Teams Per: 1 2 3
REA: 0 1 0=1
NOR: 1 3 2=6
REA: 36-22-2-2=76 (1, North Division)
NOR: 23-34-4-0=50 (7, South Division)
REA: Ouellette (Loss) (14-12-0-1) (32/38)
NOR: Desrosiers (Win) (12-8-0-2) (37/38)
Norfolk, VA – The Reading Royals (loss, 36-22-2-2=76) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, were defeated by the Norfolk Admiral (win, 23-34-4-0=50), 6-1, at The Scope Arena in Norfolk, Virginia.
In the front end of a late-season two-game set in Norfolk, the Royals were swamped by the Admirals, who scored first and built a three goal lead before Reading could break through. Undaunted, Norfolk, who controlled the tempo and flow for the most part, dominated the Royals down the stretch bagging a back-breaker late in the second to regain a three-goal advantage and then keeping the Royals at bay in the third.
Despite the loss, which snapped the Royals five game unbeaten streak, Reading maintained the team’s hold on first place in the North Division, although the team fell to 3-3-0-0 against Norfolk this season with five of the team’s remaining ten regular season games to be played against the Admirals.
Norfolk struck 11:27 into the contest when T.J. Foster, who would end up with three assists on the night, carried around and behind the Royals’ net and slid the puck to the top of the crease, where John Dunbar stepped in, found a soft spot, and snapped one across the body of goaltender Martin Ouellette for his seventeenth of the year.
The Admirals bagged the goal that proved to be the game winner early in the second off the rush. Ben Murphy freed Nick MacNeil through the neutral zone and into the Royals’ defensive zone deep on the right wing side. MacNeil then threw a cross-ice saucer to Mikael Tam who stepped up on the weak side for a quick snap shot that slid under and through Ouellette for Tam’s eighth of the year 2:20 into the second period.
7:50 into the second, the Admirals took their first three-goal lead of the game, when Reading coughed a puck off the left half-wall in the defensive zone directly to the middle of the ice, where Foster intercepted and quickly threaded a pass to Joey Benik in the right circle where he uncorked a one-time bullet for his first of two on the night.
Reading cut the lead back to two when Robbie Czarnik freed Justin Crandall for a two-on-one rush into the offensive zone. Crandall carried deep into the right circle and, while using Mike Pereira as a decoy in the middle of the ice, drilled a bullet across the body of goaltender Phillippe Desrosiers for his eighteenth of the year.
But the Admirals bounced back to stick a dagger in the Royals’ heart with just 1:57 left in the second period when Scott Jacklin won a puck battle on the right half wall from two Royals and then was allowed to walk uncontested through the right circle where he drilled a snapper short side on Ouellette for his eighth of the year.
Norfolk tacked on two late in the third—Benik (his fourteenth) on a breakaway at 16:25 and Tommy Giroux on a deflection of a shot by defenseman Marc Hetnik 1:19 after that—but by that point the damage had been done as the Royals, who were credited with 38 shots, were kept pretty much to the perimeter down the stretch and really never threatened to get back into this one.
NEXT UP FOR THE ROYALS
SATURDAY, March 18, 2017
@ Norfolk Admirals
The Scope Arena – Norfolk, VA (7:15 pm)
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)
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