Alaska 6, Reign 3.

A third-period meltdown sent the Reign to just their third loss in the month of March.

Geoff Walker and David Walker scored first-period goals to give the Reign a 2-0 lead, but Alaska answered back with two more before the first intermission. The game stayed close through 40 minutes, but Alaska erupted for three devastating goals midway through the final period.

Gary Nunn created the first two, taking the puck nearly the length of the ice, winning a pair of battles at both ends with a burst of speed in the middle, and feeding Jason Ryznar to make it 3-2 at 9:05. He skated two-thirds the length of the ice and had Curtis Darling backpedaling when he shot it into the goalie’s chest at 12:01 of the third.

The Aces’ fifth goal was the toughest to swallow. With the Reign skating 5-on-4, Alaska cleared the puck down the ice and Darling left the crease to play it along the wall. He attempted to make an outlet pass back across the ice, where Curtis Fraser was skating straight into the puck – and scored into a wide-open net with 6:32 left in the period. (See tomorrow’s editions for Darling’s postgame comments.)

Sean O’Connor scored seconds after the power play expired, but Alaska netted an empty net goal to provide the final score.

With 68 points in the National Conference standings, the Reign (29-28-3-7) remained in eighth place, trailing both the Stockton Thunder and Las Vegas Wranglers by a point. The seven teams battling for the final six playoff positions are still separated by five points, thanks to a Utah Grizzlies victory over the Bakersfield Condors.

This entry was posted in Ontario Reign/ECHL and tagged , , , , by J.P. Hoornstra. Bookmark the permalink.

About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.
  • Crossbar

    Wow, yet another third-period collapse, and this one had nothing to do with our taking too many penalties. There are but five games left in the regular season, and while we’re still within striking distance for a playoff spot, the chinks in our armor are looking pretty ominous. Zacharias’s recent exploits lead me to believe that he’s our guy in net from here on out. He was Coach Taylor’s 1st choice to begin the season (per his interview with Alaska’s Jack Michaels, which aired during the 2nd Intermission last night), so I say we put him back in and see how far he can take us. In the meantime, our defense needs to do a better job of stopping these end-to-end rushes. G. Walker’s goal on Sunday was a thing of beauty; last night’s goals by the opposition were anything but.

    Let’s go, Reign–time’s awastin’!

  • ReignFan

    Let’s not forget that Darling has played in the most games, played the most minutes and has faced the most shots this season than any other goalie in the ECHL league. I am sure that has taken its toll on Curtis. But no matter who’s in goal for the Reign I think we are blessed to have two top-notch goalies in Curtis and Mike.

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