Elmira, NY – The Reading Royals (2-1-0-0=4) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League and the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League, defeated the Elmira Jackals (0-2-0-0), 3-1, at First Arena in Elmira, New York.
The Royals were heavily outshot and failed to capitalize on a five minute power play early in the second, but were able to hang around in this one because of another extraordinary performance from goaltender Riley Gill (win 2-0-0-0, 33/34). Reading ultimately broke through mid-way into the second and built a 3-0 lead late in the third before the Jackals finally broke through on Gill, who led Reading to the team’s first road win of the year.
After a scoreless first in which Elmira outshot Reading 13 – 4 and had three successive effective power play sequences, Reading got a golden chance to break through when Elmira’s Riley Boychuck was assessed with a five minute charging major 1:06 into the second period. The Royals failed to capitalize in that sequence, but struck first 10:18 into the second period when a relentless T.J. Syner refused to be denied as a tracked down a loose puck deep on the left wing side of the offensive zone. Syner threw a pass back against the grain to the top of the crease where a wide open Domenic Monardo bagged his first as a pro.
Reading got what proved to be the game winner 1:52 into the third on a beautiful redirect by Louie Caporusso, who had won an offensive zone face-off to Stanislav Galiev, whose shot missed high; but the puck ricocheted to the right point, where Aaron Gens settled and slipped a wrister to mid-slot for the waiting Caporusso’s deflection up and over Maxime Clermont (loss, 0-2-0-0, 16/19) and his second goal of the year.
The Royals got further insurance 17:02 into the third when Dustin Gazley’s seeing-eye snapper from the mid-slot slipped through everyone, including goaltender Maxime Clermont, for Gazley’s first of the year.
Elmira attacked hard late and spoiled the shutout bid of Gill, when Philip-Michael Devos set up Ludwig Karlsson for a point blank look. Karlsson drilled it by Gill for his first of the season with 1:39 remaining. But that would be it for the Jackals, as Reading became the first team in ECHL history to beat Elmira in their home opener.
The Royals complete a home-and-home against the Jackals tomorrow (Saturday, October 26 @ 7:05 pm) at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania. It is Breast Cancer Awareness night in support of Breast Cancer Support Services of Berks County. The first 1500 women get a pink tote bag courtesy of Reading Health System. It is also a Miller Keystone Blood Center Donation night—the bloodmobile will be directly in front of Santander Arena before the game. There will also be another edition of the Diamond Credit Union Shoot Ffor Cash on Saturday.
The Royals game night broadcast on Saturday kicks off at 6:35 pm with the Highmark Blue Shield Warm-Up Show on CBS Sports Radio in Reading (1240 am and 98.5 pm). Free internet streaming audio is also available on the Royals website.
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