All of the hard hits and unbridled energy of the Reign’s 4-3 win Saturday against Bakersfield had left the building by Wednesday.
Karl Taylor described the 4-2 loss to Stockton, in so many words, as a step backwards. It was tough to disagree. The first 12 minutes of the second period saw the Reign go from up 1-0 to down 3-1, and even a 37-shot effort against Bryan Pitton wasn’t enough to mount a comeback.
Alex Bourret and Michael Pelech scored the goals, and Mike Zacharias made 31 saves.
More details in tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin. Here are a few notes that won’t make the paper:
• Three rare sights came in the third period when a defenseman led an odd-man rush and created a golden scoring opportunity at the net. It was an element that had been mostly missing since the very beginning of the season. The first two belonged to Jordan Hill and ended in frustration when his shots didn’t hit the net. The third time, it was Luke Beaverson taking a rare trip with the puck all the way from the defensive zone to Pitton’s doorstep. Beaverson didn’t score, but he at least hit Pitton in the pads. The puck stayed free in the crease long enough for Michael Pelech to jam in the rebound in the final minutes.
• Hill had to be helped off the ice by two teammates and trainer Bobby Walls after colliding into the end boards late in the period. It was unclear (from the press box, at least) what the exact point of contact was, but based off the fact that he was unable to skate off on his own power, it was probably somewhere in the lower body.
• It cannot be emphasized enough how abnormally clean this game was. Sure, there were two fights late in the second period, but only four power plays (one for Stockton, courtesy of Michael Pelech) outside of that. Needless to say, the Reign aren’t going to be out-skilling teams and need that physical edge to sustain any sort of momentum for 60 minutes.
• It’s a shame Beau Erickson’s new mask didn’t get some face time at Citizens Business Bank Arena. One half was orange with silhouetted palm trees. The other half is blue w/”REIGN” in white. There are more details, but hopefully I’ll get a picture and an explanation for its design here soon.
• On a related note, Kellen Briggs’ mask arrived recently.