News and notes from practice.

The Reign had a light practice today, an hour-long, 3-on-3 scrimmage that Karl Taylor hoped would “allow the guys to have some fun and enjoy what they’re doing.” Starting the season 0-4-1 at home sort of creates that need.

Jon Francisco was back on the ice after his bout with the flu. Chaz Johnson (shoulder) and Kyle Kraemer (knee) were not.

Here are few notes that won’t make tomorrow’s notebook:

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Reign 4, Alaska 3.

The Reign have a modest winning streak going, and this time they didn’t need overtime.

Jeff Corey scored two more goals, giving him three in the first two
games of the three-game series, and lifting the Reign to their second
win over the Alaska Aces in as many days. Corey scored once on the power
play, once short-handed, and Lane Caffaro and Jon Francisco also scored
for the Reign (4-6-0-1).

Kellen Briggs, who had 37 saves in an overtime win Friday, stopped 31 of 34 shots in net. Center Dusty Collins
had three assists and defenseman David Walker had two helpers for the
Reign, who can finish off the three-game sweep today at Sullivan Arena.

Alaska (7-3-1-0) pulled ahead 2-1 at 12:35 of the middle period on Wes Goldie’s second goal of the game, but Caffaro’s power-play goal at 17:08 tied the game at 2.

Corey, who has quite a history of success at Sullivan, leads the team with six goals and 10 points in 11 games. Defenseman Eric Doyle picked up an assist in his first action after missing five games with an upper-body injury. He was activated from IR, and center C.J. Stretch took his place, prior to the game.

On the new alternate captains.

Shawn Collymore and Luke Beaverson have both been alternate captains
before, just not at the pro level. That changed Wednesday with the
announcement that each would wear an “A” this season for the Reign.

“It’s something that I wanted,” said Collymore. “That being said, I’m
glad to split the job with the boys. It works out great for me.”

Collymore, 27, was the captain of his junior team, the QMJHL’s Quebec
Remparts, for two seasons. Beaverson went the college route and served
as an alternate his junior year at Alaska-Anchorage before wearing the
“C” as a senior.

“I’ve done it before, so it’s not a stretch by any means,” said Beaverson, 25. “It kind of
comes with being an older guy. We have some younger guys here, but a lot
of them look up to the older guys. They’re still finding their way
around here, so they can look up to the older guys.”

Reign coach Karl Taylor said the voting was overwhelming – 19 of 22 ballots listed David Walker, Jon Francisco or Chad Starling. Walker was named captain, and Francisco and Starling became alternates.

“That’s a good thing,” he said, “but I
didn’t want to have a leadership group based on who’s been here, so I
wanted to include some new players to our team so we have a more
balanced look. We have lots of leaders in the room. I wouldn’t have
forced it on anybody, but based on trying to get new people in, based on
how they played and what they bring.”

Collymore and Beaverson were both approving of Walker’s choice as captain.

“He’s a team player and he steps it up for the boys when in need,” Collymore said. “If
something happens out there, he’s the first guy to come in, make a
sacrifice for the team. It’s a great quality to have as a leader. He’s a
vocal guy as well. He seems to always know what’s going on. He’s on the
ball with everything like that.”

“He’s an excellent leader,” Beaverson added. “He leads by example. He’s vocal. He gets guys going, plays hard and smart, blocks shots and fights.”

Reign name their captain. Updates with Francisco comments.

The Reign have a captain, and for the first time he is not Jon Francisco.

David Walker won the players’ vote on Wednesday to succeed Francisco, who had worn the “C” each of the previous two seasons. The captaincy has re-opened every season under head coach Karl Taylor. Francisco and defenseman Luke Beaverson were named the alternate captains for home games; Shawn Collymore and Chad Starling will be the alternates on the road.
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Victoria 4, Reign 1.

The back-to-back wins in Stockton to start the season are a distant memory, and the Reign are 2-4-1 after the Salmon Kings completed a three-game sweep on Saturday. They’ll come back to Ontario with fewer points in the standings than all but two teams in the ECHL’s Western Conference.

The Reign fell behind 1-0 at 10:03 of the first period on a goal by Victoria’s Matt Siddall. Aaron Lewadniuk’s second goal of the season, off assists from forwards Pierre-Andre Bureau and Jeff Corey, tied the game at 1 at 3:55 of the second period.

Victoria took the lead less than two minutes later on Siddall’s second goal of the contest. Derek Couture made it 3-1 at 5:14 of the third period and Kiel McLeod scored into an empty net late to provide the final score.

The Reign continued their power play drought with an 0-for-5 night on the man advantage, while holding the Salmon Kings 0-for-4.

Center Jon Francisco, who was injured in Friday’s 5-2 loss, did not play. Kellen Briggs stopped 21 of 24 shots in his third start on the road trip.

The Alaska Aces visit The Bank on Thursday and Saturday before the Reign travel to Anchorage.

Stockton 3, Reign 2, SO.

The Reign’s first regular-season home game, and their first trip to the shootout, ended in a loss.

Down 1-0 in the shootout, Chad Starling scored in the fifth and final round for the Reign. But Jason Pitton promptly fired in the game-winner on Stockton’s last shot to seal the win.

Jeff Corey and Jon Francisco scored goals in regulation for the Reign, and Corey scored another that popped out of the goal too quickly for the on-ice officials to correctly credit it as a goal.

Kellen Briggs allowed goals in the second and third periods to Jesse Gimblett and Pitton, respectively, the latter coming with the Reign on the power play. He finished with 29 saves and Tyson Sexsmith had 25 saves for Stockton.

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

Stockton 3, Reign 1. Update.

You can’t win ‘em all.

The Reign got their first loss of the season out of the way Friday, 3-1 to the Stockton Thunder at Stockton Arena. The good news? The home opener is tomorrow, and it’s the last time the Reign will face the Thunder until Jan. 21, 2011 after having played each other four times to start the season — six, if you include the preseason.

All four goals were scored on the power play. The Thunder went 3-for-8 with the man advantage and the Reign went 1-for-9. Chris D’Alvise (12:30 of the 1st period), Chris Lawrence (17:14 of the 1st) and Aaron Clarke (5:42 of the third) gave Stockton a comfortable 3-0 lead. Lawrence’s came during a 5-on-3 shift; the others came during 5-on-4 shifts.

With seven seconds left on their eighth power play of the night, the Reign finally solved Stockton netminder Tyson Sexsmith as Jon Francisco tipped a David Walker slap shot in at 12:02.

Reign goaltender Kellen Briggs (1-1) made some spectacular saves among his 29, but Sexsmith stopped 23 of the 24 shots that came his way.

Forward Pierre-Andre Bureau made his Reign (and professional) debut on a line with Francisco and Jeff Corey, and registered one shot on goal. Luke Popko and C.J. Stretch were the scratches. Newly-acquired goaltender Beau Erickson served as the backup to Briggs.

Update: Karl Taylor told the Stockton Record that the Reign’s nine penalties totaling 26 minutes were too much to overcome, including Luke Beaverson’s 10-minute misconduct, which followed a hooking call against the Reign defenseman and an unsportsmanlike conduct minor for disputing the initial call:

“You have to adjust to how the officials call a game, and they called it
tight both ways,” Taylor said. “There was a lot of
penalties we deserved, and the insurance goal turns out to be one where
we shoot our mouth off and get what we deserve. It was the right call.”

Reign 5, Stockton 4, OT.

Chaz Johnson’s wrist shot past Tyson Sexsmith at 3:53 of overtime lifted the Reign to a 5-4 win before 5,769 at Stockton Arena.

Jeff Corey, Aaron Lewadniuk, Eric Doyle and Jon Francisco scored goals in regulation for the Reign (2-0-0), who got 26 saves from goaltender Martin Jones in his professional debut. Jordan Morrison and Matt Delahey each had two assists.

Stockton (0-1-1) surrendered leads of 2-0, 3-1 and 4-3 despite a 27-save effort from Sexsmith, who was playing his second game in as many nights.

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

Forming the ECHL all-decade team.

The ECHL is taking nominations from fans for its all-decade team, the league’s best players and coaches from 2000-01 to 2009-10.

Here’s the process: Fans may nominate players for team from now through Sept. 24 by e-mailing ECHL@echl.com with the subject line containing “All-Decade Team Nominations.” The ECHL will present a list of qualified nominees in early October and fans will have the opportunity to take part in a final vote on ECHL.com to determine the All-Decade Team. The League will announce the team in November.

The criteria for nominees, per the ECHL: “Players or coaches must have made a significant impact on the ECHL from 2000 through 2010. An individual must have played or coached in parts of at least four seasons from the 2000-01 season through the 2009-10 season to be eligible for the All-Decade Team. Only those accomplishments, statistics, awards, honors and achievements earned during ECHL play should be taken into account when nominating players or coaches for the All-Decade Team. Final nominations will be based on voting and the meeting of certain criteria.”

So, who in the brief history of Reign hockey has the best chance of meeting those criteria?
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