Reign 7, Idaho 4.

The Reign jumped out to a rare 5-0 lead, enabling them to withstand a four-goal third period by Idaho in a game with plenty of implications in the standings.

Seventh-place Utah won, meaning a loss would have kept the Reign three points back of the National Conference’s final playoff berth.

Now seven teams are separated by one point each for the final six playoff positions: Bakersfield (71), Victoria (70), Las Vegas (69), Alaska (68), Stockton (67), Utah (66) and Ontario (65).
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Las Vegas 7, Reign 6, shootout.

This game could be summed up in one word: Crazy.

It ended in the 12th round of the shootout when Jerry Pollastrone scored on Curtis Darling, and Tony Voce missed on the other end, ending the Reign’s team-record-tying win streak at six.

The Reign gained a point in the standings but gave up two, leaving both teams tied for the seventh and final playoff position in the National Conference standings. Technically, the Wranglers are in seventh place by virtue of the higher winning percentage.

It was only possible because of Vegas’ four goals in the third period, which negated a 5-2 lead by the Reign and sent the game to overtime.

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So what happened to that offensive slump?

If you believe that momentum carries over from one game to the next, you’ll like this trend: During their four-game winning streak, the Reign have scored 4, 5, 6 and 7 goals, respectively. The Reign probably won’t need 8 goals to beat the Utah Grizzlies tonight, but if the trend continues, they’ll probably take it.

This offensive about-face comes on the heels of another, less desirable trend. In the six games prior to last Friday’s 4-1 win over the Idaho Steelheads, the Reign were averaging just 1.7 goals per game. The lone win in that stretch was a 5-3 victory over the Stockton Thunder; take away that game and their goals-for average was a paltry 1.0.

What has been the difference?
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Reign 7, Utah 3.

Greg Hogeboom notched the first official regular season* hat trick at The Bank – his third three-goal game of the season – and the Reign won their fourth straight game.

“The score didn’t reflect how the game really went. It was a close game. We managed to get ahead of them in the third (period) quickly after they scored to tie it up 3-3. Four games (winning streak, we haven’t had that too often this year,” Hogeboom said.

Some other stat sheet heroes: Tim Kraus had four assists, Mike Egener had a goal and two assists, Tony Voce scored two goals, Robert Pearce had a goal, Mike Pelech had two assists. Curtis Darling stopped 28 of 31 shots and the Reign never trailed, scoring the game’s final four goals after Utah came back to tie.

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

*Bud Holloway scored three goals April 11, 2009, in a 6-5 loss to the Stockton Thunder in Game 2 of the playoffs.

Reign 6, Bakersfield 4.

The Reign came back from a 3-1 first-period deficit, and a negated goal in the third period, to beat the Pacific-Division leading Condors.

Sean O’Connor scored the game-winner with 2:41 left in the third period. Greg Hogeboom, Tony Voce, Tim Kraus and Jon Francisco also scored, and Mike Egener could have had a two-goal game if not for a disallowed goal with 12:23 left.

Goaltender Curtis Darling got his third win in as many days, stopping 19 of 23.

Robert Pearce had three assists and Michael Pelech and Mike Howe each collected a pair of assists.

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

Reign 5, Idaho 4, OT.

Who’d have thunk it?

After losing 7-0 in Bakersfield on Sunday, the Reign went out and won back-to-back games against the Idaho Steelheads, the best team in the conference. Greg Hogeboom’s power-play goal at 3:40 of overtime sealed the victory in a game that saw the Steelheads outshoot the Reign 47-25.

Sean O’Connor’s seventh goal of the season, with 4:19 left in the third period, tied the game at 4. Peter Lenes, Robert Pearce and Jon Francisco also scored for the Reign, who are now one point behind the Las Vegas Wranglers for the final National Conference playoff berth.

Nine different Reign players had one assist, and goaltender Curtis Darling stopped 40 of 45 shots. The Reign went 2-for-4 on the power play and held Idaho to one power play goal in four man-advantage shifts.

Reign 4, Idaho 1.

Greg Hogeboom, Michael Pelech, Peter Lenes and Jon Francisco scored goals – the latter going into an empty net with 21 seconds left – and Curtis Darling made 29 saves as the Reign defeated the top-ranked team in the National Conference.

More details in tomorrow’s editions, but here were the postgame thoughts of Karl Taylor and Andrew Martens …
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Reign 5, Alaska 2.

The final score didn’t reflect the intensity of a game the Reign easily could have lost.


They trailed 2-0 after seven minutes. They gave up seven power plays to the Aces, including a 5-minute long 5-on-4 shift in the third.

But never has their defense looked more suffocating; the Reign only allowed 22 shots the entire game, didn’t allow a power-play goal, and came back to win 5-2.¬†

Officially, Michael Pelech was credited with his first two-goal game as a professional. The second came out of a three-player scrum in front of the net, and Pelech insists that Greg Hogeboom touched it last, but the official scorer gave it to Pelech upon further review. Sean O’Connor, Shawn Germain and Tim Kraus scored the others — the final two landing in an empty net in the last minute.

Curtis Darling got his second start in as many nights and stopped 20 of 22. 

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

Alaska 3, Reign 2, shootout.

Mike Howe and Greg Hogeboom staked the Reign to a 2-0 lead after 23 minutes, but that evaporated along with the Reign’s two-game losing¬†winning streak.


Nick Mazzolini scored with 1:23 left in the third period to force overtime, where the Reign had their chances but failed to convert.

In the shootout, Alaska’s first three shooters scored on Curtis Darling (32 saves) but Tony Voce and Sean O’Connor scored on the other end for the Reign. The final shooter, Chad Starling, hit the post on the final shot of the game — one of many in the game.

More details in tomorrow’s editions and check back here tomorrow for postgame reaction. The same two teams square off in 24 hours at The Bank.

Reign 5, Utah 3.

Mike Zacharias and Tony Voce haven’t done much for the Ontario Reign lately.


Yet each was instrumental in the Reign’s win at the E-Center, which ended a four-game losing streak for the Reign and set up a rubber match Monday night in West Valley City.
Making his first start since Dec. 26, Zacharias stopped 28 of 31, while Voce scored twice, his first goals since Dec. 27. Jon Francisco added two assists, and Chris Curran, Mike Howe and Greg Hogeboom also scored for the Reign (15-20-3-3).

Curran scored short-handed 1:44 into the game, but Utah (18-17-2-2) answered with goals by all-stars Ryan Kinasewich and A.J. Perry in the second. Down 2-1 at 5:36 of second period, Howe scored his third goal of the season 28 seconds later. Howe had not scored since Dec. 12 and was playing his second game after a nine-day lay off.

But the Reign weren’t done. Voce scored his 10th goal of the season just 36 seconds later to provide a 3-2 lead that the Reign wouldn’t relinquish. Voce scored again at 17:03 of the third, and Hogeboom added a power-play goal in the third period to make it 5-2.