Bakersfield 5, Reign 4, SO.

Stephane Goulet’s goal in the first shootout round was the difference in a back-and-forth game at Rabobank Arena.

The Reign fell 61 seconds short of a much-needed regulation win. Trailing 4-3 late in the game, Condors coach Marty Raymond called timeout and pulled starting goalie Brian Stewart for an extra attacker. Six seconds later, Joel Broda deposited a wrist shot over the glove of Beau Erickson to tie the game at 4.

Erickson could hardly be faulted for the loss. Making his second straight start, Erickson faced 53 shots over the first 65 minutes, then five more in the shootout, recording a season-high 49 saves. Shawn Collymore, Chaz Johnson, Aaron Lewadniuk and Brett O’Malley scored for the Reign (18-29-2-3, 41 points), who fell 10 points behind the victorious Victoria Salmon Kings in the race for the seventh and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

By picking up the extra point, Bakersfield (25-23-2-1, 53 points) moved 12 points ahead of the Reign. Broda, Michael Gergen and Andrew Ianeiro scored the other goals for the Condors.

A few more notes:

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Updates on Hill, O’Malley, Erickson’s new mask, and awaiting Elmira.

Jordan Hill was off the ice Thursday, one day after the defenseman suffered a leg injury in the third period of Wednesday’s 4-2 loss to Stockton. He was still waiting on the results of x-rays after the morning practice, but said he doesn’t think he’ll be in the lineup tomorrow. Karl Taylor neither confirmed nor denied.

“I hit the guy hard, and he fell back,” Hill said. “He landed on my leg.”

If the x-rays come back negative, Hill wouldn’t rule out playing Saturday or Sunday against the Elmira Jackals.

Elmira will be a bit of an enigma. Chaz Johnson played the last two years with the Jackals, but said he knows only two players on the current team – R.J. Anderson and Justin Donati. So obviously there’s been a lot of turnover.

Fortunately, Karl Taylor said he’s done video scouting on four Jackals games this season, and David Walker played under their head coach, Malcolm Cameron, for three seasons in Long Beach. More in tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Bulletin on what they’re expecting.

Brett O’Malley, meanwhile, revealed that he needed 12 stitches to close a wound in his lip when he was struck by a puck in the third period Saturday. As for his teeth, O’Malley said that one shattered into four pieces, “two teeth were just hanging in there,” and three were recovered on the ice. He’ll wear a wire to protect his teeth for six weeks, and will wear a full plastic face shield indefinitely.

Last but not least, after the jump, check out Beau Erickson’s new mask. It arrived this week, and the goalie was justifiably impressed with the handiwork of his Toronto-area designer. To my knowledge, he’s the first Reign goalie with a Reign-themed mask:
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Reign 4, Bakersfield 3.

The Reign won at home, and it was really no secret why. Between the three teeth Brett O’Malley left on the ice, a long and courageous fight by David Walker late in the third period, and plenty of blocked shots along the way, the effort was apparent all over the ice.

“We need to have that effort,” coach Karl Taylor said. “That extra 5, 10 percent was there tonight. I thought Bako played well. It was an entertaining game. That’s what it’s all about. There was a lot of sacrifice on the ice by the guys tonight.”

Jordan Morrison’s second-chance goal waith 8:32 left in the third period ended up being the game-winner. The Reign outshot the Condors 39-32, killed all three Bakersfield penalties, and got a solid 29-save performance from Mike Zacharias.

Morrison, Chaz Johnson and Alex Bourret each had a goal and an assist, Shawn Collymore had a pair of assists and Kyle Kraemer scored his second goal in as many games.

A few more notes that didn’t make tomorrow’s story:
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Bakersfield 4, Reign 3.

Wednesday’s crowd was the smallest of the season for a home game – 4,670 – but fans weren’t booing. Until the third period, they had little reason to.

The Reign lost in regulation for the first time when leading after one period, and for the first time when leading after two, by surrendering three unanswered goals to the Condors in the third period.

The Condors have won 9 of 10 and showed why. They continued to pepper Beau Erickson (28 saves) even after falling behind 3-1 early in the third period when Brett O’Malley scored a rare goal during a 5-on-3 penalty kill.

The Reign killed off the rest of Bakersfield’s two-man advantage but couldn’t garner any momentum from it. The Condors continued to generate scoring chances with ease and Erickson could do little about goals by Brendan Milnamow (which was deflected en route), Evan Stoflet (on an unchallenged, short-handed breakaway) and Slava Trukhno (another deflection).

Lane Caffaro and Chaz Johnson had the other goals for the Reign, who have lost four in a row and 13 of 15 on home ice.

Check out tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin for comments from Erickson, Caffaro and coach Karl Taylor.

Here are a few notes that won’t make the print editions:

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Victoria 8, Reign 4.

The Reign’s two-game winning streak came crashing down Wednesday in Victoria, British Columbia with an 8-4 loss to the Salmon Kings. The eight goals allowed represent a season high and all were charged to goalie Kellen Briggs, who stopped 37 of 45 shots.

The Reign never led in the game but were still within striking distance after two periods, trailing 3-2 on a power-play goal by Lane Caffaro and an even-strength tally by Jeff Corey.

Yet they also failed to capitalize on a five-minute long power play late in the second, incurred when Victoria forward Rick Cleaver was charged with a major penalty for an illegal check to the head of Corey.

The floodgates opened in the third period, when Painchaud and former Reign forward Tim Kraus scored 25 seconds apart to make it 5-2. Nine seconds after Kraus’ goal, Brett O’Malley scored for the Reign to make it 5-3 at 8:44.

Reign defenseman Doug Krantz gave the Salmon Kings a 5-minute power play of their own when he was hit with a kneeing major and a game misconduct at 9:47. Victoria took advantage, getting a pair of goals to make it 7-3 before Alex Bourret answered with a short-handed goal for the Reign.

Painchaud completed the scoring with 4:38 left in the game.

The Reign (10-17-0-1) travel to Anchorage for a two-game series with the Alaska Aces beginning Friday.

Caffaro (goal, assist), O’Malley (goal), Corey (goal, assist), Pat Bowen and Dusty Collins were the only plus players for the Reign. Kyle Kraemer added an assist on Corey’s team-leading 11th goal of the season.

Rob Hennigar (four assists) and Matt Stefanishion (goal, three assists) had four-point games for Victoria, and Kraus added two assists to go along with his first goal of the season.

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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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.

Reign add another defenseman.

Lane Caffaro is the newest member of the Reign. The 26-year-old defenseman was acquired today from the Idaho Steelheads for future considerations.

Caffaro has played in 25 AHL games and 32 ECHL games in his pro career, beginning with a four-game stint in 2008-09 with the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre Penguins following his four-year career at Union College (Schenectady, NY). In two games this season, he has no points and seven penalty minutes for the Steelheads.

The plan Monday was for Caffaro to drive to Ontario from Boise, then fly with the Reign to Victoria, British Columbia, for a three-game series beginning Wednesday against the Salmon Kings.

Defenseman Eric Doyle was injured and didn’t take part in practice, and Brett O’Malley was wearing the red jersey reserved for non-contact players. Defenseman Pat Bowen, acquired last week from Greenville, was healthy and set to go into the lineup but won’t be able to play in Victoria due to a passport issue.

The specific issue? He doesn’t have one.

Jordan Morrison was skating with Jeff Corey and Jon Francisco, and Pierre-Andre Bureau took Morrison’s place on the line with Shawn Collymore and Chaz Johnson. New goaltender Beau Erickson – who was available for both ends of the weekend series against the Stockton Thunder was nearly perfect in an end-of-practice shootout drill, allowing only a goal to Tim Kraus. Johnson, Chad Starling, Collymore and Matt Delahey put shots past Kellen Briggs.

Much, much more in tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin, including comments from the ECHL’s Director of Officiating on Saturday’s goal that wasn’t.