No more than an hour has passed since the end of the Reign’s 2010-11 season, and already the dasher-board advertisements have been removed from CBBA, the benches have been broken down, and the sold-out seats sit empty.
If six months of hockey just ended within the last hour here, you could have fooled me.
Indeed, the Reign ushered in their summer break with a 6-4 loss that didn’t lend itself to any game-as-microcosm-of-season metaphors.
They started hot, leading 2-0 after three minutes, 3-1 after 11 minutes, and 3-2 after 20. Maybe the ice was tilted east tonight, because Idaho scored three goals in 8:24 to start the second period, taking a 5-3 lead and chasing starting goalie Beau Erickson (15 saves). Jase Weslosky performed very well in relief, stopping 19 of 20 shots, but it was too late. The scoring chances were close to even in the third period, but the Reign just didn’t convert as many as their opponent.
Michael Pelech, Justin Taylor, Alex Bourret and C.J. Stretch scored the goals. Stretch had an assist and a (very quick) fight, too, recording a rare Gordie Howe Hat Trick. Catch all the game details in tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin.
I’ll save a recap of the season, and all its foibles, for the Reign’s usual perch on page 2 of Tuesday’s sports section. There will be an end-of-season team banquet tomorrow, before the players meet with Karl Taylor on Monday for one last meeting and to gather their stuff.
Here are some end-of-the season notes:
• Jordan Morrison had one assist and finished the season as the team’s leading scorer (55 points) and leading assist man (35).
• He only appeared in four games, but Weslosky finished the season as the team’s leading goalie in save percentage (.943) and goals-against average (2.00). I asked him afterward if he could see himself playing here next season. His response: “Yeah, it’s definitely a great place to be, no questions asked.”
• Bourret’s goal gave him a seven-game point streak to end the season. He led the Reign with a 0.88 points per game average and would have led the team in scoring if he’d been in Ontario all season. I would have asked Bourret the same question if I had time; he and Weslosky were two of the brightest spots on the team.
• Of players who appeared in at least 15 games, Justin Taylor led the team in plus/minus (minus-1).
• Chaz Johnson has been in the AHL for the last week, but still finished with the team lead in goals scored (22)
• James McEwan led the team in penalty minutes (146). The enforcer said he’ll have rotator cuff surgery soon and expects a three-month rehab process to follow.
• The Reign finished with the lowest point total of any ECHL team (60).
• In the immortal words of emperor Joseph in “Amadeus”: