The turnover on defense (pun intended).

Quick, how many Reign defensemen who played Wednesday were on the team to start the season?
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Reign announce season-ending roster.

ECHL season-ending rosters were released today, the lists of up to 20 players from whom teams can qualify eight. The Reign’s season-ending roster included exactly 20:

Mike Egener, Chad Starling, Jon Francisco, Tim Kraus, Tony Voce, Peter Lenes, Curtis Darling, Chris Curran, Geoff Walker, Greg Hogeboom, David Walker, Sean O’Connor, Mike Zacharias, Jon Rheault, Dan Knapp, Luis Tremblay, Todd Jackson, Robert Pearce, Shawn Germain and James McEwan.

Of the players who finished 2009-10 on the Reign’s roster, five are missing:

• Defenseman Andrew Martens, who has signed in the Central Hockey League;

• Forwards C.J. Stretch and Jordan Nolan, who were playing on Amateur Tryout contracts, and therefore not eligible for the season-ending roster;
• Forward Michael Pelech and defenseman Colten Teubert, who were assigned to the Reign by the Kings.

In other words, the season-ending roster looks just as expected.

The next step in the process of whittling down who will be back next season is submitting qualifying offers.

Each team is entitled to qualify a maximum of eight players
from
the list of 20 by extending a qualifying offer no later than July 1. Of
the
eight qualified players, no more than four can be veterans (260 regular-season professional hockey games played as of the start of the 2010-11
season). Players on open qualifying offers cannot be traded. Teams are
not
required to extend a qualifying offer to players who sign a contract
prior
to July 1.

Reign announce protected list.

There were no surprises on the Reign’s protected list, announced Wednesday:

Kellen Briggs, Dusty Collins, Chris Curran, Curtis Darling, Mike
Egener, Jon Francisco, Shawn Germain, Greg Hogeboom, Todd Jackson, Dan Knapp, Tim
Kraus, Peter Lenes, Andrew Martens, James McEwan, Sean O’Connor, Robert Pearce,
Jon Rheault, Chad Starling, Jason Tejchma, Luis Tremblay, Tony Voce, David
Walker, Geoff Walker, Mike Zacharias.
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Reign 7, Las Vegas 1.

Looking more relaxed than they had all season, the Reign exploded for seven goals, and got a 27-save effort from Mike Zacharias. However high of a note they could go out on, one day after missing the playoffs, the Reign found it.

It was a particularly good night for Chad Starling, Colten Teubert, Jordan Nolan and C.J. Stretch, each of whom scored his first goal of the season. Greg Hogeboom scored his team-leading 32nd, Geoff Walker scored his 7th and Mike Egener his 11th.

Tim Kraus picked up three assists and Walker added two helpers. Teubert and Starling both finished plus-4 and the Reign killed all five short-handed situations.

Jon Rheault – who would have been playing his eighth game in 10 days – was held out, as was Peter Lenes, who was ineligible to come off IR. Dan Knapp stepped in for Luis Tremblay on defense.

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

Update from Friday’s morning skate.

Today’s morning skate at the Orleans Arena was optional for the Reign, and 11 players took to the ice: Greg Hogeboom, Tim Kraus, Chad Starling, Andrew Martens, Mike Egener, Luis Tremblay, Dan Knapp, Peter Lenes, C.J. Stretch, Jordan Nolan, and Mike Zacharias.

Zacharias was the only goalie on the ice, which in most cases (barring injuries or other unforeseen circumstances) means that he’ll be the backup in the game. Expect Curtis Darling – who turned in a good performance in a losing effort Thursday – to get his second straight start.

I caught up with Nolan and Karl Taylor to discuss Nolan’s pro debut; more on that in tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin.

Here are the elimination scenarios for tonight:

- If the Reign lose in regulation, or Victoria beats Utah (7 p.m. Pacific start time in British Columbia), the Reign are eliminated from playoff contention.
- If the Reign lose in overtime or a shootout, they need Victoria to lose in regulation in order to avoid elimination.
- If the Reign win (either in regulation or in overtime/shootout), they need Victoria to lose (either in regulation or overtime/shootout) to avoid elimination.

Taking all of tonight’s nine potential scenarios into account, the Reign are eliminated in six of them. They need help.

Tonight and tomorrow, get used to the phrase “Go Grizzlies!”

Las Vegas 5, Reign 2.

The Reign allowed three power-play goals and had to kill 10 penalties at all, turning a close contest into a futile game of catch-up in the third period.

The standings picture is bleak. Not only will the Reign have to win their final two games, but they’ll need the Utah Grizzlies to win both of their final two games in Victoria and at least one win must be in regulation.

Otherwise, the Reign will be the only team in an eight-team conference to miss the postseason.
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Morning skate: Tremblay out, Knapp in.

Defenseman Luis Tremblay was off the ice at Wednesday’s morning skate, the result of the same lower-body injury that kept him out of Sunday’s game against the Idaho Steelheads, head coach Karl Taylor said. Taylor said that Tremblay was in uniform Sunday “in case we needed an extra body.” Defenseman Dan Knapp took part in the morning skate and it appears he will be in the lineup against the Alaska Aces tonight.

Tim Kraus, who has missed back-to-back games with an undisclosed injury, was wearing the red practice jersey usually reserved for non-contact players. The center is eligible to come off IR, and Taylor said he has not decided whether or not Kraus will play. Peter Lenes skated again and looks ready to go if Kraus cannot.

Karl Taylor postgame quotes.

Sorry for the delay, guys. Sometimes the internet gods like to shut down my blog server for maintenance overnight and we can’t get these things up as early as possible – but here’s what Karl Taylor had to say about last night’s game, picking up defenseman Luis Tremblay, and watching Brian Kilburg and Patrick Mullen leave.
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Mullen out, Tremblay in.

Patrick Mullen is out of Ontario. Luis Tremblay, whom the Reign have seen often as a member of the Stockton Thunder and again Wednesday with the Bakersfield Condors, is in.

Mullen was summoned back to the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs after playing one scoreless game for the Reign, who then picked up Tremblay off waivers.

The 26-year-old Tremblay is an ECHL veteran, having broken into the league in 2004. He has split 46 games between Stockton, Bakersfield and Toldeo this season, recording 11 assists and 134 penalty minutes.