ONTARIO, CA – 0-4 is not the way any team wants to start a season. Being shut-out in two of those four games is even worse. Losing your home opener adds yet another layer of distaste.
The Reign have managed to accomplish all of this three weeks into the new season.
Last night, the Reign hosted their first home game of the 2017-18 season. There was hope that being in front of a home crowd as well as getting Jonny Brodzinski back in the lineup would spark a lackluster offense.
Instead, the squad seemed ambivalent to the whole night. Ill-advised passes to teammates who weren’t there, sloppy puck handling and poor defensive decisions characterized a large portion of play for the Reign. Low percentage shots were fired from the perimeter with very few coming from close in. Very rarely was the puck driven directly to the net, and those drives were held until the player was too close in for a decent shot.
There was hope as the Reign took over play for significant portions of each period, trapping the Condors in their own zone and drawing penalties. It was at this point that the momentum usually fell apart, the power play falling flat.
The Condors let the Reign run around, for the most part, jumping on bad passes and fumbled pucks to make opportunistic plays.
The Good: Philippe Maillet continues to impress, never giving up on any play and bringing a level of energy the others lacked. Jaime Devane staked out a place in front of the net and made life miserable for Nick Ellis. He was a factor in most of the Reign’s best scoring chances.
The Bad: Jonny Brodzinski authored 4 shots on goal, but it was obvious that something was missing from his game. Not once did we see his signature break-away speed and charge to the front of the net. T.J. Hensick was largely invisible for most of the night.
The Ugly: The Reign power play went 0-for-3 to fall to 0-for-16 on the year. They are saved from being at the bottom of the league by the Condors, who also don’t have a power play goal but surrendered a short-handed goal.
The Future: The Reign and Condors will meet again tonight as the Reign will once again try for that elusive first win.
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