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.

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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Delahey leaves the team, and other notes from practice.

Put another defenseman at the top of the Reign’s Christmas wish list.

Matt Delahey has left for the University of Saskatchewan and has been suspended by the team. The 21-year-old rookie from Moose Jaw had two goals and three assists in 20 games in his first pro season, and played his final game Saturday against Bakersfield.

Delahey did not sign after he was drafted by the New Jersey Devils in the fourth round of the 2008 draft. Last year he had four goals and 22 points in his final WHL season, split between the Regina Pats and the Chilliwack Bruins.

Delahey was one of a few absentees at today’s intrasquad scrimmage, along with defenseman Luke Beaverson and right wing Jeff Corey, who were given maintenance days. Defenseman Chad Starling (lower body) skated on his own for 30-45 minutes prior to the scrimmage. His target return date has been pushed back to Sunday.

Plenty more in tomorrow’s notebook, including why Shawn Collymore didn’t play Saturday and why Jon Francisco might not be standing behind the Reign’s bench much longer.

Reign 4, Utah 3.

There’s no place like home, but there’s been no place better for the Reign than the road.

A 4-3 win over the Utah Grizzlies on Friday at the E-Center was the Reign’s fourth straight win away from The Bank. Goals by Aaron Lewadniuk, Chaz Johnson, Michael Pelech (short-handed) and Lane Caffaro ended the Reign’s losing skid at 2, and toppled the best team in the Western Conference.

The Reign played with the same lineup as they did in Wednesday’s 5-4 loss to the Bakersfield Condors. Defenseman Pat Bowen played his second straight game in favor of Eric Doyle and Matt Delahey; Chad Starling (lower-body injury) is still on IR. Forwards Kyle Kraemer (knee) and Jon Francisco (lower-body) remained out, and center Tim Kraus was scratched again.

Kellen Briggs made his 17th straight start and stopped 31 of 34.

Pelech also had an assist, as did Luke Beaverson, Brett O’Malley and Jordan Hill.

The two teams meet again at 6 p.m. tonight. More details in tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin.

Sizing up Sullivan.

This weekend’s three-game series between the Reign and Alaska Aces is a homecoming of sorts for defenseman Luke Beaverson, who called Sullivan Arena home during his four-year career at the University of Alaska-Anchorage.

Sullivan is notable for being the only rink in the ECHL’s Western Conference (it’s also believed to be the only pro rink in North America) with Olympic dimensions. Unlike the 85-by-200-foot playing surface used by most North American teams (including the Reign), an Olympic rink is 98 feet wide.

“Every time you think you’re running out of room, you’ve got an extra five feet, Beaverson said. “Defensively and offensively, that can be an advantage if you’re driving wide on a guy, and a D-man like me who’s been used to playing on an NHL-sized rink, got an extra five feet wide.

“The guy can beat you wide. There’s a lot of extra room out there. The corners are deeper. It’s just a little different.”
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Alaska 5, Reign 2.

The Reign started weakly, pushed back to forge a tie in the second period, then allowed two breakaway goals and an empty-netter in the final period to see their losing streak reach seven games.

The Aces broke a 2-2 tie with goals by Alex Dzielski and Ethan Cox, on a pair of odd-man rushes 56 seconds apart in the third period. All that did was ruin a Reign comeback from an early 2-0 deficit on second-period goals by Luke Beaverson and Matt Delahey.

Kellen Briggs made 27 saves for the Reign (2-6-1), who travel to Anchorage this week to get some revenge on the Aces (7-2-0-0).

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

Reign add another defenseman.

Lane Caffaro is the newest member of the Reign. The 26-year-old defenseman was acquired today from the Idaho Steelheads for future considerations.

Caffaro has played in 25 AHL games and 32 ECHL games in his pro career, beginning with a four-game stint in 2008-09 with the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre Penguins following his four-year career at Union College (Schenectady, NY). In two games this season, he has no points and seven penalty minutes for the Steelheads.

The plan Monday was for Caffaro to drive to Ontario from Boise, then fly with the Reign to Victoria, British Columbia, for a three-game series beginning Wednesday against the Salmon Kings.

Defenseman Eric Doyle was injured and didn’t take part in practice, and Brett O’Malley was wearing the red jersey reserved for non-contact players. Defenseman Pat Bowen, acquired last week from Greenville, was healthy and set to go into the lineup but won’t be able to play in Victoria due to a passport issue.

The specific issue? He doesn’t have one.

Jordan Morrison was skating with Jeff Corey and Jon Francisco, and Pierre-Andre Bureau took Morrison’s place on the line with Shawn Collymore and Chaz Johnson. New goaltender Beau Erickson – who was available for both ends of the weekend series against the Stockton Thunder was nearly perfect in an end-of-practice shootout drill, allowing only a goal to Tim Kraus. Johnson, Chad Starling, Collymore and Matt Delahey put shots past Kellen Briggs.

Much, much more in tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin, including comments from the ECHL’s Director of Officiating on Saturday’s goal that wasn’t.

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.

Reign 6, Stockton 3.

Six different players scored goals, and Kellen Briggs made 24 saves, as the Reign won their season opener before 6,117 at Stockton Arena.

The Reign didn’t give the Thunder fans much to cheer about — they scored five goals before the Thunder scored one. Shawn Collymore, Jeff Corey, Kyle Kraemer, Matt Delahey, Chaz Johnson and Aaron Lewadniuk scored the goals. Lewadniuk and Kraemer finished with a goal and an assist. Morrison and Kraus had two assists apiece. David Walker and Luke Beaverson engaged in separate fights with Stockton’s Jesse Gimblett. (Beaverson won his; Walker scored the final knockdown but only after Gimblett won the hit count).

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