Lewadniuk is the Reign’s lone all-star.

Rookie forward Aaron Lewadniuk was the only Reign player chosen to the ECHL All-Star team when reserves were announced Thursday.

Lewadniuk is tied for second on the Reign with eight goals, most among the team’s
seven rookies. He’s also one of only four players on the team (along
with Kyle Kraemer, C.J. Stretch and Shawn Germain) who doesn’t have a minus rating (even-0).

Although he’s been scoreless since play resumed after the Christmas holiday break, Lewadniuk had been hot to start the month of December (around the time ballots were cast), with five goals and one assist in eight games. For the season he also has four assists and 19 penalty minutes, including a fight in the second game of the season.

Lewadniuk is one of only 8 (out of 21 total) All-Stars from the Western
Conference, one of 11 rookies and one of 20 first-time ECHL All-Stars. More on him in tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin.

Here are the rest of the ECHL All-Stars who will take on the Bakersfield Condors on Jan. 26 …
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Bakersfield 5, Reign 1.

The Reign found a new way to lose Saturday – start strong, keep the game close for two periods, then let the game get out of reach in the third.

This new route to a familiar result didn’t sit well with the denizens at The Bank, many of whom headed straight for the exit after Stephane Goulet’s goal made it 5-1 at 7:38 of the third period. The Reign have lost five straight, 12 of 13 at home, and it says here that their upcoming eight-day layoff could not have come at a better time.

Whether it gives Chad Starling, Eric Doyle, or Jon Francisco enough time to get healthy; Karl Taylor enough time to bring in a quality veteran; or this team enough time to simply hone its chemistry – a rare sight in recent weeks – the Reign need some time between games.
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Bakersfield 4, Reign 1.

A chance to match the Bakersfield Condors in the Western Conference standings turned into the Reign’s third straight loss Saturday.

After Bakersfield’s Vyacheslav Trukhno opened the scoring at 2:27 of the first period, Aaron Lewadniuk answered with a power-play goal – his seventh goal of the season and his fourth in six December gamesĀ - 40 seconds later. Kyle Kraemer and Jordan Morrison picked up the assists.

The first period also featured three fights, starting with James McEwan and Bakersfield’s Erick Lizon dropping gloves only 19 seconds after the opening faceoff. Chaz Johnson, Justin Taylor and Michael Pelech also were hit with fighting majors before the game was over. In all, the teams combined for 90 minutes worth of penalties.

But the Reign would get no closer on the scoreboard, as they were outshot 41-23. Erik Burgdoerfer’s goal gave the Condors a 2-1 lead at 15:39 of the first period, and Stephane Goulet and Trukhno scored 18 seconds apart in the second period to provide the final score.

Kellen Briggs made 37 saves in the loss, his ECHL-leading 12th loss of the season. The Reign (8-14-0-1) could have matched the Condors in the standings with a win, but instead remained in last place in the Western Conference, four points behind the Condors (10-13-1-0).

The Reign played with only five defensemen because Jordan Hill was loaned to the American Hockey League’s Manchester Monarchs prior to the game.

Utah 1, Reign 0, plus a bunch of notes that didn’t make the paper.

One fan suggested that he would wear a bag over his head to the next home game – an understandable choice after the Reign’s 10th loss in 11 games at The Bank.

In reality, Friday’s loss wasn’t particularly difficult to watch; the Reign just had nothing to show for it on the scoreboard. No lines looked the same as they did in Wednesday’s 7-3 thrashing at the hands of the Las Vegas Wranglers. Some actually displayed tangible chemistry, namely that of Aaron Lewadniuk, Shawn Collymore and Chaz Johnson. Jeff Corey, Justin Taylor and Kyle Kraemer – playing his first game since Oct. 27 – had their moments, too.

The only moment that mattered came at 12:37 of the second period, when Simon Ferguson’s second-chance whack at the net past Beau Erickson crossed the line for the game’s only goal.

Erickson showed no rust in his first 60-minute game since September. Kellen Briggs’ streak of consecutive starts ended at 18.

The Reign drew three power plays in a six-minute span late in the third period, and skated 6-on-5 for the final minute, but couldn’t bury the equalizer.

James McEwan re-entered the lineup and played sparingly, but he did fight with the much larger Nick Tuzzolino (6-5, 225 to 6-0, 191) in the third period. He landed one clean punch to the face with his left hand – the same hand that was surgically repaired in the off-season – so McEwan passed his first major test in his first game back.

The Reign travel to play the Bakersfield Condors at 7 p.m. tonight at Rabobank Arena.

Here are a few notes that won’t make tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin:
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Reign 3, Utah 2, OT.

It’s beginning to sound like a melodic broken record, but the Reign pulled out a close win on the road Saturday night.

Jeff Corey’s goal at 1:34 of overtime lifted the Reign to victory in a physically charged game in Utah. Back-to-back wins over the Grizzlies have given the Reign an 8-11-0-1 record, matching Bakersfield in the Pacific Division standings with 17 points. Because the Condors have a game in hand, the Reign can technically say they’re out of last place for the first time since Nov. 13.

Corey’s goal was his team-leading eighth of the season. He took a long pass from David Walker and fired it past Andrew Engelage for his second game-winning goal of the season. Walker’s assist was his second of the game and his team-leading 11th on the year.

Aaron Lewadniuk’s sixth goal of the season, during a first-period power play, opened the scoring midway through the first period. Dusty Collins made it 2-0 in the middle period with his second goal this season.

Utah answered with goals from Matt Clarke and Nick Tuzzolino, the latter coming with 5:00 left in the third period.

Starting his 18th consecutive game, Kellen Briggs made 37 saves on a night that saw Utah outshoot the Reign 39-24. The teams combined for nearly as many penalty minutes (60) as shots (63), including a second-period fight between Michael Pelech and Utah’s Marcus Carroll. Ten of the game’s 24 penalties were for roughing, including a pair that were charged to former Reign defenseman Brian Kilburg.

The Reign are unbeaten in five road games in November and December, and all five wins have been by a single goal. Their home record during that span is 1-7, with only a shootout win against the Las Vegas Wranglers in the win column.

The lineup looked the same for the third straight night but that could change against the Wranglers on Wednesday, especially if James McEwan (among others) is cleared to play and gets the nod to make his season debut from coach Karl Taylor.

Reign 4, Utah 3.

There’s no place like home, but there’s been no place better for the Reign than the road.

A 4-3 win over the Utah Grizzlies on Friday at the E-Center was the Reign’s fourth straight win away from The Bank. Goals by Aaron Lewadniuk, Chaz Johnson, Michael Pelech (short-handed) and Lane Caffaro ended the Reign’s losing skid at 2, and toppled the best team in the Western Conference.

The Reign played with the same lineup as they did in Wednesday’s 5-4 loss to the Bakersfield Condors. Defenseman Pat Bowen played his second straight game in favor of Eric Doyle and Matt Delahey; Chad Starling (lower-body injury) is still on IR. Forwards Kyle Kraemer (knee) and Jon Francisco (lower-body) remained out, and center Tim Kraus was scratched again.

Kellen Briggs made his 17th straight start and stopped 31 of 34.

Pelech also had an assist, as did Luke Beaverson, Brett O’Malley and Jordan Hill.

The two teams meet again at 6 p.m. tonight. More details in tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin.

Bakersfield 5, Reign 4.

Jeff Corey, Brett O’Malley, Justin Taylor and Aaron Lewadniuk scored goals – the Reign’s biggest offensive outburst in seven games – but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Reign’s second straight loss, their fifth setback in their last six.

As was the case in a 7-3 loss to the Utah Grizzlies on Sunday, the bigger problems were in the Reign’s own end. All of the Condors’ goals came from close range, including the game-winner by Erick Lizon on a second-chance effort with 7:44 to play in the third. Kellen Briggs made 21 saves, stopping every shot that came at him from a distance and a few that didn’t.

Chaz Johnson returned to the lineup for the Reign and was held scoreless skating on a line with O’Malley and Michael Pelech. Pat Bowen made his first appearance in a Reign uniform, subbing in for Eric Doyle on defense. Center Tim Kraus was also a healthy scratch.

More details in tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin.

Victoria 4, Reign 3.

It’s still early in the ECHL season, but the Victoria Salmon Kings seem to have the Reign’s number.

The S-Kings won for the fourth time in four meetings between the teams, 4-3 before 5,657 at The Bank on Friday night. The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Reign (5-7-0-1), who continue their six-game homestand tonight against the Las Vegas Wranglers.

Chaz Johnson, Brett O’Malley and Aaron Lewdaniuk scored for the Reign, with Lewadniuk’s goal pulling the Reign within 4-3 at the 4-minute mark of the third period. Kellen Briggs (24 saves) was pulled for an extra attacker late in the third period – and the Reign had a brief 6-on-4 power play thanks to a Victoria penalty with 13 seconds left — but the Reign couldn’t convert.

After Johnson’s goal at 5:23 opened the scoring, Matt Stefanishion and Ryan MacMurchy answered with goals 39 seconds apart in the first period to give Victoria a 2-1 lead. O’Malley tied the game on a severe-angle shot with 1:12 left in the first period for his first professional goal.

The Salmon Kings took a 4-2 lead on second-period goals by Rick Cleaver and Michael Wilson.

Victoria 4, Reign 1.

The back-to-back wins in Stockton to start the season are a distant memory, and the Reign are 2-4-1 after the Salmon Kings completed a three-game sweep on Saturday. They’ll come back to Ontario with fewer points in the standings than all but two teams in the ECHL’s Western Conference.

The Reign fell behind 1-0 at 10:03 of the first period on a goal by Victoria’s Matt Siddall. Aaron Lewadniuk’s second goal of the season, off assists from forwards Pierre-Andre Bureau and Jeff Corey, tied the game at 1 at 3:55 of the second period.

Victoria took the lead less than two minutes later on Siddall’s second goal of the contest. Derek Couture made it 3-1 at 5:14 of the third period and Kiel McLeod scored into an empty net late to provide the final score.

The Reign continued their power play drought with an 0-for-5 night on the man advantage, while holding the Salmon Kings 0-for-4.

Center Jon Francisco, who was injured in Friday’s 5-2 loss, did not play. Kellen Briggs stopped 21 of 24 shots in his third start on the road trip.

The Alaska Aces visit The Bank on Thursday and Saturday before the Reign travel to Anchorage.

Reign 5, Stockton 4, OT.

Chaz Johnson’s wrist shot past Tyson Sexsmith at 3:53 of overtime lifted the Reign to a 5-4 win before 5,769 at Stockton Arena.

Jeff Corey, Aaron Lewadniuk, Eric Doyle and Jon Francisco scored goals in regulation for the Reign (2-0-0), who got 26 saves from goaltender Martin Jones in his professional debut. Jordan Morrison and Matt Delahey each had two assists.

Stockton (0-1-1) surrendered leads of 2-0, 3-1 and 4-3 despite a 27-save effort from Sexsmith, who was playing his second game in as many nights.

More details in tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin.