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.
“With a 5-2 lead, the game should be over,” Reign head coach Karl Taylor said. “We don’t give up leads very often but we did today. We should have had the game finished, on multiple opportunities being up 5-2. Then, having that 5-on-3 late int he game. Then the 4-on-3 in overtime. The power play was pretty good 5-on-4. We gave the game away and allowed them to come back.”
Down 6-3, Las Vegas scored a controversial goal on a delayed penalty at 6:48, when Mick Lawrence got underneath Darling in the crease as he scored, but was not penalized. The only penalty on the sequence, in fact, went to Darling, who was hit with 2:00 for unsportsmanlike conduct after his reaction.
It’s one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever seen, where that player was in the crease with CuDa, they allowed that to be a goal, then they started to roll.”
The Wranglers got another break when Ned Lukacevic was awarded a penalty shot, and converted at the 8:48 mark, to make it 6-5. Lukacevic’s second goal of the game tied it at 6 with 6:35 to play.
“We had (a penalty shot) too,” Taylor said, referring to Greg Hogeboom’s missed freebie at 6:07, “so what are you going to do?”
Darling got hit with another rare penalty in overtime, when the puck touched his skate blade outside the trapezoid area behind the net. The Wranglers were on the power play for all of 15 seconds as a result, before Darling finally caught a break by drawing a goalie interference call on Adam Miller.
The two teams combined for 24 penalties, for a total of 48 minutes. Las Vegas converted 1 of 7 power play chances, while the Reign went 4-for-11.
– Sean O’Connor scored twice in regulation and twice in the shootout. That’s a first for a Reign player this season.
– Mike Egener had a four-point night (goal, three assists), joining Tim Kraus and Greg Hogeboom as the only Reign players to do so this season.
– Chris Curran rejoined the lineup, along with Geoff Walker and Jon Rheault, had an assist, and saw more ice time as the 11th forward as the game went on.
– The six goals (O’Connor, Voce, Starling, Hogeboom, David
Walker and O’Connor again) are the most the Reign have scored in a
shootout this season.
– David Walker’s wife sang the National Anthem (and did a nice job).
More details in tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin.