Reign announce season-ending roster.

The Reign have announced their season-ending roster, a list of 20 players of whom eight can be tendered qualifying offers no later than July 1:

Jordan Hill, Jase Weslosky, Jordan Morrison, Kyle Kraemer, Jason Fredricks, C.J. Stretch, Aaron Lewadniuk, Beau Erickson, Pat Bowen, Luke Beaverson, James McEwan, Brett O’Malley, Lane Caffaro, Craig Gaudet, Alex Bourret, Doug Krantz, Kellen Briggs, Chaz Johnson, David Walker and Matt Delahey.

Of the players who finished 2010-11 with the Reign, six are missing from the list:

• Forward Michael Pelech, who was assigned to the Reign by the Manchester Monarchs.

• Five veterans (as defined by the ECHL): Shawn Collymore, Shawn Germain, Jon Francisco, Chad Starling and Justin Taylor. Reign coach Karl Taylor has stated that he doesn’t send qualifying offers to veterans out of principle, since they can decline the offer and become a free agent without any possible compensation to the Reign.

Walker is a veteran. But the captain said that he expects to play in Europe next season [more on this in a future blog], so a qualifying offer sent to him would probably come with little consequence.

Also, note that teams are not required to extend a qualifying offer to players who sign a contract prior to July 1.

All the ECHL season-ending rosters can be found here.

Stockton 4, Reign 2.

All of the hard hits and unbridled energy of the Reign’s 4-3 win Saturday against Bakersfield had left the building by Wednesday.

Karl Taylor described the 4-2 loss to Stockton, in so many words, as a step backwards. It was tough to disagree. The first 12 minutes of the second period saw the Reign go from up 1-0 to down 3-1, and even a 37-shot effort against Bryan Pitton wasn’t enough to mount a comeback.

Alex Bourret and Michael Pelech scored the goals, and Mike Zacharias made 31 saves.

More details in tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin. Here are a few notes that won’t make the paper:
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Utah 5, Reign 3.

The Reign started off with admirable energy, slowed down a bit, rediscovered their early-game tempo in the third period but ultimately found themselves in a familiar place.

They were outshot (29-19), outscored on the power play (3 to 2), outscored short-handed (1 to 0, despite some halfway decent chances) and most importantly, outscored 5-3 on the final scoreboard. It was their fifth straight loss and 14th in 16 home games this season.

The scoresheet also revealed and obscured some positives. The Reign weren’t afraid to fight, from Chaz Johnson and James McEwan on down to Aaron Lewadniuk and little Alex Bourret. All landed enough punches – Johnson landed one cleanly on Matt Sorteberg with his sweater pulled over his head, no less – to earn either a win or a draw.

The power play did a better job generating scoring chances, and its 50 percent conversion rate is usually enough on most nights. The Reign’s 14 total shots – while matching a season low – didn’t take into account several shots that just missed the net. C.J. Stretch clanged one off the goal frame in his first game in a month.

For all their plusses, the Reign still couldn’t kill a penalty against Utah. That seemed to be the main problem, and I discussed it in depth with a couple of the guys – more in tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin.

Lastly, it looks inevitable that Jeff Corey is going back to Europe. I don’t know much other than that Corey has an offer and there’s quite a bit of money behind it; the Reign don’t want to lose two of their key players (Corey and Kellen Briggs) in a week and are trying to retain Corey; and because there’s no contract in place at the moment, Corey is still in the area.

The Reign can try to get compensation from an overseas club if they lose Corey (I’m told that they did receive some compensation for Briggs), but they’d rather keep a player who is their leading scorer and among their best penalty killers. There’s also the inevitable perception that players are “jumping ship” with the team entrenched in last place, but I’ve been told that’s not the case. It’s more about the money, and ECHL players don’t make much.

Corey played for Freiburg of the second-tier German Bundesliga last season and spent all of 2007-08 in Denmark. He went down with a lower-body injury Dec. 28 in Victoria and hasn’t played in the last five games, but still leads the team in goals (11), points (24), power-play assists (9), game-winning goals (2) and shots (90).

The skinny on Alex Petizian.

Alex Petizian’s story is not unusual for a rookie minor-league goalie, except that he’s had to wait an unusually long time to start his pro career on solid footing.

Recall that the Reign signed goalies Mike Zacharias and Garrett Zemlak in the preseason; both wound up being traded to clear room for Martin Jones (who was on an NHL contract) and Kellen Briggs (previously an established starter in the league). All of this transpired before the regular season began, and Zacharias and Zemlak are seeing a lot of playing time for Idaho and Stockton, respectively.

Similarly, Petizian signed with the Alaska Aces over the summer but still hasn’t appeared in an ECHL game this season. Veteran Gerald Coleman was assigned to the Aces late in the preseason by the AHL’s Peoria Rivermen; Adam Courchaine was later assigned to Alaska by the NHL’s Boston Bruins. Petizian had been buried on the depth chart ever since.
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Kellen Briggs suspended by the team.

Kellen Briggs has been suspended by the Reign, one day after the goalie was pulled halfway through Saturday night’s loss to the Alaska Aces.

No ECHL goalie has played more minutes (1529), made more saves (753) or absorbed more losses (16) than Briggs, who returned to the Reign in September after spending all of last season in Germany.

For the season, Briggs is 9-16-0-1 with a 3.65 goals-against average and .890 save percentage. In the team’s brief existence, only Curtis Darling (59) has appeared in more games between the pipes than Briggs (39).

The only other goalie currently on the roster is Beau Erickson, who relieved Briggs last night in just his fifth appearance this season. Erickson, a third-year pro, is 0-3 with a 2.78 goals-against average and .921 save percentage.

Typically a player is suspended by his team for the purpose of allowing him to sign in another league. I left messages for Briggs and Reign coach Karl Taylor hoping to shed light on the circumstances.

Alaska 5, Reign 3.

The Reign return home having found their stroke on offense.

Defense was another matter as the Reign lost their third game on a four-game road trip, 5-3 in Alaska, in a game that saw the Aces lead in shots, 47-19. Alaska benefited from eight power plays (converting two) to four for the Reign.

Kellen Briggs was chased after allowing four goals on 23 shots, at which point the Reign trailed 4-1 midway through the second period. Beau Erickson stopped all 23 shots he faced in relief but also picked up a 10-minute misconduct at 5:43 of the third period.

The line of Jordan Morrison (two goals, assist) Alex Bourret (one assist) and Chaz Johnson (one goal) did all of the damage on offense for the Reign, who host the red-hot Bakersfield Condors Wednesday at The Bank. Bakersfield has won 8 of 9.

Alaska 5, Reign 3.

The Reign returned to the site of arguably their greatest success this season – a three-game sweep at Sullivan Arena in November – but fell short of their fourth straight win in Alaska.

Aaron Lewadniuk’s second goal of the game, at 14:08 of the third period, forged a 3-3 tie that didn’t last long. Forty-four seconds later former NHL center Brian Swanson restored Alaska’s lead. Scott Howes’ empty-net goal with 47 seconds left in the game sealed the Reign’s second straight loss.

Lewadniuk scored 11:57 into the first period to provide a 1-0 lead and Dusty Collins’ power-play goal made it 2-1 at 9:18 of the second. That was the last time the Reign would lead.

Linemates Swanson (goal, assist) and Howes (two goals, assist) both finished plus-3 for Alaska. Kyle Kraemer had two assists and Shawn Germain had another.

Kellen Briggs stopped 31 of 35 shots for the Reign, who face the Aces at 8:15 p.m. Saturday.

Reign 6, Victoria 3.

The Reign have successfully hit the “reset” button.

Kellen Briggs made 47 saves, including all 19 he faced in the third period, en route to the Reign’s second straight win. Led by Briggs, the penalty kill awoke from its long slumber to snuff out four of the Salmon Kings’ five man-advantage chances.

Ten different players recorded a point for the Reign, led by Chaz Johnson’s two-goal effort – he scored them 17 seconds apart in the second period to break a 3-3 tie. Jordan Morrison and Kyle Kraemer each had a goal and an assist; Jeff Corey and Lane Caffaro had one goal each; and Dusty Collins and David Walker both had two assists.

The Reign scored six goals for the second straight game despite getting outshot 50-28. Corey, Kraemer and Caffaro have two goals the past two games, and Johnson has three. Newcomer Alex Bourret has two assists in the three games.

Another newcomer, defenseman Doug Krantz, made his Reign debut and was held without a point. Defenseman Luke Beaverson missed his second straight game.

Former Reign center Tim Kraus was held without a point in his first game against his former team.

The two teams play again at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Victoria.

Reign 6, Las Vegas 5, OT.

For a moment there, the script seemed awfully familiar, the Reign squandering a two-goal lead to trail 5-4 midway through the third period.

What better time to reverse course, with the Christmas break behind them, two new teammates in uniform and, oh by the way, that unsightly record on home ice (2-11-0-1) they’ve been trying to get rid of all year.

Dusty Collins scored the tying goal at 13:13 of the third period, and Lane Caffaro took advantage of an overtime power play with the game-winner, lifting the Reign to a cathartic 6-5 win over the Wranglers before 6,296 at The Bank.

Pat Bowen, Kyle Kraemer, Chaz Johnson and Jeff Corey also scored for the Reign. Johnson also knocked Las Vegas starter Michael Ouzas out of the game at 7:49 of the second period, a collision that netted 17 minutes worth of penalties but brought emergency backup Archie Henderson off the bench. Henderson, who has bounced around quite a bit this season, stopped 19 of 22 in relief of Ouzas.

Kellen Briggs stopped 34 of 39 for the Reign, who welcomed former Wranglers right wing Alex Bourret (two assists) and welcomed back defenseman Shawn Germain (plus-2). The Reign scored three goals on the power play as did the Wranglers. More in tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin.

A couple more notes that won’t make the paper:
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