The Reign won at home, and it was really no secret why. Between the three teeth Brett O’Malley left on the ice, a long and courageous fight by David Walker late in the third period, and plenty of blocked shots along the way, the effort was apparent all over the ice.
“We need to have that effort,” coach Karl Taylor said. “That extra 5, 10 percent was there tonight. I thought Bako played well. It was an entertaining game. That’s what it’s all about. There was a lot of sacrifice on the ice by the guys tonight.”
Jordan Morrison’s second-chance goal waith 8:32 left in the third period ended up being the game-winner. The Reign outshot the Condors 39-32, killed all three Bakersfield penalties, and got a solid 29-save performance from Mike Zacharias.
Morrison, Chaz Johnson and Alex Bourret each had a goal and an assist, Shawn Collymore had a pair of assists and Kyle Kraemer scored his second goal in as many games.
A few more notes that didn’t make tomorrow’s story:
• James McEwan yanked Bobby Robins’ jersey off rather easily when the two fought in the first period. That seemed like grounds for invoking ECHL Rule 46.12, which states “a player who engages in a fight and whose jersey is not properly ‘tied down’ (jersey properly fastened to pants), and who loses his jersey (completely off his torso) in that altercation, shall receive a game misconduct penalty.” Said Taylor: “If it comes off the two holes, you’re supposed to get thrown out of the game. I think they said (Robins’ jersey) ripped. If it tears or rips and it was tied down, the refs have some discretion to make a decision. They thought it was tied down.”
• Many were wondering why David Walker got a game misconduct for his third-period fight with Guillaume Lefebvre. The captain said that linesman James Parker penalized him for removing his elbow pads during a pause in the fight. “Before a fight, you can’t take your own elbow pads off. During a fight you can shake them off. We separated, so that’s almost like a new fight. If I shook them off while we had a hold of each other, that’s OK. I understand. … I said, ‘at least give me another five minutes.’
“Luckily it didn’t come back to haunt us or hurt us,” Walker concluded.
• Defenseman Shawn Germain (hand) was placed on 3-day injured reserve prior to the game and was behind the Reign bench in a suit. Doug Krantz was a healthy scratch and Justin Taylor went into the lineup for the first time since Jan. 9 and put three shots on goal in limited minutes. That gave the Reign 11 forwards and five defensemen – four after Walker’s game misconduct.
• Karl Taylor said that O’Malley didn’t lose his teeth on a high stick, but rather on a shot puck, by Joey Ryan with 1:10 left in the game. “A good non-call,” the coach said. O’Malley did not return.