Lenes, Hogeboom, Walker on All-Star experience.

Because you can’t get enough ECHL All-Star Game material, here’s what David Walker, Greg Hogeboom and Peter Lenes had to say after last night’s game … also, interesting to note that Judd Blackwater was traded from Stockton to Alaska for Colin Hemingway, a day after Blackwater appeared in the all-star game. 
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American Conference 10, National Conference 9, SO.

The ECHL All-Star Game went to a shootout for the first time in the history of the event.


The unabated scoring was typical of an all-star game, and David Walker and Peter Lenes chipped in with one goal each. Greg Hogeboom, the third Reign player selected, was held scoreless.

Walker gets credit for the quote of the night. Asked about the lack of hitting (there were no checks to speak of), the National Conference captain said, “it’s like playing hockey in Europe.”

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

Hall of Fame luncheon roundup.

Tears were shed, autographs were signed, and memories were shared Wednesday afternoon at the Ontario Hilton during the ECHL’s third annual Hall of Fame luncheon. Cam Brown, E.A. “Bud” Gingher, Olaf Kolzig and Darryl Noren all received induction, and Luc Robitaille warmed up a packed auditorium with a few words of motivation for the ECHL all-stars in attendance — and coming from the former ninth-round draft pick, they ought to go far.

“Never take it for granted,” said Robitaille, currently the Kings’ president of business operations. “It’ll be televised, scouts will be here … but it’s a privilege to represent your entire league.”

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National Conference wins, Reign get hardware.

The National Conference won the ECHL Skills Competition, 12-11, and captain David Walker was presented with the winner’s trophy, before 4,368 at The Bank. 


Peter Lenes won the 1-on-1 puck control relay and got to keep his trophy for winning that event.

Walker and Greg Hogeboom didn’t get any individual trophies, but got the loudest reception from the home fans. So did the five amateurs who competed in the breakaway competition, though none were able to score on an ECHL goaltender.

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

Stockton 4, Reign 2.

Newcomer Sean O’Connor scored twice, but the Thunder scored the go-ahead goal at 7:48 of the third period before scoring another into an empty net to close out the win before 4,932 at Stockton Arena.

The Reign (14-19-3-3) outshot the Thunder (16-16-2-3) and scored their first power-play goal since Dec. 30, but still suffered their third straight loss, and the 10th in their last 11 games.

O’Connor, who had been practicing in the top-tier German DEL before signing with the Reign earlier in the week, scored an unassisted goal at 6:48 of the second period, and a 5-on-4 goal at 4:58 of the third.

Goaltender Curtis Darling stopped 29 of 32 in the loss.

Reign have an assistant coach.

If you attended the Reign’s most recent home game Wednesday against Bakersfield, you have already witnessed the debut of new volunteer assistant coach Greg Poss.

Poss has been working with the team in practices all week. His coaching resume is impressive, recently including three seasons at the helm of Mannheim in the DEL, the top league in Germany, where he guided the Eagles to a championship in 2007. 

A native of Green Bay, Wisc., Poss has spent his entire professional coaching career in Europe. Prior to joining Mannheim, Poss was the head coach of the Nuremburg Ice Tigers for two years (2003-05) and the Iserlohn Roosters for six years (1997-2003). His international experience includes two seasons (2004-05) as head coach of the German national team, where he coached NHLers Marco Sturm, Olaf Kolzig, Christian Ehrhoff, Marcel Goc and Jochen Hecht.

He’s also served as an assistant coach for Team USA in the Deutschland Cup, a tournament pitting the best European-based players against each other according to their native country. In the most recent tournament, he assisted head coach Peter Laviolette (now head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers) on the silver medal-winning Team USA in November.

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

David Walker is the captain …

… of the ECHL National Conference All-Star team. 



The Reign defenseman, a first-time ECHL all-star, will have a pair of alternate captains, Ryan Kinasewich of the Utah Grizzlies and Shawn Weller of the Bakersfield Condors.

J.C. Sawyer of the Toledo Walleye will captain the American Conference squad, while the alternate captains for the American Conference will be Ben Gordon of the Reading Royals and Zach Tarkir of the South Carolina Stingrays.

Bakersfield 2, Reign 1, SO.

Greg Hogeboom scored in the second period, and Bakersfield tied it on a power-play goal in the third that was deflected in by Mathieu Aubin. 


In the shootout, Bakersfield’s Timo Pielmeier was perfect against four Reign shooters, while Sasha Pokulok and Aubin scored on Curtis Darling.

Right wing Sean O’Connor signed earlier in the day and made his debut for the Reign. The 6-foot-2, 230-pound power forward took a team-high five shots but was held scoreless. In 60 games last season for the Victoria Salmon Kings, O’Connor had 19 goals and 27 points.

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

Another change to your National Conference roster.

Please add Sasha Pokulok, defenseman for the Bakersfield Condors, and delete Robby Bina, defenseman for the Las Vegas Wranglers, on your National Conference scorecard for the ECHL All-Star game Jan. 20.

Pokulok is tied for the league lead among defensemen with five power-play goals and is third with 13 power-play points, while his 10 goals are second and his 24 points in 33 games are tied for third.

Good news for Reign fans: Bina has chosen to leave the Wranglers to sign with a team overseas. The defenseman has been a thorn in the Reign’s side, scoring one goal in six games and often being responsible for the Wranglers’ scoring chances.