Utah 5, Reign 1.

Make it six straight losses, 15 in 17 home games, and and an even bigger deficit in the Western Conference basement for the Reign.

The season isn’t halfway over, but eighth-place Ontario (10-22-0-1, 21 points) is already 27 points behind first-place Utah (22-10-3-1, 48 points). It was said here before the Christmas holiday break that a strong comeback following the week off was needed to entertain thoughts of saving the season. The Reign came back recharged to win their next two, but have since lost six straight. Mathematically, their hole isn’t impossible to overcome to make the playoffs, but the fact that mathematics would enter the conversation when the season isn’t halfway over yet speaks volumes.

The signs of progress, relative to a respectable effort Friday, were exiguous. The Reign started strong, outshooting Utah 13-5 at one point in the first period, and maintained a hard checking game for 60 minutes even though there were no fights. (Credit the officiating crew for stepping in quickly on a couple occasions.) The Reign’s 29 shots on goal more than doubled yesterday’s total, and it’s clear the team isn’t hesitant to shoot anymore. That message got through loud and clear.

But there was a stark disparity in the special teams. The Reign converted 1 of 6 power plays; the Grizzlies converted 3 of 7. Two Reign PPs ended when they were whistled for offensive-zone penalties, which speaks to a lack of discipline.

Alex Petizian made his Reign debut and stopped 30 of 35. Shawn Collymore scored the Reign’s lone goal off a costly Utah turnover. Utah’s Simon Ferguson came back from a pair of injuries to his face – including one late in the second period that drew blood and forced him off the ice – to record a hat trick.

Plenty more in tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin. No updates on Jeff Corey, other than that he is still listed on the roster so it’s a safe bet he hasn’t officially signed in Europe.

This entry was posted in Ontario Reign/ECHL and tagged , by J.P. Hoornstra. Bookmark the permalink.

About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.
  • Reign Fan

    Another loss!! Boys seem to have given up. Possibly another defection to germany. Is this a sign? As a season ticket holder since day 1 I really cant see renewing my seats after the play of the past 2 seasons. Unless Justin can come up with a good reason to renew this is it. Season ticket holders nsxt to me has said this is the last season for them. They hardly even go to games now. Also the team is going to move the Reign to the visitors bench next year. W@hat about us that have the seats next to the Reign bench now?Prices will proably go up next year too. So sad!!! We really enjoy hockey but not this hockey.

  • Mafia Wife

    exiguous……..Bwah! Who you talkin’ to?

  • Mr. Edgar Venegas

    The situation is getting from bad to worst. I doubt the Reign will come back like they did last January. The offense is not effective, the defense doesnt put the pressure. It didnt matter because Briggs would stop some shots that got through. With his absence, the opponents will find it that much easier to light the red lamp.

    The players are playing hard and its not that they are bad but the other teams are better. Injuries are the main reason for the demise. It seems the team is on a rebuilding mode. All i keep hearing is so and so got traded for future considerations. The majority of the players are leaving because of money to Europe or some other minor league team. Every year, we always let good players get away.

    I will still keep going to the games and i hope to strike gold with a decent win. How we used to take wins for granted before this season

  • IE Sports Fan

    I don’t know if a agree with most (if any) of your comments Edgar… as I don’t see alot of talent on our bench, nor can you blame most of whats occurring on injuries.

    Plain & Simple, we have been outplayed and outcoached for 2 years now. The Kings have been absolutely no support, so whats the benefit of being tied to them?

    I think the team/organization is kidding themselves if they expect the same type of support next year (after 2 miserable years), as I completely agree with “Reign Fan” comments… there are a lot of unhappy season ticket holders out there (who’s contract are expiring)and only a fraction of our frustration has to do with an underacheiving team!

    Sad to say, as this Arena/Organization had the support of the Region and it’s a great venue… too bad they haven’t tried harder to put a successful team together, nor treat their fans (season ticket holders) better!