If the Reign are still planning to narrow the gap between eighth and seventh place in the Western Conference, those plans are still on hold.
Saturday’s 3-0 loss before an announced crowd of 8,150 at the Maverik Center was the Reign’s fifth straight. Goaltender Andrew Engelage improved to 4-1 against the Reign, stopping all 31 shots he faced for his first shutout this season.
The Reign (13-26-1-2) will remain eight points behind the seventh-place Victoria if the current score holds and the Salmon Kings lose tonight to the Las Vegas Wranglers.
Goaltender Beau Erickson, playing his second game in as many nights, stopped 31 of 33 shots for the Reign.
He got little help in a first period that saw Utah (25-16-3-1) outshoot the Reign 10-2. For the second straight night, the Reign bounced back big in the second period, outshooting Utah 22-11 despite holding just two power plays. But the Reign couldn’t take advantage, and fell behind 1-0 on Tom May’s goal at 4:52.
Hugo Carpentier notched his eighth goal of the season at 8:15 of the third period and Simon Ferguson scored into an empty net with 16 seconds left.
The two teams play again Monday in West Valley City, Utah.