didn’t make the paper.” »