Wednesday’s crowd was the smallest of the season for a home game – 4,670 – but fans weren’t booing. Until the third period, they had little reason to.
The Reign lost in regulation for the first time when leading after one period, and for the first time when leading after two, by surrendering three unanswered goals to the Condors in the third period.
The Condors have won 9 of 10 and showed why. They continued to pepper Beau Erickson (28 saves) even after falling behind 3-1 early in the third period when Brett O’Malley scored a rare goal during a 5-on-3 penalty kill.
The Reign killed off the rest of Bakersfield’s two-man advantage but couldn’t garner any momentum from it. The Condors continued to generate scoring chances with ease and Erickson could do little about goals by Brendan Milnamow (which was deflected en route), Evan Stoflet (on an unchallenged, short-handed breakaway) and Slava Trukhno (another deflection).
Lane Caffaro and Chaz Johnson had the other goals for the Reign, who have lost four in a row and 13 of 15 on home ice.
Check out tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin for comments from Erickson, Caffaro and coach Karl Taylor.
Here are a few notes that won’t make the print editions:
• The power play went 1-for-7, couldn’t convert a couple brief 5-on-3s and didn’t look good in the process. In spite of their PP time, the Reign only put 17 shots on goal – three off their season low. “It’s been good lately,” Karl Taylor said of the power play. “We’ve been scoring one a game. Today we weren’t very good. We got a lucky one on a power play … but we didn’t execute very well today at all.”
• Dusty Collins seems to be taking most of the important faceoffs. He was in the circle for the last faceoff of the game, in the offensive zone with under 15 seconds to play and the Reign looking for the equalizer. He also took the defensive-zone draw that led to O’Malley’s 3-on-5 goal (but wasn’t credited with an assist).
• I incorrectly read the defensive pairings at the morning skate (or, possibly, Taylor changed them before the game). Pat Bowen was paired with Lane Caffaro, Shawn Germain was paired with David Walker, and Alan Dorich was paired with Doug Krantz. Dorich and Krantz were clearly getting third-unit minutes.
• Getting my first look at Krantz, I was surprised to see him jumping up in the zone as much as he did, considering he’s got no goals and only two assists in 25 games this season. Krantz is a lanky 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds but clearly has some skating ability.