Petizian switches hallways, and what it’s like on the other side.

It’s been more than a month since Alex Petizian played his only game in a Reign uniform, and came up on the short end of a 5-1 loss to the Utah Grizzlies at Citizens Business Bank Arena on Jan. 8.

The goaltender will play his next game at CBBA tonight as a member of the Elmira Jackals.

The Reign traded Petizian to the visiting team this morning, something that Karl Taylor said he’d never done in five and a half seasons coaching in the ECHL.

“It’s a chance for Alex to play,” Taylor said. “We felt our other two guys (Beau Erickson and Mike Zacharias) are better for us right now.”

Petizian isn’t complaining. The rookie out of St. Lawrence University got dressed in the Reign’s locker room, was called into Taylor’s office, then was informed of the trade and walked down the hallway to the visitor’s locker room to join his new team.

Considering his only experience this season consists of parts three games in five months, Petizian welcomed the opportunity.

“It’s good news,” he said. “It’s definitely been tough. Practicing isn’t like being in games consistently. It’s been hard getting into a groove this year.”

Continue reading

Some brief goalie notes. Update.

It’s two and a half hours before game time in Stockton, and the Reign still have three goalies. To my knowledge.

We will probably learn the fate of Alex Petizian within the next 24 hours. Mike Zacharias and Beau Erickson would seem to be the chosen tandem, and Petizian could either wind up on IR or the waiver wire come Saturday.

In the meantime, the Martin Jones bandwagon certainly seems to be gaining followers. Check out this piece on NHL.com. Jones, who began the season with the Reign and won his first professional game against the Stockton Thunder, was named to the AHL All-Star team earlier this month.

5:30 p.m. update: Petizian is going on 3-day IR, with Zacharias and Beau Erickson the active goalies tonight in Stockton. Also, James McEwan (lower-body) has been transferred to 7-day IR.

Mike Zacharias returns.

One of the four goalies the Reign began the season with returned today, when Mike Zacharias was claimed off waivers a day after being let go by the Idaho Steelheads.

Zacharias, 25, went 10-6-3 with a 3.28 goals-against average and a .894 save percentage last season with the Reign. He returned for training camp, but was cut when Karl Taylor decided to go with an opening-day tandem of Kellen Briggs and Kings prospect Martin Jones.

Zacharias was traded to the Steelheads and went 7-7-2 with a 2.73 goals-against average (14th in the ECHL) and .907 save percentage. Those numbers suffered from an 0-4-3 streak dating back to Dec. 17, during which his goals-against average was 3.70.

He was deemed the odd man out when Dallas Stars goalie prospect Tyler Beskorowany was re-assigned to Idaho, a Stars affiliate. The Steelheads’ other goalie, Jase Weslosky, began the season as an emergency backup, but signed a standard contract in December and wound up playing all nine of the Steelheads’ games this month.

No corresponding transactions have been officially announced, but expect Alex Petizian to be the odd man out – whether that means a spot on IR or the waiver wire is unknown. Beau Erickson just recorded the first shutout by a Reign goalie this season on Wednesday, and is 3-0-1 with a 1.71 goals-against average in his last four starts.

The skinny on Alex Petizian.

Alex Petizian’s story is not unusual for a rookie minor-league goalie, except that he’s had to wait an unusually long time to start his pro career on solid footing.

Recall that the Reign signed goalies Mike Zacharias and Garrett Zemlak in the preseason; both wound up being traded to clear room for Martin Jones (who was on an NHL contract) and Kellen Briggs (previously an established starter in the league). All of this transpired before the regular season began, and Zacharias and Zemlak are seeing a lot of playing time for Idaho and Stockton, respectively.

Similarly, Petizian signed with the Alaska Aces over the summer but still hasn’t appeared in an ECHL game this season. Veteran Gerald Coleman was assigned to the Aces late in the preseason by the AHL’s Peoria Rivermen; Adam Courchaine was later assigned to Alaska by the NHL’s Boston Bruins. Petizian had been buried on the depth chart ever since.
Continue reading

Morning skate update.

The Reign play four straight at home beginning tonight against the Bakersfield Condors, and it’s been a while since I’ve been able to write anything resembling that. They’ve played only one home game in the last two-and-a-half weeks and have had only one homestand longer than three straight all season.

Catching up on who we might and might not see tonight, then, here’s how they skated this morning:

Alex Bourret – Jordan Morrison – Chaz Johnson
Shawn Collymore – Michael Pelech – Aaron Lewadniuk
Brett O’Malley – Dusty Collins – Kyle Kraemer
C.J. Stretch – Justin Taylor – James McEwan

Lane Caffaro – Shawn Germain
Pat Bowen – David Walker
Alan Dorich – Doug Krantz

Off the ice were defensemen Chad Starling (lower body), Luke Beaverson (lower body), Eric Doyle (upper body) and forward Jeff Corey (upper body). Including center Jon Francisco, who’s out for the season, that’s a rather essential group of five players on the shelf.

The personnel changes give a writer plenty of catching up to do. New acquisition Alex Petizian took part in the morning skate, but Beau Erickson was the first goalie off the ice and will get the start tonight.

Petizian has had an interesting season without much playing time – he’ll get his own blog entry in a bit here – and you can’t help but feel good for a guy who got off an airplane today and described this as “T-shirt and shorts weather.”

Reign tab Petizian to replace Briggs.

Down to one goalie after the abrupt defection of Kellen Briggs to Germany, the Reign acquired Alex Petizian from the Alaska Aces on Tuesday for future considerations.

Petizian, a 23-year-old rookie, is coming off a four-year career with St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y. He went 45-29-10 for the Saints, setting school records with a 2.53 goals-against average and a career .913 save percentage. In 2008-09, he finished with the third-best single-season goals-against average (2.18) in school history and the sixth-best save percentage (.927).

Apparently, he also speaks three languages, understands a fourth, majored in economics and minored in math.

The Kirkland, Quebec native has three games of professional experience, all at the AHL level. Petizian lost in his pro debut late last season with the Rochester Americans, then didn’t play again until a pair of appearances this season with the Portland Pirates. He has never appeared in an ECHL game.

According to the Anchorage Daily News,

Moving Petizian was the right thing to do — he was stuck in the role of No. 3 goalie behind Gerald Coleman and Adam Courchaine.

“What was best for Alex Petizian is his development,” said Aces coach Brent Thompson.

Thompson praised Petizian’s professionalism, especially considering the rookie did not get in a game for the Aces.

“He never complained one time, was never a distraction and was all about the team,” Thompson said. “I’d take him back in a second.”

Petizian is also friends with Manchester Monarchs head coach Mark Morris, going back to the 2005-06 season at the Northwood School in Lake Placid.