Reign 5, Idaho 4, OT.

Who’d have thunk it?

After losing 7-0 in Bakersfield on Sunday, the Reign went out and won back-to-back games against the Idaho Steelheads, the best team in the conference. Greg Hogeboom’s power-play goal at 3:40 of overtime sealed the victory in a game that saw the Steelheads outshoot the Reign 47-25.

Sean O’Connor’s seventh goal of the season, with 4:19 left in the third period, tied the game at 4. Peter Lenes, Robert Pearce and Jon Francisco also scored for the Reign, who are now one point behind the Las Vegas Wranglers for the final National Conference playoff berth.

Nine different Reign players had one assist, and goaltender Curtis Darling stopped 40 of 45 shots. The Reign went 2-for-4 on the power play and held Idaho to one power play goal in four man-advantage shifts.

  • EB

    Way to go Reign!! Two wins in two nights against our Conference leaders. Therefore, I’m not going to comment on Karl’s “Passive” system and being heavily out-shot 45-21 (not to mention the Reign has scored the fewest goals in the ENTIRE league). Nope. And I won’t comment on the Reign allowing Tyler Spurgeon to score a “natural” hat trick. Nope. And I most definitely will not comment on Oleksy’s kneeing penalty. That boy should have been taught a lesson by our guys, but instead got up untouched and skated freely to the penalty box. Nope, I’m not going to say a word.
    Instead, I will comment on the great game Curtis Darling played, while avoiding any comments on the Reign allowing a short-handed breakaway attempt by Idaho. Nope. But I will say again, great game Curtis!!! That win was yours!!

  • DT

    I agree with EB. I am not a big Darling fan, but the save he had on the break away when not one person skated to the red line to even try is what won that game. Good win.

  • Crossbar

    Darling giveth, and Darling taketh away. That pretty well sums up last night’s game against the Steelheads, a 5-4 nailbiter which, if not for a spectacular save by the netminder on a breakaway opportunity in OT, could just as easily have been the yin to Friday night’s yang.

    Buoyed by the team’s physical play (Egener, Kilburg, Voce, and Starling in particular) and a 2-0 lead early in period two, we were once again reminded of how quickly momentum can swing and the reasons behind the Reign’s sub-.500 record this season, as several glaring lapses on defense, plus a soft goal (IMO) at 16:38, gave Tyler Spurgeon a second-period hat trick and Idaho a 4-3 lead to start the third.

    As J.P. notes in his coverage, Sean O’Connor’s PP goal at 15:41 evened things up; but it’s what he did AFTER the goal the really impressed me. Having accepted the customary fist/knuckle bumps from his teammates on the bench, he went over to his netminder and included him in the celebration. What a classy move. One of the other Reign players followed suit, if I recall correctly, while the remaining three on the ice at the time of the goal did not. True, it wasn’t Darling’s best home game of the season, but as it turned out, he saved our bacon in OT. Thus, I believe kudos are in order to those inside the organization who were responsible for bringing O’Connor into the fold, for he’s brought grit, hustle, and some offense to a squad that, at times, has been desperately in need of all three. JMTCW.

    All in all, given the second period collapse, it was an outcome I didn’t expect. But win they did, and win they must, for tonight’s opponent doesn’t get much easier, as Bakersfield comes to town.

    Let’s go, Reign!