Stephane Goulet’s goal in the first shootout round was the difference in a back-and-forth game at Rabobank Arena.
The Reign fell 61 seconds short of a much-needed regulation win. Trailing 4-3 late in the game, Condors coach Marty Raymond called timeout and pulled starting goalie Brian Stewart for an extra attacker. Six seconds later, Joel Broda deposited a wrist shot over the glove of Beau Erickson to tie the game at 4.
Erickson could hardly be faulted for the loss. Making his second straight start, Erickson faced 53 shots over the first 65 minutes, then five more in the shootout, recording a season-high 49 saves. Shawn Collymore, Chaz Johnson, Aaron Lewadniuk and Brett O’Malley scored for the Reign (18-29-2-3, 41 points), who fell 10 points behind the victorious Victoria Salmon Kings in the race for the seventh and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
By picking up the extra point, Bakersfield (25-23-2-1, 53 points) moved 12 points ahead of the Reign. Broda, Michael Gergen and Andrew Ianeiro scored the other goals for the Condors.
A few more notes:
• Johnson returned after missing one game with the flu, and skated primarily on a line with Justin Taylor at left wing and Jordan Morrison at center. Alex Bourret, who also missed Wednesday’s game after taking a puck off his helmet during the pregame skate, did not play. Neither did defenseman Jordan Hill, who has now missed five straight games with a leg injury.
• Defenseman Doug Krantz re-entered the lineup for the first time since Feb. 4, and defenseman Pat Bowen came out after playing a subpar game against Stockton on Wednesday. The Reign went with five blueliners again but, after allowing a season-high 53 shots on goal, it will be interesting to see if Karl Taylor does that again tomorrow.
• Both teams went 0-for-5 on the power play. The Reign also went 0-for-5 on their shootout attempts – by Justin Taylor, Collymore, Morrison, Johnson and Kyle Kraemer (in that order).
• Considering they were outshot 53-28, it would be easy to consider the point in the standings a steal. But the Reign saved their strongest play for the third period, when they outshot Bakersfield 15-14 and scored three of their goals (by Johnson, Lewadniuk and O’Malley). So yes, if you’re doing the math at home, they were outshot 34-11 through the first 40 minutes.
• Collymore’s goal was his 16th of the season. As Collymore promised, the scoring on the Reign’s first goal Wednesday was re-credited to Dusty Collins. That means that Johnson, who scored his 17th, is the team leader in goals again.
• Collymore and David Walker both have five-game point streaks.
• Johnson has six goals in his last six games.