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.

  • Hockey fan

    1 and 12 at home. 1 and 12!

  • Crossbar

    With all due respect, JP, time between games isn’t going to solve our problems at home. We’re simply being outplayed, regardless of whom Karl puts out on the ice; that’s why we currently have the worst home record in the ECHL. If someone can explain why this group is so much more competitive on the road, I’d love to know. I’m sure Karl would, too. Other teams are experiencing trouble on their home ice, but not to the extent we are. Perhaps we’ll see a positive change after the All-Star break when the Reign start wearing their blue sweaters at CBBA. Maybe the fans ought to start wearing them now in hopes of making the squad think they’re on the road. Couldn’t hurt! Then again, we already have long line changes like we do on the road (usually, the home team’s bench is closest to its goalie during the 1st and 3rd periods–an apparent miscomm. between the Reign marketing dept. and the building’s designer), so I guess we can 86 that idea. Frustrating, to say the least.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the league suspends and/or fines McEwan for manhandling the linesman the way he did last night after his fight with J.F. David. Big mistake on JM’s part.

    Kudos to Beau Erickson and his play between the pipes. Yes, Bako scored five goals on him, but as noted above, he’s not superman, and multiple 5 on 3 situations certainly didn’t help the cause any. Overall, I was impressed by his agility and presence in net last night.

    Finally, given what the jerseys auctioned for this time around (Chaz Johnson’s received the highest bid–$1,500, and that included a scooter. Quite a step from the $3,300 David Walker’s military jersey fetched–also with scooter–back on Nov 6), it seems clear that Reign fans are beginning to show their displeasure via their pocketbooks. We still lead the ECHL in average attendance, but one wonders how long that’s going to last if the current (losing) trend keeps up.

    Let’s go, Reign! Time’s a wastin’!

  • Edgar

    Our last win was a month ago in a Shootout against Las Vegas on the 27th of November. The Reign play Las Vegas on the 26th of December.

    They played hard against the Condors, alot of them were from the AHL but thats not an excuse. Its not an excuse for the Reign to have the worst home record in the ECHL while they lead in attendance. Everyone is winning away.

    We get outskated every game. There is no heart. The Reign give up when the opposition score 2 or more goals because they know with the horrible offense we have, they cant counterattack. I have never heard an arena so quiet after the 5th goal.

    The first thing they need to do is outshoot the other team. Trailing in the shots on goal is not going to help a weak offense. We need as many chances as we can get. Crash the net.

    We got to get out of the box and play with discipline. Our downfall is the penalty kill. In even strength, we have two Reign players chasing one and leaving the other player open in the defensive zone.

    We had very good opportunities, breakaway chances. We need to make Francisco captain again when he returns from injury. Maybe he can motivate the players. The boys are trying and playing back to back games is not easy but so did Bakersfield.

    Sunday Vs the Wranglers will be a true test. I feel its the most important game of the season. Hated Division rival and on top of the standings, beat us in a game that made us miss the playoffs last year. Last home game of the year. They will get a full week of rest. Lets start the year right, lets win that game. Doesnt matter if its 1-0, just win.

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  • IE Sports Fan

    I couldn’t agree more with the posts above, unfortunately from what I hear… sounds like Francisco is done for the year!

    We need to take a page from other ECHL teams and bring in some older vets (AHL/NHL) to help stabilize this this mess. Even if it costs Justin a few more bucks, what he’ll lose in fan support (if he doesn’t) will be much more painful long term!

    We’ve all heard the chatter around the Bank, and the fans have absolutely had enough with 2 years of uninspired play/hockey (zero entertainment for your buck)!

    Wake-Up Reign Management, even those single game folks won’t return again with the product your putting on the ice… and all those 3-year contract folks will be running for the hills come seasons end!!

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