Idaho 5, Reign 2.

The Reign played the mirror opposite of Saturday’s effort — taking a 2-0 lead in the first period, then allowing five unanswered, including two in the final two minutes.

Dan Knapp scored his first goal of the year, and Robert Pearce was credited with his fourth of the season when Idaho defenseman Brendan Milnamow scored into his own net, to give the Reign the early cushion.

But Idaho fought back with a hard-luck goal with 1.8 seconds left in the middle period, when Evan Barlow fired a slapshot past a stickless Mike Howe to give the Steelheads their first goal.

Idaho added goals in the third period by Mark McCutcheon, Barlow, Mark Derlago and an empty-netter by McCutcheon, when the Reign were outshot 15-3.

More details in tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Bulletin.

Reign 5, Alaska 2.

The final score didn’t reflect the intensity of a game the Reign easily could have lost.

They trailed 2-0 after seven minutes. They gave up seven power plays to the Aces, including a 5-minute long 5-on-4 shift in the third.

But never has their defense looked more suffocating; the Reign only allowed 22 shots the entire game, didn’t allow a power-play goal, and came back to win 5-2. 

Officially, Michael Pelech was credited with his first two-goal game as a professional. The second came out of a three-player scrum in front of the net, and Pelech insists that Greg Hogeboom touched it last, but the official scorer gave it to Pelech upon further review. Sean O’Connor, Shawn Germain and Tim Kraus scored the others — the final two landing in an empty net in the last minute.

Curtis Darling got his second start in as many nights and stopped 20 of 22. 

More details in tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin.

Friday’s postgame thoughts.

The consensus opinion (both Karl Taylor and Jon Francisco volunteered it after the game) was that the Reign were lucky to get a point Friday. Even though they led the Alaska Aces for all but the game’s final 6:23, the 0-for-8 power play success rate stuck out like a sore thumb.

Speaking of the power play, Francisco said that “we’re working on some new stuff. It’s coming around. We’re getting shots to the net. I had two backdoor chances that I didn’t bury. That’s on me — I know that. I’ll be better tomorrow.”

Continue reading “Friday’s postgame thoughts.” »

Alaska 3, Reign 2, shootout.

Mike Howe and Greg Hogeboom staked the Reign to a 2-0 lead after 23 minutes, but that evaporated along with the Reign’s two-game losing winning streak.

Nick Mazzolini scored with 1:23 left in the third period to force overtime, where the Reign had their chances but failed to convert.

In the shootout, Alaska’s first three shooters scored on Curtis Darling (32 saves) but Tony Voce and Sean O’Connor scored on the other end for the Reign. The final shooter, Chad Starling, hit the post on the final shot of the game — one of many in the game.

More details in tomorrow’s editions and check back here tomorrow for postgame reaction. The same two teams square off in 24 hours at The Bank.

Odds and ends.

Before we get to the current state of the Reign, an update for all you Bud Holloway fans out there … he has a new blog up on the Manchester Monarchs’ Web site. “Jersey Shore” is mentioned. So is the movie “Avatar.”

Anyway, here are a few notes and quotes left over from Wednesday’s practice that did not make my notebook today …

Continue reading “Odds and ends.” »

Back to practice.

The Reign got back to practice today at Citizens Business Bank Arena and are approaching the happy part of their schedule: 15 of their next 17 games are at The Bank, following a brutal stretch of 24 of 30 on the road.

After losing their fourth straight game Friday in Utah, the Reign bounced back to win the final two games of the three-game series against the Grizzlies. Players and coaches discuss how they turned it around in tomorrow’s editions of The Sun and Daily Bulletin.

No big news out of practice, which included plenty of 3-on-0, 3-on-1 and 3-on-2 breakaway drills. The forward combos resembled those Karl Taylor used in Utah. The Reign will play three games in three nights beginning Friday against Alaska.

Reign 4, Utah 0.

The Reign have their first back-to-back wins in more than a month, and their first series win in Utah ever. 

Tony Voce scored twice for the second straight game, Tim Kraus and Sean O’Connor added tallies, and Curtis Darling recorded his second shutout of the season. 

More details in tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin.

Reign 5, Utah 3.

Mike Zacharias and Tony Voce haven’t done much for the Ontario Reign lately.

Yet each was instrumental in the Reign’s win at the E-Center, which ended a four-game losing streak for the Reign and set up a rubber match Monday night in West Valley City.
Making his first start since Dec. 26, Zacharias stopped 28 of 31, while Voce scored twice, his first goals since Dec. 27. Jon Francisco added two assists, and Chris Curran, Mike Howe and Greg Hogeboom also scored for the Reign (15-20-3-3).

Curran scored short-handed 1:44 into the game, but Utah (18-17-2-2) answered with goals by all-stars Ryan Kinasewich and A.J. Perry in the second. Down 2-1 at 5:36 of second period, Howe scored his third goal of the season 28 seconds later. Howe had not scored since Dec. 12 and was playing his second game after a nine-day lay off.

But the Reign weren’t done. Voce scored his 10th goal of the season just 36 seconds later to provide a 3-2 lead that the Reign wouldn’t relinquish. Voce scored again at 17:03 of the third, and Hogeboom added a power-play goal in the third period to make it 5-2.

Utah 5, Reign 2.

The Reign came back from a 2-0 deficit to tie the game at 2, before allowing three goals to close out their fourth straight loss. 

The three-games series at the E-Center saw the Grizzlies enjoy seven power plays, scoring on four. The Reign (14-20-3-3) have lost 11 of 12 to fall to eighth place in the eight-team National Conference. 

David Walker and Sean O’Connor scored goals in the second period, and Curtis Darling stopped 42 of 47 in goal for the Reign. A.J. Perry had a goal and three assists for Utah (18-16-2-2), including a helper on the game-winner at 17:04 of the middle period.