Teams Per: 1 2 3
NOR: 0 1 1=2
REA: 0 0 1=1
NOR: 17-26-4-0=38 (7, South Division)
REA: 28-16-1-2=59 (2, North Division)
NOR: Desrosiers (win, 7-4-0-2) (29/30) (59:41)
REA: Dekanich (loss, 12-10-1-1) (25/27) (58:17)
Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (loss, 28-16-1-2=59) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, were defeated by the Norfolk Admirals (win, 17-26-4-0=38), 2-1, at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania.
In the front end of a two-game weekend set between the Royals and Admirals, Reading was unable to solve a stingy Norfolk defense, which kept the Royals at bay for long stretches—and the team was unable to hit the net on the infrequent scoring chances Reading was able to generate. Reading had two goals waived off in the contest, but the first two goals that counted were both scored by the Admirals. The Royals did strike on a third period power play, but for the second game in a row found themselves in a frantic—and ultimately fruitless—quest for an equalizer down the stretch. The loss, which was the first ever for the Royals to the Admirals over the last two seasons (10-1-0-1), dropped Reading’s record back to twelve games over .500.
The big crowd for Special Olympics night at Santander Arena thought the Royals struck first 10:02 into the first period when Tyrell Goulbourne made a power move through the left circle to the top of the crease where he back-handed the puck home. But the referee ruled that a Royal had interfered with goaltender Phillippe Desrosiers’ ability to make the save, and the goal was waived off.
Norfolk got the first one that counted 8:13 into the second when Zach Pochiro fired a low wrist shot out of the right circle that deflected off the skate or stick of Brodie Dupont and slowly trickled behind and out of the reach of goaltender Mark Dekanich and over the goal line for Dupont’s fourteenth of the year.
Royals’ fans thought that Reading had tied the game at one with a power play goal later in the second, but the Florian Iberer shot from the point was clearly deflected with a high stick by Matt Wilkins; and the apparent goal was properly disallowed.
The Admirals got what proved to be the game winner 3:23 into the third period on another play started by Pochiro. On this one, Pochiro threw a beautiful wrist-pass from just inside the offensive blue-line deep on the right side, which found Gabriel Verpaelst sneaking down the left side of the slot. Verpaelst made a great catch and release from in tight—taking the pass on the forehand and quickly sweeping a back-hand into the upper reaches of the net for his fifth of the year.
Reading cut the Norfolk lead in half 8:14 into the third while the team was playing on the team’s second power play chance of the night. Mike Pereira took control at the defensive blue-line and charged up ice towards the offensive zone. As Pereira was dropped to the ice by a Norfolk check, he was able to slip the puck off to Olivier Labelle, who cut from right to left through the slot, ripping a low bullet back against the grain into the left side of the net for his seventeenth goal of the year—and his team leading seventh power play goal of the year.
But that would be it for Reading, despite a strong charge to find the equalizer down the stretch. The Royals simply could not solve Desrosiers and his Admiral teammates, as for the second game in a row the final buzzer brought a wild (and unsuccessful) scramble around the opponent’s net to an end.
NEXT UP FOR THE ROYALS
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2017
v NORFOLK ADMIRALS
Santander Arena – Reading, PA (7:00 pm)
Limited Edition Train Bank Giveaway
First 1000 Kids (14 & Younger)
Courtesy of Prospectus Berco
and M.P. Butterworth & Associates
AUDIO: iHeartRadio – Rumba 1340 in Reading
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)
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