Season ends in Manchester.

The Manchester Monarchs, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Kings and Reign, saw their season end Saturday in an overtime heartbreaker.

Ryan Potulny wristed a shot past a screened Jeff Zatkoff at 3:07 of overtime, giving the Binghamton Senators the 6-5 win in Game 7 of the first-round playoff series. Manchester came back from deficits of 3-0 and 4-1, and took a brief 5-4 lead on a goal by Dwight King at 10:19 of the third period.

But Binghamton’s Erik Condra scored with 1:45 left in the third period to tie the game at 5. Potulny’s overtime goal was his fifth point of the game, including four assists.

Zatkoff relieved Martin Jones after Condra’s first goal of the game, 56 seconds into the second period. Jordan Hill had an assist and finished plus-1 — much better statistically than center Brayden Schenn, The Hockey News‘ No. 1 overall prospect, who was held scoreless and finished minus-5 matched against the line of Potulny, Colin Greening and Ryan Keller (two goals).

King and Bud Holloway both finished with a goal and an assist. Jordan Nolan also had an assist. Jones stopped 13 of 16 shots, while Zatkoff stopped 20 of 23.

It was the first Game 7 played at home in the franchise’s 10-year history.

Johnson released by Manchester.

An update from the AHL, where the number of Reign players on playoff rosters dropped by one Tuesday.

The Manchester Monarchs released Chaz Johnson just two days before their first-round series with the Binghamton Senators — Johnson’s last AHL employer — was scheduled to begin. Johnson appeared in four games with the Monarchs, skating as a bottom-six right wing, collecting two penalty minutes and no points in four games.

Still dotting AHL rosters are Dwight King, Bud Holloway, Jordan Nolan, Patrick Mullen, Jordan Hill, Martin Jones and Jeff Zatkoff (Manchester); Beau Erickson (Peoria); Geoff Walker (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton); Andrew Martens (Lake Erie) and Colten Teubert (Oklahoma City).

Including Jon Rheault, who ended the season with the Abbotsford Heat (who didn’t make the Calder Cup playoffs), that’s 12 former Reign players who ended the regular season at the next level.

(More) Ron Hextall on Martin Jones.

A little while back Ron Hextall, the Kings’ assistant general manager and GM of the Manchester Monarchs, said he wanted goaltending prospect Martin Jones to come to Ontario to get some regular playing time. He also wanted a more experienced #3 goalie with the Kings’ AHL affiliate club than Jeff Zatkoff; Erik Ersberg fit the bill after he was assigned to Manchester by the Kings.

Since then, Jones has left Ontario for Manchester and Ersberg is gone. So what’s next?
Continue reading “(More) Ron Hextall on Martin Jones.” »

Zemlak signs with Reign.

The Reign have one piece of their next goaltending tandem in place.

Twenty-one year-old Garrett Zemlak is coming off a four-year career in the Western Hockey League, the last two years of which were spent with the Prince Albert Raiders. The Saskatoon native also appeared in three games late last season for the ECHL’s Charlotte Checkers, going 2-0-1 with a 2.15 GAA and .929 save percentage.

Zemlak was probably enticed by the possibility of a tryout with the Kings, telling the Prince Albert Daily Herald that he expects to start the season with the American Hockey League’s Manchester Monarchs. In Manchester, Zemlak would probably split time with former Reign netminder Jeff Zatkoff; Jonathan Bernier, the Monarchs’ 2009-10 starter, is expected to gain a promotion to the NHL this season.

Kings goaltending prospect Martin Jones must also find a team, as his time in junior is up. Will Jones form a tandem with Zemlak in Ontario next season, or skip straight to the AHL? Will Zemlak be joined by another free-agent goaltender? Those questions will likely be answered in training camp.

With Prince Albert, Zemlak was named the team’s most outstanding player last season, going 26-25-4 with a 3.11 goals-against average and .909 save percentage. From 2006-08, Zemlak played for the Saskatoon Blades. During his four seasons in the Western Hockey League, he went 54-49-6 with five shutouts, a 3.31 goals-against average, and an .896 save percentage in 127 games.

Calling all artists: Zatkoff needs a mask.

Former Reign goaltender Jeff Zatkoff is looking for a mask.

Zatkoff, who backstopped the first regular-season win in Reign history, is now firmly entrenched with the Kings’ American Hockey League affiliate in Manchester, N.H. Any question as to where he would begin the 2010-11 season was all but answered with today’s announcement out of Manchester that Zatkoff is looking for a new mask.
Continue reading “Calling all artists: Zatkoff needs a mask.” »

AHL playoffs: Manchester eliminated.

Boyd Kane’s overtime goal completed a comeback from a 2-0 third-period deficit as the Hershey Bears eliminated the Manchester Monarchs from the Calder Cup playoffs with a 3-2 victory.

Kane beat goaltender Jonathan Bernier at 7:06 of overtime, ensuring the Bears’ second straight trip to the Finals, where they will play either the Hamilton Bulldogs or the Texas Stars.

John Zeiler and Joe Piskula scored for Manchester. Their two former Reign forwards, Bud Holloway and Dwight King, did not factor into the scoring and former Reign goaltender Jeff Zatkoff did not appear in a playoff game.
Continue reading “AHL playoffs: Manchester eliminated.” »

Manchester sweeps into round two

Bud Holloway, Dwight King and the Manchester Monarchs are going to the second round of the Calder Cup playoffs after finishing off the Portland Pirates in a four-game sweep Tuesday.

The Monarchs’ 7-2 win was the only blowout of the series. Holloway had a goal and King had an assist. Backup goalie Jeff Zatkoff was the third former Reign player in a Monarchs uniform, but did not appear in a game as Jonathan Bernier handled goaltending duties.

Manchester will play either the Worcester Sharks or Lowell Devils in the second round.

AHL, ECHL playoff updates.

From the Calder Cup playoffs (American Hockey League):

Bud Holloway scored the second of three goals for the Manchester Monarchs in a 3-1 win over the Portland Pirates on Saturday night. Holloway scored the game-winner a night earlier, and the Monarchs lead 2-0 in the best-of-seven series. Former Reign forward Dwight King did not factor into the scoring in either game, and former Reign goalie Jeff Zatkoff has served as the backup in both.

Jon Rheault was in the starting lineup, but was kept off the scoresheet in a 4-1 loss by the Abbotsford Heat to the Rochester Americans on Saturday. Their series is tied at 1 game apiece.

Dusty Collins and the Manitoba Moose absorbed an 8-2 thumping at the hands of the Hamilton Bulldogs on Saturday. Collins did not figure into the scoring and the Moose head home to Winnipeg trailing 2-0 in the series.

From the Kelly Cup playoffs (ECHL):

Brian Kilburg and the Utah Grizzlies are down two games to none against the Idaho Steelheads after a 4-3 loss in Boise on Saturday. The former Reign defenseman got the starting nod but didn’t score.

Oren Eizenmann’s second goal of the game at 9:01 of overtime lifted the Stockton Thunder to a 4-3 win over the Bakersfield Condors on Saturday. The Thunder are leading 2-0 with the series heading back to Stockton on Tuesday. Bakersfield’s two ex-NHL forwards, MacGregor Sharp and Kyle Calder, have a combined zero goals and zero assists in the two games.

AHL playoffs update.

A brief update from the American Hockey League playoffs, where a pair of former Reign players are competing for two different teams:

Winger Jon Rheault, playing his first Calder Cup playoff game, assisted on the first goal by the Abbotsford Heat in a 3-2 victory over the Rochester Americans on Thursday.

Center Dusty Collins and the Manitoba Moose were shut out by the Hamilton Bulldogs, 2-0, in the first game of their best-of-seven series Thursday.

Several former Reign will make their AHL postseason debuts on Friday when the Manchester Monarchs visit the Portland Pirates. Jeff Zatkoff, Jordan Nolan, Patrick Mullen, Bud Holloway and Dwight King are all on the Monarchs’ playoff roster.