ECHL All-Star starters announced; no Reign.

The Reign’s poor start to the season failed to land them any all-star starters when the final voting was revealed today. One former Reign was chosen to make the trip to Bakersfield on Jan. 26, however: Victoria Salmon Kings defenseman P.J. Atherton.

Atherton had eight goals and 21 points in 33 regular-season games in the Reign’s inaugural season, and also had a strong seven-game playoff series (one goal, five assists) against the Stockton Thunder in 2009. Atherton currently leads all ECHL defensemen with 15 assists, ranks second with 21 points and is tied for third with six goals in 29 games. Atherton’s plus-9 rating leads the Salmon Kings.

The rest of the starters:

G – Michael Ouzas, Las Vegas (16 gp, 11-3-1, 1 shutout, 2.24 GAA, .921 save pct.)

D – Julien Brouillette, Greenville (25 gp, 11g, 12a, 23 pts)

F – Brendan Connolly, Greenville (27 gp, 13g, 15a, 28 pts)

F – Mark Derlago, Idaho (30 gp, 15g, 16a, 31 pts)

F – Mitch Fadden, Florida (32 gp, 15g, 32a, 47 pts)

The starting lineup is determined in voting by ECHL coaches, team captains, media directors, broadcasters and media members. The reserves will be announced Thursday. Here’s what the ECHL had to say about each player in its press release:
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Victoria 6, Reign 3.

The Reign seem to have left their mojo in California.

Friday’s 6-3 loss to the Victoria Salmon Kings was their second straight in the three-game series in British Columbia. The Reign (2-3-0-1) got goals from Luke Beaverson, Jordan Morrison and C.J. Stretch, but four Victoria goals in an eight-minute span of the second period put the Reign in a 5-1 hole from which they couldn’t dig out.

Goaltender Kellen Briggs started and allowed three goals on 15 shots, including the first two in the Salmon Kings’ second-period outburst. Making his Reign debut, Beau Erickson was summoned from the bench at 2:45 of the middle period, and proceeded to stop 19 of 22 shots in relief.

The Reign coudln’t convert any of their five power-play chances, and are now 1-for-12 with the man advantage in two games in Victoria. Six different players scored goals for the Salmon Kings (4-2-0) and eight different players had an assist; only former Reign defenseman P.J. Atherton had two.

Stretch, playing on a line with Morrison and Chaz Johnson, assisted on Morrison’s goal with 2:03 left in the first period. The Reign didn’t score again until Beaverson’s rocket from the point with 2:45 left in the second (Shawn Collymore and Lane Caffaro got the assists), but by then it was 5-2.

Johnson had the lone assist on Stretch’s first goal of the season, and the second of his pro career, at 1:21 of the third. Caffaro might have had the best stastical night — he finished a plus-2 on a night when only one other Reign player (defenseman Chad Starling) had above an even rating.

The two teams play again tomorrow night at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Center.

Reign will face ex-NHLer tonight.

Quintin Laing, who has played in 79 career NHL games – including 36 last season for the Washington Capitals – will suit up for the Victoria Salmon Kings tonight against the Reign.

The 6-foot-2 left wing “may be the biggest name we’ve had here [during the Victoria ECHL era],” Salmon Kings GM and head coach Mark Morrison told the Victoria Times-Colonist.

The Reign won’t face former Kings prospect and Torrance native Gabe Gauthier, who was signed by the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch shortly after he signed in Victoria. They can expect to see defenseman P.J. Atherton, who eight goals and 21 points in 33 games for the Reign in 2008-09.
 Atherton has a goal and four penalty minutes in four games for the Salmon Kings.

The game is scheduled to begin at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Center at 7 p.m.

Reign: Taylor on the defense.

Karl Taylor has never brought back as many as five players on one defense from one year to the next as an ECHL coach. “Hopefully they’re the five good ones,” he joked.

Back are Shawn Germain, Dan Knapp, David Walker, Chad Starling and Andrew Martens. Gone are Darren McMillan (IHL), P.J. Atherton (Europe) and Colten Teubert (WHL). In their place are newcomers Cameron Cepek, Brian Kilburg and Mike Egener. Their average height: 6-foot-3. Though it’s possible that one or two would get cut before the regular-season opener, Taylor said he’s open to keeping all eight on the roster.

He explains why, and describes what he sees in the group as a whole …
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