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.

Victoria 5, Reign 2.

The Reign had their chances in Victoria, but not nearly as many as the Salmon Kings.

The Salmon Kings led by scores of 2-0 after one period, and 3-1 after two, before Shawn Collymore’s second goal of the season drew the Reign within 3-2 at 1:24 of the third period.

But that was as close as they would get. Chad Painchaud’s second goal of the game made it 4-2 at 6:15, and Milan Gajic closed the scoring at 12:16 of the third period.

Kellen Briggs stopped 29 of 34 shots in a game in which the Reign were outshot 34-27 despite having seven power plays to the Salmon Kings’ three.

Kyle Kraemer’s power play goal at 14:25 of the second period got the Reign on the board against goaltender David Shantz, who stopped 25 of 27.

Center Tim Kraus and defenseman Lane Caffaro, acquired Monday from the Idaho Steelheads, had assists on both goals.

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 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.

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

Update from Friday’s morning skate.

Today’s morning skate at the Orleans Arena was optional for the Reign, and 11 players took to the ice: Greg Hogeboom, Tim Kraus, Chad Starling, Andrew Martens, Mike Egener, Luis Tremblay, Dan Knapp, Peter Lenes, C.J. Stretch, Jordan Nolan, and Mike Zacharias.

Zacharias was the only goalie on the ice, which in most cases (barring injuries or other unforeseen circumstances) means that he’ll be the backup in the game. Expect Curtis Darling – who turned in a good performance in a losing effort Thursday – to get his second straight start.

I caught up with Nolan and Karl Taylor to discuss Nolan’s pro debut; more on that in tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin.

Here are the elimination scenarios for tonight:

- If the Reign lose in regulation, or Victoria beats Utah (7 p.m. Pacific start time in British Columbia), the Reign are eliminated from playoff contention.
- If the Reign lose in overtime or a shootout, they need Victoria to lose in regulation in order to avoid elimination.
- If the Reign win (either in regulation or in overtime/shootout), they need Victoria to lose (either in regulation or overtime/shootout) to avoid elimination.

Taking all of tonight’s nine potential scenarios into account, the Reign are eliminated in six of them. They need help.

Tonight and tomorrow, get used to the phrase “Go Grizzlies!”

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.

Victoria 4, Reign 0.

Ouch.

The Reign (7-8-0) were outshot 51-18 by a Victoria Salmon Kings squad (3-10-0) clearly changed since getting swept out of Citizens Business Bank Arena last week. The line of Andy Brandt, Scott Howes and Adam Taylor accounted for three of the four goals on Curtis Darling, who made 47 saves — often enough to win two games for the Reign.

Not too many Reign highlights in this one; they won’t play again until Wednesday in Bakersfield.

Here’s the story out of the Victoria Times-Colonist.