Martens named ECHL player of week.

Reign defenseman Andrew Martens has been named the Sher-wood Hockey ECHL Player of the Week for March 15-21.

The 28-year-old had eight points (two goals, six assists) in four games to help Ontario go 2-1-1 for the week. Martens recorded the first four-point game of his career, and his second three-assist game of the season, Sunday in Ontario’s 6-5 shootout loss to Idaho. He had at least one point in all four games for the week and had a plus-minus rating of plus-4.

Martens has a five-game point streak that started when he recorded one assist during the Reign’s 4-3 win at Alaska on March 13. After a slow start to the season, he is third on the Reign with 29 assists and sixth in points with 33. His 17 power-play assists rank second among the team and he is currently tied for 13th among ECHL defensemen in points.

Idaho 6, Reign 5, shootout.

Geoff Walker scored the game-tying goal with 2:18 left in regulation, and the Reign gained a point to match Utah with 68 points in the National Conference standings.

Mike Zacharias made his third consecutive start in net and made 30 saves in regulation and overtime, but couldn’t stop Marty Flichel’s forehand attempt in the fifth and final round of the shootout.
Continue reading

Reign 2, Idaho 1.

Mike Zacharias made the most of his second start in as many nights, and the Reign beat the conference-leading Steelheads for the fourth straight time.

Michael Pelech and Geoff Walker scored the goals, Zacharias made 25 saves, and the Reign withstood a midgame uniform change – more details in tomorrow’s editions – to pull out the win.

The National Conference standings still look crazy, but contain some good news for the Reign (29-27-3-6, 67 points). They’re out of last place thanks to Stockton’s 4-3 win in Utah, through the Grizzlies (66 points) are still breathing down their necks. The Reign have one game in hand on Las Vegas (69) and can tie the Wranglers and Stockton (69) with a win over the Steelheads tomorrow.

Alaska beat Las Vegas 3-2 to move into a tie with Victoria for third place in the conference (70 points).

Jon Rheault collected an assist on Pelech’s goal to extend his point streak to four games. He has seven goals and 15 points in nine games since returning from the American Hockey League.

Mike Zacharias postgame quotes.

What was your reaction when you found out you’d be starting?

“Excited. I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for a long time. I was just excited. I finally got an opportunity, just kind of been waiting my turn. I’m excited my team was able to put away some goals for me; that builds confidence as the game goes on. Got a little scary there in the third (period), but it was good that we were able to hold on like that.

“Defensively, we played great in the first two periods. They let me see
the puck, blocked shots. They made my job really easy.”

Did playing the shootouts help you prepare?

It does. It keeps you mentally ready. Going in at the end of the last game, it’s a completely different aspect – you’re going right into a fire. Having that mental challenge, I think, helped get ready for today.

Karl Taylor postgame quotes.

Sorry for the delay, guys. Sometimes the internet gods like to shut down my blog server for maintenance overnight and we can’t get these things up as early as possible – but here’s what Karl Taylor had to say about last night’s game, picking up defenseman Luis Tremblay, and watching Brian Kilburg and Patrick Mullen leave.
Continue reading

Reign 7, Idaho 4.

The Reign jumped out to a rare 5-0 lead, enabling them to withstand a four-goal third period by Idaho in a game with plenty of implications in the standings.

Seventh-place Utah won, meaning a loss would have kept the Reign three points back of the National Conference’s final playoff berth.

Now seven teams are separated by one point each for the final six playoff positions: Bakersfield (71), Victoria (70), Las Vegas (69), Alaska (68), Stockton (67), Utah (66) and Ontario (65).
Continue reading

Mullen out, Tremblay in.

Patrick Mullen is out of Ontario. Luis Tremblay, whom the Reign have seen often as a member of the Stockton Thunder and again Wednesday with the Bakersfield Condors, is in.

Mullen was summoned back to the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs after playing one scoreless game for the Reign, who then picked up Tremblay off waivers.

The 26-year-old Tremblay is an ECHL veteran, having broken into the league in 2004. He has split 46 games between Stockton, Bakersfield and Toldeo this season, recording 11 assists and 134 penalty minutes.

Bakersfield 6, Reign 3.

Jon Francisco scored twice, and Jon Rheault added a short-handed goal, but the Reign lost in regulation for just the second time in the last 30 days.

A string of second-period penalties seemed to untrack the Reign as Bakersfield scored five unanswered goals. More details in tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin, and check out Friday’s paper for a longer look at new defensemen Colten Teubert and Patrick Mullen.

Teubert (who was paired with David Walker) didn’t figure much into the final outcome. He saw some penalty-kill time, but decided to save his first earth-shaking hit for this weekend at The Bank. Mullen was paired with Chad Starling and figured into the scoring in the third period – for Bakersfield. He effectively sealed off the slot on a 2-on-1 breakaway, but accidentally deflected Adam Naglich’s centering pass between Curtis Darling’s legs.

Darling stopped 27 of 32 before giving way to Mike Zacharias (8-for-8) for the final 11:15.