Bakersfield 5, Reign 1.

The Reign found a new way to lose Saturday – start strong, keep the game close for two periods, then let the game get out of reach in the third.

This new route to a familiar result didn’t sit well with the denizens at The Bank, many of whom headed straight for the exit after Stephane Goulet’s goal made it 5-1 at 7:38 of the third period. The Reign have lost five straight, 12 of 13 at home, and it says here that their upcoming eight-day layoff could not have come at a better time.

Whether it gives Chad Starling, Eric Doyle, or Jon Francisco enough time to get healthy; Karl Taylor enough time to bring in a quality veteran; or this team enough time to simply hone its chemistry – a rare sight in recent weeks – the Reign need some time between games.

Somewhat lost in the latest loss was a strong start from a squad that
seemed determined to end its losing skid. Aaron Lewadniuk’s
penalty shot at 18:01 of the opening period – the Reign’s first
penalty-shot attempt since opening night, and their first successful one of the season –
served as their only goal.

The Reign actually outshot Bakersfield
15-13 in the first period and were still tied in the shot column 23-all
after two, but the positives all but vanished there.

The Reign found
themselves short-handed on 11 occasions, including a pair of 5-on-3
situations that led to Bakersfield goals. Karl Taylor was
critical of the officiating after the game, but noted “the ref’s not the
reason we lost this game.”

why did the Reign lose? They could only play with a talented, more
experienced Bakersfield squad for 40 minutes – 20 minutes more
than yesterday, but still short of the 60-minute mandate.

A few more notes that won’t make tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin:

• Brett O’Malley stepped in for Shawn Collymore, who was a healthy scratch for the first time this season. O’Malley finished a minus-1 and was penalized twice. One minor penalty led directly to Bakersfield’s second-period goal and another in the third period led to the Condors’ third 5-on-3 power play.

• With Collymore sitting out, Jeff Corey, Luke Beaverson and David Walker are the only three players who have appeared in all 25 games this season.

• James McEwan got the better of Bakersfield’s Jean-Francois David with 5:08 left in the game – McEwan’s fourth fight in four games this season – but also picked up a 2-minute minor for cross-checking and a 10-minute misconduct on the play under rule 39.4. (The rule is a pretty broad one, so it’s hard to guess exactly what the refs saw or heard from McEwan.)

• Lewadniuk’s goal was his eighth of the season, matching Corey for the team lead.