Teams Per: 1 2 3 ot
MAN: 0 1 0 0=1
REA: 0 1 0 1=2
MAN: 31-16-7-4=73 (1, North Division)
REA: 33-21-1-2=69 (3, North Division)
MAN: Flinn (OTL, 2-1-1-0) (42/44)
REA: Dekanich (Win) (16-10-1-1) (30/31)
Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (win, 33-21-1-2=69) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, defeated the Manchester Monarchs (OTL, 31-16-7-4=73), 2-1, in overtime at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania.
On a historic night in which the Royals all-time leading scorer, Ryan Cruthers, was inducted into the team’s Wall of Honor and in front of a large and boisterous Autism Awareness crowd, the Royals battled back from a one-goal deficit early in the second period to claim the critical two points in the ongoing battle for a playoff spot in the North Division. Both goaltenders—Mark Dekanich for Reading and Jack Flinn for Manchester—had their A-Games tonight, and it was up to the Royals leading goal scorer—Ryan Penny—to bag the dramatic overtime game winner.
The Royals’ win—when combined with a loss by the Adirondack Thunder in Cincinnati—served to jump Reading into third place in the North Division—at least for the time being in the dog fight that is the battle for a playoff spot in the North Division.
Manchester struck first 2:48 into the second period, when Reading defender Maxim Lamarche was picked off by Ashton Rome as Lamarche sought to carry the puck through the neutral zone. Rome turned the puck up ice, carried into the offensive zone on a two-on-one break, used a teammate as a decoy as he carried down the left side and drilled a bullet out of the left circle that buzzed by Dekanich on the short side for Rome’s ninth of the year.
Nine minutes later, Reading tied the game when Nathan Moon and Johnny McInnis conspired to force a turnover deep in the left circle in Manchester’s end of the ice. Mike Pereira settled the loose puck and quickly snapped a hot rivet from a sharp angle that whizzed by Flinn for Pereira’s fifteenth of the season—which also served to extend his goal scoring streak to four straight.
From that point forward, the game had a decided playoff feel with the two teams trading scoring chances, strong defensive sequences, brilliant saves, and a fair dose of heavy physical contact, but neither team could settle it in regulation time.
The game winner started with a strong play by Nick Luukko deep in Reading’s defensive zone. Luukko sprang Penny on a break through the neutral zone and into the offensive zone on the right side of the ice. Penny, a left-shot forward carried deep into the right circle where he used Luukko—who had joined the rush down the middle of the ice—as a decoy and uncorked a perfectly placed snap shot that sailed across the body of Flinn and caught the interior of the left pipe to secure the team’s third overtime win of the year—and send the big crowd into a wild frenzy.
NEXT UP FOR THE ROYALS
SUNDAY, March 5, 2017
v Norfolk Admirals
Santander Arena – Reading, PA (5:00 pm)
Battle of the Badges XII
Reading Police – Fire v Allentown Police – Fire (at 1:30 pm)
James Reimer Mini-Locker Room Giveaway Courtesy of Bethany Children’s Home
First 1000 Kids 16 & Younger
AUDIO: iHeartRadio – Rumba 1340 in Reading
Deibler Dental In Arena Broadcast: 99.3 fm Inside Santander Arena
TELEVISION: Royals’ Road Games are televised locally in Berks County, Pennsylvania
on BCTV, which Can Found at Comcast Reading Cable Channel 15,
Service Electric Cable Channel 19, Comcast Southern Berks Channel 965
Courtesy of Boscov’s Travel and Apple Vacations
STREAMING VIDEO: ECHL.TV powered by NeuLion (Pay-Per-View)
End 17 03-04