Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (4-3-0-0=8) 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 (2-3-0-0=4), 5-2, at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania.
For the first time this season, Reading struck for three goals on the power play, including the team’s first goal, the game winner and the last goal to win in regulation time for the first time on home ice this season. The win also snapped a three game home losing streak and, when coupled with Friday’s win in Wheeling, marked the first time this year that the Royals have won back-to-back games.
For the sixth time in the seven played so far by the Royals, the team got on the board first on the third power play chance of the night 14:54 into the first period. Yannick Tifu threaded a perfect pass out of the right corner to Dustin Gazley who had found a soft spot at the top of the crease and slammed home his second of the year.
Elmira quickly bounced back to tie. 16:33 into the first, a failed clear turned into a hard, high wrist shot by Raman Hrabarenka from the high slot that eluded goaltender Riley Gill (win, 3-2-0-0, 30/32), who appeared to have been at least partially screened on the scramble in front of the Royals’ net.
Reading re-took the lead for good 3:08 into the second period when Patrick Wey sprang Sean Wiles for a two-on-one break. Wiles looked off his teammate charging down the left side and made short-order of this opportunity, ripping a bullet from the mid-right circle pipe-bar-and-in high glove side on goaltender Scott Greenham (loss, 2-1-0-0, 35/50) for Wiles’ second in two games.
The Royals stretched the lead to 3-1 early in the third. Playing on the team’s seventh power play chance of the night, Ryan Kavanagh put one on a tee for defenseman Matt Campanale, who’s rocket from the right point blew by everyone for his first as a Royal—which would ultimately prove to be the game winner—2:05 into the final period.
1:05 later, Reading got a little insurance, when Stanislav Galiev got a point blank look and uncorked a laser from fifteen feet. Greenham fought that one off; but left a rebound at the top of the crease where Domenic Monardo punched it back in for his third of the year.
Elmira counter-punched 3:33 later after a wild scramble in front of the Royals’ net ended when Artem Demkov dug the puck out of the pile and slipped it in for his third of the year—and second in two games.
Reading’s power play, however, would have the last laugh. This time it was Aaron Gens who settled a pass from Louie Caporusso at the left point. Gens ripped one that found the open side of the net across the body Greenham for Gens’ first as a Royal with 7:47 remaining in regulation. Reading successfully ran out the remaining time despite a strong push from the never-say-die Jackals down the stretch.
The Royals are off until next Saturday (November 9 @ 7:00 pm) when the team will travel to WesBanco Arena in Wheeling, West Virginia, to kick-off a home-and-home with the Wheeling Nailers. The game night broadcast next Saturday will kick off at 6:30 pm with the Highmark Blue Shield pre-game warm-up show. As with all Royals’ road games, next Saturday’s game will be televised locally in Berks County on BCTV courtesy of Boscov’s Travel and Apple Vacations. Streaming audio is available free of charge on the Royals’ website, www.royalshockey.com.
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