For a moment there, the script seemed awfully familiar, the Reign squandering a two-goal lead to trail 5-4 midway through the third period.
What better time to reverse course, with the Christmas break behind them, two new teammates in uniform and, oh by the way, that unsightly record on home ice (2-11-0-1) they’ve been trying to get rid of all year.
Dusty Collins scored the tying goal at 13:13 of the third period, and Lane Caffaro took advantage of an overtime power play with the game-winner, lifting the Reign to a cathartic 6-5 win over the Wranglers before 6,296 at The Bank.
Pat Bowen, Kyle Kraemer, Chaz Johnson and Jeff Corey also scored for the Reign. Johnson also knocked Las Vegas starter Michael Ouzas out of the game at 7:49 of the second period, a collision that netted 17 minutes worth of penalties but brought emergency backup Archie Henderson off the bench. Henderson, who has bounced around quite a bit this season, stopped 19 of 22 in relief of Ouzas.
Kellen Briggs stopped 34 of 39 for the Reign, who welcomed former Wranglers right wing Alex Bourret (two assists) and welcomed back defenseman Shawn Germain (plus-2). The Reign scored three goals on the power play as did the Wranglers. More in tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin.
A couple more notes that won’t make the paper:
• Updating an earlier item
on the trade for Doug Krantz, the defenseman hasn’t arrived in Ontario yet and
Karl Taylor said the terms of who/what the Reign will send to Toledo are
still being worked out.
• Taylor said that he had been persistent in his pursuit of Germain. “He couldn’t finish the season, and then he had school, he’s training to be a fireman back in Canada so he couldn’t get into his course until June so he’s sitting there and I’m calling him every day, “do you miss it, do you miss it, do you miss it?”
• Of Bourret, Taylor said, “he’s been on everyone’s radar. He played for Vegas last year. He was over in Europe and it didn’t work out so he was looking for a new home and we were able to provide him an opportunity and we hope this is a chance for him to rekindle his fire and get his career back on track.”
• Corey was originally credited with the Reign’s fifth goal, but it was changed to Collins. Corey still finished with 12 shots on goal, which may be the highest ever by a Reign player. I’ll try to get confirmation on the extent of the record, but my gut tells me that’s a new team record.