Pat Bowen post-season quotes.

Like Jason Fredricks, Pat Bowen was a rookie defenseman who might not have known what he was in for when he joined the Reign in a midseason trade. Injuries to Chad Starling, Luke Beaverson and Eric Doyle — as well as the defections of Matt Delahey and Lane Caffaro — forced Bowen to play in all situations at times when he clearly wasn’t ready to.

By the end of the season, he had become a more dependable player in his own zone, as well as a confident skater with plus speed (for the ECHL level). Bowen took his lumps but emerged upbeat when he left the rink for the last time Monday morning:
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Jason Fredricks post-season quotes.

Jason Fredricks is technically not a rookie, but the defenseman didn’t look like he was completely adjusted to ECHL play when he arrived in a January 11 trade with the Utah Grizzlies.

The 23-year-old from Eagle River, Wisconsin started out as a third-pair defenseman and by the end of the season had worked his way up to a shutdown-pair role with Shawn Germain. He started to gain confidence in his skating ability, drew the attention of opposing defenses, and was responsible enough in his own end to be a plus-3 over his final 15 games.

If you’re looking for bright spots on the player-development side of things, you can start with Fredricks. Here’s what he said this morning:
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Craig Gaudet post-season quotes.

Craig Gaudet didn’t play much for the Reign — just nine games total, and only three at home. It probably added up to an audition for next season for the rookie defenseman. Only time will tell if he passed.

For a player who didn’t play much to start the season with the Alaska Aces, it was also a good chance for Gaudet to get a fresh start, especially after he missed significant time with a concussion. He had only two assists and no goals in nine games with the Reign, but showed a knack for getting the puck to the net, as evidenced by his 14 shots on goal.

Here’s what he had to say after his end-of-season interview:

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Jase Weslosky post-season quotes.

ECHL goalies seem to have very little control over their hockey future. Sometimes that’s good, like when a rash of injuries hit an NHL team, and an ECHL goalie is able to move up the professional ranks more quickly than a skater would (see Briggs, Kellen, 2009).

Other times that’s bad. Weslosky had a good season by any statistical measure — 2.79 GAA, .916 save percentage — numbers that actually got better while wearing a Reign uniform. Yet he still played for three different teams in his first pro season. His second team, the Florida Everblades, never got him into an actual game.

So I could have asked Weslosky about his options for next year, but his guess is probably as good as yours. We looked more back than forward. Here’s what he had to say:
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Idaho 6, Reign 4.

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:
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Reign 3, Idaho 1.

If you just tuned in to Reign hockey — and judging by the announced crowd of 9,592, that’s quite a few of you — you’re probably wondering why this team has no chance of making the playoffs.

There are many reasons, most of which have been absent from the team’s play the last two weeks. The Reign will take their best five-game stretch of the season (four wins in their last five games) into today’s season finale after a punchless win over Idaho.

Beau Erickson made 31 saves, getting some help from his goal frame and some inaccurate Idaho shots, as well as goals by Michael Pelech, Jordan Morrison and Brett O’Malley.

Both teams were punchless, literally. No penalties were called until David Walker was whistled for hooking with 1:45 to play. It would have been only the fourth penalty-free game in ECHL history, the last coming in a March 30, 2003 game between the Augusta Lynx and Pee Dee Pride.

For the first time all season, all three forward lines are doing their jobs; all three defensive pairs seem to be communicating well and moving the puck up the ice; and the goaltenders are making up for the skaters’ mistakes — maybe the most critical component to sustaining success at this level.

“Since Christmastime, we’ve been .500, right around there, somewhere in that ballpark,” Erickson said. “I think we found our niche and ran out of time.”

That’s one theory. I’ve been collecting a few. Get all the game details in tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin. Here are a few notes that won’t make the paper:

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