Reign win, but are eliminated from the playoffs.

There will be hockey in Ontario again this year. Playoff hockey, however, will have to wait.

The Victoria Salmon Kings’ come-from-behind, 7-6 shootout win over the Stockton Thunder eliminated the Reign from the playoffs Friday, a couple hours after the Reign beat Idaho 3-2.

That the Reign were eliminated should come as little surprise. They had no margin for error beginning this week, needing to win their final six games and needing Victoria to lose their final seven.

The Salmon Kings didn’t cooperate. For the first time all season, they came back to win a game they trailed after two periods (5-3), pulling even with Stockton at 6-6 with 5:42 left in the third period.

If they win each of their last four games, the Reign can still match Victoria at 64 points in the standings should the Salmon Kings lose their final five games. But they cannot win more games than Victoria this season; the Reign would also lose the second tiebreaker having lost five of six head-to-head meetings.

All of which makes the game details somewhat moot. Beau Erickson won his second straight start, stopping 30 of 32 shots, and Jordan Morrison’s goal at 9:27 proved to be the game-winner.

Kyle Kraemer and Aaron Lewadniuk scored power-play goals and Alex Bourret had a pair of assists for the Reign. Lewadniuk re-entered the lineup after being held out Wednesday due to a back injury and switched places with Chaz Johnson, who was recalled to the AHL Thursday.

The Reign have another game in Idaho on Saturday night, before hosting three games next week to close the season.

This entry was posted in Ontario Reign/ECHL and tagged , , , , by J.P. Hoornstra. Bookmark the permalink.

About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.
  • IE Sports Fan

    Well after 2 extremely disappointing years of play/hockey, is it too early to discuss possible predictions for next year, any hope on the horizon (King prospects), any hope (honestly ANY HOPE)you can provide?

    I know things are too fluid in minor league hockey (to make major predictions), but have you heard any rumblings from the Kings organization and/or the Reign about rededicating themselves to putting a much better product on the ice next season?

    Even if the stink again next year, it sure would be nice to atleast see some legit prospects make their way through town.

    When you go to a minor league baseball game theres always a chance of seeing a future major leaguer… for me watching a bunch of “Over The Hill” types (with no shot of going to the NHL) is getting boring, especially when the play is so poor.

    Thanks for doing such a great job covering the team this season… we hope to see you around next year!

  • J.P. Hoornstra

    The short answer is this: The law of averages dictates that the Kings will send the Reign someone, probably a couple someones, simply because they didn’t this season.

    J-F Berube is set to go pro. Jeff Zatkoff’s entry-level contract is up, but he can probably earn a second contract with a good playoffs in Manchester (it looks like he’ll be the starter). That means the Kings will have three minor-league goalies (if everyone’s healthy). Figure that Berube joins the Reign.

    Then you look at the skaters – and since there are so many of them, I’ll leave that for another blog. The short answer is, how many skaters the Reign can expect depends on whose contracts are up in July, which junior players are 19 and going pro, and which college players they’re keeping an eye on. There’s a lot of variables there.
    For now, your hope lies in the short answer.