It’s been more than a month since Alex Petizian played his only game in a Reign uniform, and came up on the short end of a 5-1 loss to the Utah Grizzlies at Citizens Business Bank Arena on Jan. 8.
The goaltender will play his next game at CBBA tonight as a member of the Elmira Jackals.
The Reign traded Petizian to the visiting team this morning, something that Karl Taylor said he’d never done in five and a half seasons coaching in the ECHL.
“It’s a chance for Alex to play,” Taylor said. “We felt our other two guys (Beau Erickson and Mike Zacharias) are better for us right now.”
Petizian isn’t complaining. The rookie out of St. Lawrence University got dressed in the Reign’s locker room, was called into Taylor’s office, then was informed of the trade and walked down the hallway to the visitor’s locker room to join his new team.
Considering his only experience this season consists of parts three games in five months, Petizian welcomed the opportunity.
“It’s good news,” he said. “It’s definitely been tough. Practicing isn’t like being in games consistently. It’s been hard getting into a groove this year.”
“It was frustrating but this is hockey,” said Petizian, who had to be activated from injured reserve before the trade. “It’s part of the game. You’ve got to keep working hard every day. You never know when you’re going to hear your name called, or if you’re going to play. I mean, it was a good experience with the Reign. I got to come in every day, hit the gym, practice. The guys were great. I really liked everyone on the team. It was just a positive atmosphere here.”
Jackals head coach Malcolm Cameron said he wanted Petizian because Garrett Zemlak – Elmira’s only contracted goalie – came down with the flu on Friday.
“So it’s either play Dennis Cook, who’s been my emergency backup in Long Beach, or acquire Petizian,” Cameron said. “That’s the nature, the way – really our goaltending situation has been very tenuous all year. It hasn’t been stable. We were supposed to get a goalie from the Ottawa Senators. It never panned out. Marco Cousineau has been with us most of the year. He’s been in Syracuse more than a week now. We’ve been scrambling pretty much the last two months goaltending-wise.”
Petizian’s opportunity could be short-lived. The Anaheim Ducks assigned Timo Pielmeier to the Jackals on Friday, but he isn’t expected to be in uniform in time for the game. The Ducks – one of Elmira’s two NHL affiliates, along with the Senators – are also expected to add Ray Emery to their AHL affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch, early next week.
Once that happens, both Zemlak and Petizian could be out of jobs. It would be nothing new for Elmira, which has used 50 players total and will make Petizian their ninth different goalie this season.