The Reign’s 3-2 deficit in third period wasn’t too much to overcome on Wednesday, and they can only hope their six-point deficit in the standings isn’t too large, either.
Clearly, the Reign are a team in the mood for comebacks. Jordan Morrison’s goal with 4:50 left in the third period, and an overtime goal by Kyle Kraemer, lifted them to a 4-3 win over Idaho before an announced crowd of 6,644 at CBBA. Mike Zacharias (10-11-3-3) stopped 36 of 39 shots to win his second straight start.
Kraemer also scored a power-play goal in the first period and Justin Taylor scored at 7:25 of the second to give the Reign a 2-0 lead. Idaho went ahead on unanswered goals by Cody Purves, Mark Derlago and Junior Lessard.
The Reign went 2-for-3 on the power play and also killed off a pair of third-period power plays after Purves scored on the Steelheads’ first man-advantage shift of the game.
The Victoria Salmon Kings (24-27-1-2, 51 points) still hold the seventh and final playoff position in the Western Conference, six points ahead of the Reign (20-30-2-3, 45 points). The Salmon Kings have one game in hand, but the pressure is on them now to beat Utah in their next game Friday.
A few more notes:
• David Walker’s lower-body injury forced him out of a game for the first time all season. Jordan Hill re-entered the lineup as expected, and the Reign skated six defensemen. Hill picked up the primary assist on Kraemer’s overtime goal when his slap shot fell into the crease and trickled toward the goal line, where Kraemer pushed it across.
• The Reign lost their only previous game against the Steelheads this season, 2-1 in overtime in Boise on Feb. 1. Zacharias started that game, too, and now has allowed five goals in two games against his former team this season.
• Chaz Johnson got the assist on Taylor’s goal by deflecting an Idaho clearing attempt. That stretched his point streak to seven games.
• Morrison also had an assist, giving him 16 points in his last 10 games. Hill, Shawn Germain, C.J. Stretch and Dusty Collins also had one assist.
• The two teams play each other again on Friday at CBBA.