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.
Continue reading

Reign pack their bags, Voce calls it a career.

When the Reign packed up their equipment and left The Bank one last time on Monday, the moment meant a little more to Tony Voce, who announced that Saturday’s game in Las Vegas was the last of his professional career.

The 29-year-old forward is moving back to Philadelphia to be with his wife and family. He said he wasn’t the same after the knee injury that cost him a month of the season in November and December.

“I was hurt most of the year,” he said. “Once it was done, it’s done.”
Continue reading

Las Vegas 2, Reign 1.

The Reign’s second season of existence will not end in the playoffs.

Michael Pelech scored the lone goal and Curtis Darling stopped 32 of 34 shots, but the Reign were out of it even before the final horn sounded. That’s because the Victoria Salmon Kings – whom the Reign needed to lose tonight and tomorrow – demolished the Utah Grizzlies, 9-2.

Continue reading

Egener, O’Connor hit with fines.

The ECHL has fined Mike Egener and Sean O’Connor “an undisclosed amount as a result of
their actions following” last night’s game against Las Vegas. Egener and O’Connor were both involved in on-ice altercations with Las Vegas players, but the wording by the league suggests that the fine is related to something that happened after the game.

Both were fined under ECHL Rule 29 (Supplementary
Discipline). Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the ECHL
and
the Professional Hockey Players’ Association, player fines collected by
the
ECHL are given to the PHPA for its ECHL Player’s Hardship Fund.

More information if/when we can get it.

Alaska 6, Reign 3.

A third-period meltdown sent the Reign to just their third loss in the month of March.

Geoff Walker and David Walker scored first-period goals to give the Reign a 2-0 lead, but Alaska answered back with two more before the first intermission. The game stayed close through 40 minutes, but Alaska erupted for three devastating goals midway through the final period.

Gary Nunn created the first two, taking the puck nearly the length of the ice, winning a pair of battles at both ends with a burst of speed in the middle, and feeding Jason Ryznar to make it 3-2 at 9:05. He skated two-thirds the length of the ice and had Curtis Darling backpedaling when he shot it into the goalie’s chest at 12:01 of the third.

The Aces’ fifth goal was the toughest to swallow. With the Reign skating 5-on-4, Alaska cleared the puck down the ice and Darling left the crease to play it along the wall. He attempted to make an outlet pass back across the ice, where Curtis Fraser was skating straight into the puck – and scored into a wide-open net with 6:32 left in the period. (See tomorrow’s editions for Darling’s postgame comments.)

Sean O’Connor scored seconds after the power play expired, but Alaska netted an empty net goal to provide the final score.

With 68 points in the National Conference standings, the Reign (29-28-3-7) remained in eighth place, trailing both the Stockton Thunder and Las Vegas Wranglers by a point. The seven teams battling for the final six playoff positions are still separated by five points, thanks to a Utah Grizzlies victory over the Bakersfield Condors.

Reign 7, Idaho 4.

The Reign jumped out to a rare 5-0 lead, enabling them to withstand a four-goal third period by Idaho in a game with plenty of implications in the standings.

Seventh-place Utah won, meaning a loss would have kept the Reign three points back of the National Conference’s final playoff berth.

Now seven teams are separated by one point each for the final six playoff positions: Bakersfield (71), Victoria (70), Las Vegas (69), Alaska (68), Stockton (67), Utah (66) and Ontario (65).
Continue reading

Reign 5, Alaska 4, shootout.

Another lost lead, another shootout, and another Mike Zacharias special delivery – at least the Reign found a way to win on the road.

The Alaska Aces erased a 3-1 deficit with three third-period goals to take a 4-3 lead, before a goal by Michael Pelech with 1:35 left in regulation sent the game to overtime, and eventually a shootout. Once again, Karl Taylor pulled Curtis Darling in favor of Mike Zacharias and once again, Zacharias delivered. He stopped four of the five Aces shooters, allowing goals by Pelech and Chad Starling to hold up on the other end, with Starling’s proving to be the winner.

It was the fourth straight shootout for the Reign; they have won two and lost two. In three straight shootout performances, Zacharias has only allowed two goals.

Pelech had a huge game, collecting two assists in addition to his goals in regulation and the shootout. Mike Egener kicked off the scoring at 4:39 of the first period, Sean O’Connor made it 2-0 just 62 seconds later with his 12th goal of the season, and Egener’s ninth goal of the season with 34 seconds left in the second period made it 3-1.

Alaska began its comeback with a short-handed goal by Scott Burt at 2:20 of the third period, and even-strength goals by Merit Waldrop and Eric Boguniecki made it 4-3.

Jon Rheault picked up two more assists, giving him five (along with two goals) in four games since his return from the AHL. Geoff Walker and Andrew Martens also had assists for the Reign.

Egener has seven goals and seven assists (and 32 penalty minutes) in his last 12 games for the Reign. Ontario finished 2-for-6 on the power play and held Alaska to one goal in eight man-advantage shifts, but failed to convert a 43-second long 5-on-3 advantage late in the first period.

Here’s what the conference standings
look like; the Reign gained a valuable two points on the Utah
Grizzlies, who did not play last night. They’re now tied with Las Vegas
for the sixth/seventh spot, but Alaska’s point in the standings moves
them into a tie for fourth/fifth with Stockton.

The three-game series resumes at 8:15 p.m. Friday.

Las Vegas 4, Reign 3, shootout.

Another night, another shootout.

This time, Las Vegas got the only goal and walked away with the victory.

For the second night in a row, Karl Taylor switched goaltenders, pulling Curtis Darling in favor of Mike Zacharias for the skills competition. Zacharias stopped four of five shooters, but it wasn’t enough. Joel Gistedt, who replaced an injured Michael Ouzas in the third period, stopped all five Reign shooters to seal the victory.

Jon Rheault scored for the second straight night and Tim Kraus and Sean O’Connor also had goals for the Reign. Mick Lawrence, Adam Miller and Chris Neiszner scored for the Wranglers. Ned Lukacevic had the only goal in the shootout.

Darling stopped 28 of 31 in regulation.

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

Las Vegas 7, Reign 6, shootout.

This game could be summed up in one word: Crazy.

It ended in the 12th round of the shootout when Jerry Pollastrone scored on Curtis Darling, and Tony Voce missed on the other end, ending the Reign’s team-record-tying win streak at six.

The Reign gained a point in the standings but gave up two, leaving both teams tied for the seventh and final playoff position in the National Conference standings. Technically, the Wranglers are in seventh place by virtue of the higher winning percentage.

It was only possible because of Vegas’ four goals in the third period, which negated a 5-2 lead by the Reign and sent the game to overtime.

Continue reading