Reign 5, Idaho 4, OT.

Who’d have thunk it?

After losing 7-0 in Bakersfield on Sunday, the Reign went out and won back-to-back games against the Idaho Steelheads, the best team in the conference. Greg Hogeboom’s power-play goal at 3:40 of overtime sealed the victory in a game that saw the Steelheads outshoot the Reign 47-25.

Sean O’Connor’s seventh goal of the season, with 4:19 left in the third period, tied the game at 4. Peter Lenes, Robert Pearce and Jon Francisco also scored for the Reign, who are now one point behind the Las Vegas Wranglers for the final National Conference playoff berth.

Nine different Reign players had one assist, and goaltender Curtis Darling stopped 40 of 45 shots. The Reign went 2-for-4 on the power play and held Idaho to one power play goal in four man-advantage shifts.

Reign 4, Idaho 1.

Greg Hogeboom, Michael Pelech, Peter Lenes and Jon Francisco scored goals – the latter going into an empty net with 21 seconds left – and Curtis Darling made 29 saves as the Reign defeated the top-ranked team in the National Conference.

More details in tomorrow’s editions, but here were the postgame thoughts of Karl Taylor and Andrew Martens …
Continue reading “Reign 4, Idaho 1.” »

Reign 5, Stockton 3.

First the good news.

The Reign power play came alive; officially they were 2-for-8 with the man advantage, but Tony Voce’s first goal came two seconds after a 5-on-4 shift expired.

The penalty kill was equally impressive, killing 4 of 5 – including a total of 1:37 while down two men late in the third period.

Todd Jackson came back into the lineup and was officially awarded two assists in his debut game. That could be changed upon review; Michael Pelech insisted that he did not touch the puck that Jackson deposited on the goal line in the first period, even though the goal was credited to Pelech, who followed Jackson’s shot to make sure it counted.

The other goals were more clear-cut — Voce scored twice, Jon Francisco and Sean O’Connor scored once, and Curtis Darling stopped 29 of 32 on less than 24 hours’ rest.

Now the bad news: James McEwan was taken to a hospital after his first-period fight with Stockton’s James Bates. McEwan injured his hand in the fight and did not return to the game.

Prior to the game, defenseman Mike Egener went on three-day injured reserve with what Karl Taylor called a “lower body injury,” and was replaced on the blue line by Brian Kilburg. Taylor said there is no timetable yet for Egener to return from Friday’s injury, but 3-day IR certainly leaves more room for optimism than the 7- or 21-day IR.

Peter Lenes, who has not scored a goal since Dec. 12, was scratched for the first time all season in order to make room for Jackson.

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

Lenes, Hogeboom, Walker on All-Star experience.

Because you can’t get enough ECHL All-Star Game material, here’s what David Walker, Greg Hogeboom and Peter Lenes had to say after last night’s game … also, interesting to note that Judd Blackwater was traded from Stockton to Alaska for Colin Hemingway, a day after Blackwater appeared in the all-star game. 
Continue reading “Lenes, Hogeboom, Walker on All-Star experience.” »

Alaska 3, Reign 2, shootout.

In a game that finished just before 11 p.m. Pacific time, the Reign came up empty in the shootout after playing the Alaska Aces to a 2-2 tie through 65 minutes.

Michael Pelech and Tim Kraus scored to give the Reign a 2-0 lead they held until late in the second period. The Reign (13-15-2-2) then had to hang on after being outshot 12-3 in the third period. Curtis Darling stopped 35 of 37 shots in net.

Pelech’s fourth goal of the season came during a Reign power playat 3:35 of the first period. Mike Howe and defenseman Mike Egener picked up the assists. Kraus made it 2-0 at 6:08 of the middle period, putting a slapshot in from the left circle off assists from Greg Hogeboom and Shawn Germain.

But Alaska netminder Scott Reid took over from there, while Jason Ryznar (with 23 seconds left in the second) and and Bryan Miller (4:00 into the third) managed to tie the game up. Reid took over in the shootout, stoning Tony Voce, Hogeboom, Peter Lenes and Chad Starling in order, while Nick Mazzolini and Alexandre Imbeault scored on Darling.

The Reign will play the Aces again tomorrow night — their ninth game away from home out of 13 games in December — and ring in the New Year in Alaska an hour later than the rest of us.

In case you missed it, Lenes, Hogeboom, David Walker and Jon Rheault (who’s been in Manchester the last month) were named to the National Conference All-Star team earlier Wednesday.

Reign all-stars: Walker, Hogeboom, Lenes, Rheault

David Walker and Greg Hogeboom will start, and childhood friends Jon Rheault and Peter Lenes will come off the bench, for the National Conference all-star team at the ECHL All-Star Game on Jan. 20.

All four made the final cut, announced Wednesday and determined in voting by National Conference coaches, team captains, media directors, broadcasters and media members. Coaches also submitted the top prospects from within their conference to determine the final roster with each of the eight teams having a representative.

Continue reading “Reign all-stars: Walker, Hogeboom, Lenes, Rheault” »

Reign 5, Idaho 3.

A night after being shut out on seven power-play opportunities, the Reign didn’t take any prime scoring chances to chance.

Peter Lenes, Tim Kraus, Mike Howe, Greg Hogeboom and Jon Francisco scored goals — the latter four on the power play — as the Reign skated away with a resounding win at Qwest Arena in Boise. 

The Reign finished 4-for-6 with the man advantage. In so doing they ruined the goals-against average of Steelheads goalie Rejean Beauchemin, who entered the game with the second-lowest GAA in the ECHL. They also solved the league’s second-best penalty kill; Idaho entered the game having killed 85.6 percent of opponents’ power plays.

Curtis Darling stopped 21 of 24 shots for the victory, and Lenes, Hogeboom and Rob Pearce each collected two assists.

More details in tomorrow’s editions.

A couple notes for the weekend.

1. Defenseman Andrew Martens was playing forward last night for the Reign in Idaho, skating on a line with Mike Howe, Michael Pelech and sometimes James McEwan. This isn’t a new development; Martens did the same last year for the Reign when injuries hit particularly hard, and Karl Taylor recently joked that Martens did so well at forward it was hard to move him back to the blue line. He took the place of winger Chris Curran, who was placed on 3-day injured reserve prior to the game, a move that will keep Curran out of Friday’s rematch in Boise. We’re not sure if Curran has been set back at all in his recovery from a broken leg, or if it’s something else, but will try to update when the team returns Monday.

2. Greg Hogeboom and Peter Lenes continue to be the main men responsible for picking up the scoring slack with Tony Voce injured, and Jon Rheault and Dwight King in Manchester. Hogeboom has at least one goal in every game this month, including a hat trick on Dec. 2, for a total of six goals and two assists in four games. The rookie Lenes is clearly adjusting to the ECHL level, with four goals and two assists in December, as well as the only goal in Wednesday’s shootout. His shootout technique was predictably fast and furious, finished not by anything fancy but a simple forehand that Rejean Beauchemin didn’t see coming. Beauchemin, who is second in the ECHL with a 2.43 goals-against average, had not lost in a shootout this season.

3. The Reign will wear specially-designed L.A. Kings affiliate jerseys Friday and Saturday in Idaho. It might seem weird to debut it on the road, but it might equally seem unfair that the Steelheads wore specially-designed Dallas Stars affiliate jerseys on Wednesday.

Reign 4, Victoria 3, OT.

Michael Pelech’s goal 2:44 into overtime was the difference as the Reign snapped a five-game losing streak at Citizens Business Bank Arena.

Peter Lenes scored twice, Greg Hogeboom once, and the line of Lenes, Hogeboom and Tim Kraus accounted for three of the team’s four goals.

Mike Zacharias, pulled from his last start Wednesday in Utah, stopped 27 of 30 shots to improve to 3-4-1.

More details in tomorrow’s editions.

Utah 7, Reign 6, OT.

The Reign survived a miserable first period that saw the Utah Grizzlies go up 5-0 after 15:28, and somehow salvaged a point.

Held to one goal in their past two games, the Reign mustered six Wednesday, including the game-tying goal by Greg Hogeboom on a redirected shot with 48 seconds left in regulation. Hogeboom finished with a hat trick — his second of the season — Peter Lenes scored twice, and Tim Kraus added another for the Reign (8-10-1-1).

Mike Zacharias started and allowed three goals on 13 shots before being yanked at the 9:09 mark. Curtis Darling finished the game, stopping 21 of 25. At 3:08 of overtime, Darling was drawn out of position by the Grizzlies’ Tom Maxwell, who then fired the puck past defenseman Mike Egener attempting to cover the net.

Defenseman David Walker finished with three assists for the Reign, who will play the Grizzlies (12-6-0-0) again Friday.

More details in tomorrow’s editions.