A trade, a win, and a couple notes that won’t make tomorrow’s paper.

The Reign gutted out a 2-1 shootout win against Las Vegas that ended their losing streak at three, and ended their season-long home losing streak at 6. For those of you who attended the game and have never seen a Reign home victory before, that thing where the players gather around The Dragon at center ice and raise their sticks to the crowd? It’s been standard post-victory protocol for three years now.

Dusty Collins and Shawn Collymore scored goals in the shootout, Kellen Briggs made a total of 40 saves – including one on a last-second breakaway – and the Reign were a perfect 6-for-6 on the penalty kill, including a pair of 5-on-3s.

They did all this despite the absence of Jon Francisco, Chad Starling, Chaz Johnson and Pierre-Andre Bureau – who was traded to the Stockton Thunder for future considerations prior to the game.

Here are a few notes that won’t appear in tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin:

Continue reading “A trade, a win, and a couple notes that won’t make tomorrow’s paper.” »

Victoria 4, Reign 1.

The back-to-back wins in Stockton to start the season are a distant memory, and the Reign are 2-4-1 after the Salmon Kings completed a three-game sweep on Saturday. They’ll come back to Ontario with fewer points in the standings than all but two teams in the ECHL’s Western Conference.

The Reign fell behind 1-0 at 10:03 of the first period on a goal by Victoria’s Matt Siddall. Aaron Lewadniuk’s second goal of the season, off assists from forwards Pierre-Andre Bureau and Jeff Corey, tied the game at 1 at 3:55 of the second period.

Victoria took the lead less than two minutes later on Siddall’s second goal of the contest. Derek Couture made it 3-1 at 5:14 of the third period and Kiel McLeod scored into an empty net late to provide the final score.

The Reign continued their power play drought with an 0-for-5 night on the man advantage, while holding the Salmon Kings 0-for-4.

Center Jon Francisco, who was injured in Friday’s 5-2 loss, did not play. Kellen Briggs stopped 21 of 24 shots in his third start on the road trip.

The Alaska Aces visit The Bank on Thursday and Saturday before the Reign travel to Anchorage.

Stockton 3, Reign 1. Update.

You can’t win ’em all.

The Reign got their first loss of the season out of the way Friday, 3-1 to the Stockton Thunder at Stockton Arena. The good news? The home opener is tomorrow, and it’s the last time the Reign will face the Thunder until Jan. 21, 2011 after having played each other four times to start the season — six, if you include the preseason.

All four goals were scored on the power play. The Thunder went 3-for-8 with the man advantage and the Reign went 1-for-9. Chris D’Alvise (12:30 of the 1st period), Chris Lawrence (17:14 of the 1st) and Aaron Clarke (5:42 of the third) gave Stockton a comfortable 3-0 lead. Lawrence’s came during a 5-on-3 shift; the others came during 5-on-4 shifts.

With seven seconds left on their eighth power play of the night, the Reign finally solved Stockton netminder Tyson Sexsmith as Jon Francisco tipped a David Walker slap shot in at 12:02.

Reign goaltender Kellen Briggs (1-1) made some spectacular saves among his 29, but Sexsmith stopped 23 of the 24 shots that came his way.

Forward Pierre-Andre Bureau made his Reign (and professional) debut on a line with Francisco and Jeff Corey, and registered one shot on goal. Luke Popko and C.J. Stretch were the scratches. Newly-acquired goaltender Beau Erickson served as the backup to Briggs.

Update: Karl Taylor told the Stockton Record that the Reign’s nine penalties totaling 26 minutes were too much to overcome, including Luke Beaverson’s 10-minute misconduct, which followed a hooking call against the Reign defenseman and an unsportsmanlike conduct minor for disputing the initial call:

“You have to adjust to how the officials call a game, and they called it
tight both ways,” Taylor said. “There was a lot of
penalties we deserved, and the insurance goal turns out to be one where
we shoot our mouth off and get what we deserve. It was the right call.”

Monday’s practice notes; updating the roster picture.

The Reign had a full complement of 23 bodies in practice Monday, a group that figures to get smaller soon.

Coach Karl Taylor said he must submit his roster to the ECHL by noon Wednesday, but “usually we try to do it on Tuesday, just to get everything in order.”
Continue reading “Monday’s practice notes; updating the roster picture.” »

Five returning to Reign.

Forwards Pierre-Andre Bureau, C.J. Stretch and Kyle Kraemer, and defenseman Eric Doyle and Reggie Traccitto have been cut from the Manchester Monarchs’ training camp. All five signed with the Reign this summer and are presumably on their way (or already in) Ontario.

They will join the three goalies and 15 skaters already in the Reign’s camp to bring the total number of training campers to 23.

Reign welcome Bureau, re-welcome Collins.

The Reign announced the signing of two centers Friday — one of whom should be familiar to denizens of The Bank.

Dusty Collins, who played in 24 games for the Reign in 2008-09, has re-signed with the only ECHL team he’s ever played for. The former fifth-round NHL draft pick (Tampa Bay Lightning, 2004) played in 11 AHL games in 2006-07, then spent the entire 2007-08 season with the Central Hockey League’s Arizona Sundogs before signing with the expansion Reign.

Collins had six goals and 14 points in his brief stint in Ontario. He spent the rest of 2008-09 with the Manchester Monarchs (4+2=6 in 16 games) and the Manitoba Moose (7+1=8 in 34 games), who re-signed him to an AHL contract prior to last season.

Collins had two goals, four points and 93 penalty minutes in 70 games with the Moose in 2009-10. The 25-year-old also appeared in five AHL playoff games, scoring one goal.

He’ll compete in training camp for ice time with rookie Pierre-Andre Bureau.

The 26-year-old was a standout in the QMJHL before moving on to a five-year career with the University of Moncton — a French-language university in New Brunswick that competes in CIS. He’s coming off a nine-goal, 24-point season in 28 games. The 5-11, 183-pound center averaged more than a point per game (14+20=34 in ’08-09 and 14+19=33 in ’07-08) the previous two seasons in Moncton.

With the Prince Edward Island Rocket in the QMJHL, Bureau was a teammate of current Montreal Canadiens forward Maxim Lapierre, and an opponent of former Reign forward Geoff Walker.

The PEI Rocket retired Bureau’s #22 jersey in 2009. The St. Georges Beauce, Quebec native holds the QMJHL record for most games played with a single team (346) and played his rookie season under assistant coach Daniele Sauvageau, the first female coach in QMJHL history.