Kevin Baker knocked in the game-winning goal off a rebound at 11:45 of the third period, and Olivier Roy’s 40 saves buried the Reign in a game they dominated for the better part of 60 minutes.
Stockton scored twice in the third period to erase a 2-1 Reign lead. Jean-Francois Berube made 24 saves in his first start since recording a shutout last Saturday in Alaska. He couldn’t be blamed for the defensive-zone giveaway that led to Milan Kytnar’s game-tying goal, nor the lack of a backcheck that gave Baker ample time and space on the doorstep to put back Cameron Abney’s shot and break the 2-2 deadlock.
Geoff Irwin and Derek Couture scored the Reign’s only goals, both on 5-on-3 power plays. That’s about what it took to beat Roy, who raised both arms and jumped (a little) after the final horn sounded. It’s only November, but he played well enough to earn it. Talking to Dylan Yeo after the game, the biggest disappointment for the Reign was not cashing in on their many chances.
More details in tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin. A few more notes:
- Bill Bagron returned from his two-game suspension to center Chris Cloud and J.D. Watt, his usual spot in the lineup.
- Dylan Yeo returned from his six-game stint on IR to his usual role alongside Mike Montgomery. He declared himself 100 percent recovered from the groin injury, and certainly didn’t seem a step slow. Pat Bowen skated with Steven Tarasuk, and Vincent Lo Verde skated with Chris Huxley, at even strength.
- One day after being recalled, JP Cote didn’t play tonight for the Norfolk Admirals, who were visiting the St. John’s (Newfoundland) SeaDogs. That’s geographically the worst ECHL-to-AHL recall possible, so it should probably come as no surprise.
- Tristan King didn’t play tonight but was at the arena. I didn’t have a chance to catch up with him or Jason Christie after the game (deadlines can do that to a man), but the guess here is an injury of some kind. I’ll confirm tomorrow.
- Irwin has four goals in his last three games.
- Your official scoresheet.
- Found out after the game that Gabriel Levesque was released from a local hospital Friday and is now back in Stockton. The Thunder center was hospitalized for two full nights, which is quite rare for a hockey injury, but is understandable for those who saw him leave the CBBA ice on a gurney Wednesday.