Aki Seitsonen’s goal with 5 seconds left in overtime lifted the Idaho Steelheads to a 2-1 win over the Reign before an announced crowd of 3,261 at Qwest Arena.
Playing their second overtime game in as many nights, the Reign salvaged a point to finish their four-game swing through the Mountain Division 1-1-2.
Mike Zacharias probably deserved better. Playing his first game since the All-Star break, the second-year goaltender stopped 33 of 35 shots against his former teammates, including one on Marty Flichel’s breakaway putback attempt at 3:01 of overtime that momentarily caused the goal judge to light the lamp.
It was one of many clutch saves in a game in which the Reign were outshot 31-22. James McEwan’s first goal of the season, at 4:23 of the first period, was their only success against Idaho goalie Tyler Beskorowany (21 saves). McEwan also had a fight in the first period, but was denied the Gordie Howe hat trick in an otherwise uneventful game for the Reign. Both teams finished 0-for-3 on the power play.
The Reign visit Bakersfield on Friday before playing six straight home games.
As we suggested in this space yesterday, the Reign will need to improve their home record (4-15-0-1) drastically before they can feel comfortable gaining four of a possible eight points on the road. However, considering the quality of their opponents — Utah and Idaho are a close 1-2 in the Mountain Division standings — we may be seeing signs of progress.