Stockton 3, Reign 2.

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:

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Reign 4, Bakersfield 1.

The Reign are on a roll.

There wasn’t much to complain about after a 4-1 win that saw four players score goals, a perfect 7-for-7 effort on the penalty kill and a 2-for-4 power play performance. Darcy Kuemper made 22 saves and didn’t have to be spectacular in improving to 4-0-0 on the season.

Matt Tassone, C.J. Stretch, Chris Cloud and Bill Bagron scored the goals. Steven Tarasuk had two assists, while Shayne Neigum, Brady Calla, Francois Brisebois and Bagron had one each. Bagron also finished a plus-2 on the evening.

The win was the Reign’s third straight (during which they’ve outscored opponents 14-4) and their fourth in the last five games (a 4-0-1 stretch).

No home games for another eight days, but the Reign are in Alaska Friday, Saturday and Sunday for three games against the Aces.

Election night meant early deadlines, which meant I didn’t have as much time as usual after this game for quote- and information-gathering, but here’s a few items that won’t make tomorrow’s game story:

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Changes coming, notes from practice. Update.

There were no changes on the ice at practice today, but that should change soon. Jason Christie is hoping to add another defenseman and said that the goalie situation — the Reign have four, two more than logic dictates they should have — could be resolved later today. I’ll pass along updates as I get them.

One thing that probably won’t change: Bill Bagron will center Brady Calla and Chris Cloud. The 29-year-old pivot has scored one goal in every game so far this season, including the preseason. Not bad for a guy who scored 13 goals in four college seasons, and has played all but seven of his 214 career games below the ECHL level. More from him in tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin.

Here were the forward lines and defense pairings (same as yesterday):
    
     Jordan Morrison-C.J. Stretch-Derek Couture
     J.D. Watt-Francois Brisebois-Geoff Irwin
     Chris Cloud-Bill Bagron-Brady Calla
     Shayne Neigum-Matt Tassone-Jeff MacPhee

     Dylan Yeo-Mike Montgomery
     JP Cote-Steve Tarasuk
     Iain McPhee-Philippe Seydoux

Update (2:55 p.m.): MacPhee and McPhee were both placed on waivers today, ending the MacPhee-McPhee D-pair experiment after only one game, and halting the ECHL careers of both players after two games (for now).

Defenseman Eddie DelGrosso was claimed off waivers from the Las Vegas Wranglers. DelGrosso played against the Reign in the preseason and had no points, and two penalty minutes, in two regular-season games. The Las Vegas native had three goals and 11 points in 29 games for the Wranglers at the end of last season, his first in the ECHL.

The 26-year-old also played eight games in Europe last season. In 2009-10, after his final season at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, DelGrosso played eight games with the Springfield Falcons. His numbers in college indicate that DelGrosso can add some offense, if not size (listed at 5-10, 198 pounds)  to the Reign blue line.

Incidentally, the Reign are third in the ECHL waiver priority order until the end of the month, whereupon priority will be given in reverse order of winning percentage. Chicago and Colorado, the two first-year ECHL franchises, are currently first and second in the waiver priority order.

Reign 3, Stockton 2, shootout.

Darcy Kuemper was victorious in his ECHL debut and Geoff Irwin’s forehand past Olivier Roy was the game-winner in the Reign’s first win of the season Saturday night.

C.J. Stretch and Steven Tarasuk also scored shootout goals for the Reign (1-1), who get a respite until traveling to Vegas next Friday. Kuemper stopped 28 of 30 shots.

Bill Bagron deposited a beautiful backhand feed from Dylan Yeo at 16:12 of the second period for the game’s first goal. Francois Brisebois got the Reign’s only power-play goal in six tries with 3.5 seconds left in the middle period. Standing in front of the crease, he took a Derek Couture pass from behind the net – then took a shot in the back after poking the puck between the pads of Olivier Roy (33 saves).

Bagron and Brisebois both have two goals on the season.

Head coach Jason Christie liked the overall effort better than Friday’s.

“They stuck their nose in there and made some good plays,” he said. “That’s a key at this level – you have to win the battles. We’re losing battles down low, and it’s a rush against. We definitely have to make sure we get better on that.”

More details in tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin. Here are a few more observations:

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Another defenseman hurt; first roster submitted tomorrow.

Iain McPhee left practice Tuesday with an upper-body injury, bringing the list of injured Reign defensemen to Way Too Many.

McPhee’s injury isn’t considered as serious as those to Jason Fredricks (knee) or Pat Bowen (lower-body), and Jason Christie didn’t let on a sense of urgency when he said he wanted to add another offensively skilled defenseman.

“(Dylan) Yeo and (Travis) Gawryletz, you can classify them right up there,” Christie said. “(Philippe) Seydoux came in and played well.”

New defenseman Mike Montgomery practiced but new goalie J-F Berube did not; the goalie was taking his physical today and should be on the ice tomorrow.

Tomorrow is important for another reason: Christie must submit his first roster to the ECHL by noon.

Coaches have to submit a roster daily once the season begins. The first
regular-season games aren’t until Friday, but Christie said the
league
wants the first rosters in tomorrow because that gives players who are
released a full two days to find
new homes.

The roster is limited to 20 active players plus injured reserve, while
staying beneath the league-mandated salary cap and team’s internal
budget. Assuming Bowen, Fredricks and left wing Kyle Kraemer
(lower-body) begin the season on IR, the Reign have 20 active players in
camp right now. Christie won’t keep four goalies, but said he might
keep three from the group of Berube, Jase Weslosky, Beau Erickson and
Dustin Carlson, at least for now. Carlson is in camp on a tryout, Weslosky and
Erickson have ECHL contracts, and Berube is basically guaranteed a spot
since he was assigned to Ontario by the Kings.

That might be the
only cut he has to make between now and noon tomorrow. “It’s not easy,”
Christie said. “Whether it’s goalies or forwards or defensemen, it’s
never good.”

A few more notes:

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Las Vegas 4, Reign 2.

Bill Bagron and Kyle Kraemer scored the goals, and Jase Weslosky made 28 saves as the Reign dropped their first of two exhibition games against the Wranglers.

An unusually fast-tempo game — unusual, at least, by the more conservative standard set by Karl Taylor — worked in the Reign’s favor early. The goals by Bagron and Kraemer provided a 2-0 lead early in the second period, but Vegas shut the door with four unanswered goals.

Longtime Reign foe Ned Lukacevic got Vegas on the board at the 10:12 mark, putting back a long rebound from a bad angle under pressure after Weslosky stoned Chris Francis at the front of the net. The power-play goal shifted the momentum in favor of the Wranglers, who outshot Ontario 15-6 in the second period and 13-9 in the third.

Judd Blackwater’s goal with 3:15 left in the third period broke a 2-2 tie and Adam Miller provided the final score with 1:24 left. More game details in tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin.

A few observations that won’t make the paper:
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Reign sign Cloud, Bagron.

Jason Christie’s first two player signings as head coach of the Reign were announced Monday, and he didn’t have to reach too far into his past to find them.

Forwards Chris Cloud and Bill Bagron both played for Christie last season with the Bloomington PrairieThunder. Neither brings a wealth of experience in the ECHL to Ontario, though Cloud did appear for the Pittsburgh Penguins’ American Hockey League affiliate in 2009. Judging by their stats, Cloud and Bagron might not be slated for scoring-line roles, but that’s no surprise. Christie said he like the team’s skill up front between Jordan Morrison, Kyle Kraemer, C.J. Stretch, Derek Couture and Geoff Irwin.

Cloud is a grappler. Here’s a clip of him fighting (and winning) during his brief time in the AHL: http://www.hockeyfights.com/fights/86289. The 22-year-old racked up 103 penalty minutes in 53 games after arriving in Bloomington last season via a midseason trade with the Tulsa Oilers. Cloud has some scoring potential; he once potted 15 goals during his overage season in the WHL, with the Seattle Thunderbirds in 2008-09.

One more factoid on Cloud: He is from the alliteratively named Waywayseecappo, Manitoba and his Facebook fan club page lists him as a member of the Waywayseecappo First Naton, Manitoba.

Bagron, 29, tallied 53 goals and 134 points in 212 games over the last three seasons. He followed the PrairieThunder from the IHL to the CHL in 2010, scoring 16 goals and 48 points in 66 games last season. The Alaska native was a college teammate of former Reign defenseman Dan Knapp and Kings forward Scott Parse at the University of Nebraska, Omaha.

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