Reign drop game three at home, trail playoff series 2-1

- Game report filed by Spike Coffman for MayorsManor –

It’s tough to win when you can’t stay out of the penalty box and it cost the Reign dearly Friday night. They allowed two power play goals in the third period and lost 5-3 to the Idaho Steelheads in Game 3 of the Kelly Cup Playoffs. Ontario is now down 2-1 in the best-of-five series, with the remaining games scheduled for tonight and Monday (if needed) at Citizen’s Business Bank Arena.

“At the end of the day we have to control ourselves,” said Ontario head Coach Jason Christie. “That’s all we can control, and we have to come out and play better.”

Ontario took six minutes in penalties to start the third and Idaho used it to their advantage. Aaron Lewicki put in a pretty passing play three minutes into the period and Jacob Cepis beat Reign goaltender JF Berube on his third attempt to give the Steelheads a two goal lead.

Berube, drafted by the LA Kings in 2009 and playing his first year of pro hockey, has been putting him some of his better numbers of the season lately. However, the Steelheads were applying pressure all night – even though they ended the game with only 26 shots.

Things were tied 2-2 after forty minutes, but the story isn’t that simple.  Idaho was up 1-0 when the first period came to an end an added a second marker close to the midway point of the second period.  Then, thing turned ugly.

Idaho forward Ron Meyers was given a five minute major penalty after a brutal open ice check hit on Reign forward Kyle Kraemer. Kraemer stayed down on the ice after the hit and looked severely injured on the play; he was not steady on his feet and was helped off the ice by his Reign teammates.  According to Christie, Kraemer was taken to a local hospital for further evaluation.  The coach went on to say that Meyers, who was given the major penalty by the officials and was ejected from the game, was not even the player who had thrown the hit – -”Three guys on the ice and they called the wrong guy.  It was (Matt Case), it wasn’t even (Meyers)!”

On the ensuing power play, two of Ontario’s best players stepped forward to tie things.  First, Kevin Estrada netted a goal (assisted by Bill Bagron and Derek Couture).  Then, Geoff Irwin tied it.

Idaho struck twice early in the third and the Reign were playing catch-up the rest of the way  A goal by Couture at 11:50 made it a 4-3 game.  But, it wasn’t to be.  in the final minutes, mere seconds after Berube was pulled for the extra attacker, Idaho put the puck in an empty net, icing the game 5-3.

Michael Neal, the younger brother of Pittsburgh Penguins forward James Neal, picked up an assist on Idaho’s go-ahead goal in the third period.

This was the Reign’s first home playoff game since a Game 7 first round loss in their inaugural season.

Asked about the possibility of facing an elimination game tonight, Couture said – “You can buck up and come to play or you can fold.  This is when character shines through.”

Game four will start at 6pm tonight (and tickets are still available).

With their backs against the wall, the Reign need a win to prolong things to a series-deciding game five on Monday.

RELATED ARTICLES:

LA Kings prospect JF Berube reflects on his first pro season

What I’ve learned so far this season… by Pittsburgh’s James Neal

 

 

Recent Articles

Kings Ducks Camp 2014

Mayor’s Minutes on NHL Radio: Who Wins the Pacific and Why

Follow @mayorNHL Enjoy the free replay of this week’s Mayor’s Minutes from NHL Network Radio with Boomer Gordon – where they looked ahead to the 2014-15 Western Conference. Among the topics discussed were the Kings’ opening night roster (i.e. which bottom-6 players are likely to make the final cut), along with thoughts on the Anaheim [...]

Ebert Nick LA Kings camp

Nick Ebert quotes after Kings def Ducks

After being the very last player taken at the 2012 NHL Draft, defenseman Nick Ebert had nowhere to go but up. He made a favorable impression during a brief stint with the Ontario Reign the following year, but it was this past season where he really started to capture the attention of most people. Traded [...]

IMG_20140922_102420

Kings Camp 2014: Checking in with Vincent LoVerde

Every hockey player’s path is different. Some, like Drew Doughty, are early first round picks and step into the league right away. Others have a longer road in pursuit of fulfilling their NHL dreams. After four seasons at Miami University, Vincent LoVerde’s professional journey began by being cut from an ECHL team. From there, LoVerde [...]

Major News Items

Manchester Monarchs MayorsManor Kings by Blake Gumprecht

MAJOR NEWS: Kings Preparing To Move Top Prospects To SoCal

Note to webmasters/reporters: When recapping news or interviews from this site please remember to include a link to www.MayorsManor.com Follow @mayorNHL In a story that MayorsManor has been chasing for the … [Read More...]

More Prospect News

Trackbacks

  1. [...] the Reign were scheduled to play the remaining games at home. They lost game three (recapped here), but again evened the series with a victory on Saturday [...]