All good things – like winning streaks and interconference series – must come to an end.
Clearly tired at the end of their third game in three nights, and fourth in five days, the Reign sputtered to a 3-1 loss in their series finale against Elmira. The Reign started strong but managed just four shots in the third period and couldn’t convert on the power play after the first period.
The Jackals halted their four-game losing streak on the strength of two goals by Jason Bailey and another by Patrick Coulombe, who potted the game-winner during a 4-on-3 power play with 1:43 left in the third period. Bailey’s goal into an empty net with 3.2 seconds left completed the scoring.
Chaz Johnson scored the Reign’s only goal by deflecting a point shot by David Walker past TImo Pielmeier at 8:58 of the first period.
Mike Zacharias stopped 32 in one of those puzzling games for a goalie. Two fairly straightforward shots, by Bailey in the first period and Coulombe in the third, got past him. The rest of the game, facing one breakaway after another, he was perfect – strong positionally and when he needed to move laterally in the crease.
More details in tomorrow’s editions.
• Centers Dusty Collins and Michael Pelech had something in common Sunday (other than taking a lot of faceoffs): Both were on the receiving end of hard hits that shook them up momentarily, and immediately led to a retaliatory fight from a teammate.
With his head down after letting go of the puck, Pelech was knocked backwards by a shoulder-to-head hit from an onrushing Matt Krug in the neutral zone. The hit was clean, but Shawn Germain – the closest Reign player to the play – immediately fought Krug on the spot. Pelech was down for the count for several seconds, but eventually got back up and skated off on his own.
Collins was blasted into the end boards by Elmira’s Brian Lebler at 7:15 of the second period. Aaron Lewadniuk was on the scene and started wailing on Lebler. Collins was lying on his back for a good minute, skated off on his own power, left briefly down the tunnel but was back out within minutes.
• Jordan Morrison had two goals and five assists in the first two games of the series, but was held scoreless Sunday in a fairly quiet game for the speedy center.
• Johnson’s 16th goal moved him into the team lead, one ahead of Shawn Collymore. He has goals in three straight games and in four on the first five games of this homestand (5G, 2A).
• Walker’s assist gave him a three-game point streak, with one assist in each.