Teams Per: 1 2 3
SC: 1 2 2=5
REA: 1 2 1=4
SC: 25-19-2-1=53 (T-3, South Division)
REA: 28-15-1-2=59 (2, North Division)
SC: Carlson (win, 7-8-1-1) (26/30) (59:51)
REA: Ouellette (loss) (11-6-0-1) (25/30) (58:18)
Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (loss, 28-15-1-2=59) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, were defeated by the South Carolina Stingrays (win, 25-19-2-1=53), 5-4, at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania.
In the only game of the regular season between the two top defensive teams in the league (going into the game, at least), the Royals and Stingrays would combine for nine goals with Reading battling back to tie from three separate deficits at 1-0, 2-1, and 4-3—and even holding a lead for a bit at 3-2. But the Royals unable to find the equalizer a fourth time after South Carolina took what proved to be a decisive 5-4 lead mid-way into the final frame. The loss snapped a six game winning (and seven game unbeaten) streak for the Royals, who fell back to thirteen games over .500 after forty-six played.
The Stingrays had the early jump and kept the Royals pinned in the defensive zone for much of the early going before South Carolina started the scoring with a beautiful fly-by deflection by former Royal Dominic Monardo, who redirected a snap shot by Colton Saucerman from the right point up and over the catching glove of goaltender Martin Ouellette for his fifth of the year 11:25 into the first.
Reading tied the game at one 13:59 into the first—eighteen seconds after the Royals’ Matt Willows was knocked out of the game with an apparent hit to the head. Defenseman Florian Iberer threaded a perfect blue-line to blue-line stretch pass to Justin Crandall, who took the puck at the offensive blue-line on the fly and broke behind the Stingray defense for a clean charge down the middle. Crandall laid down a beautiful forehand-backhand move roofing the puck up and over goaltender Adam Carlson for his sixteenth of the year.
South Carolina gained their second lead of the game at 2-1 5:28 into the second frame on another deflection. This one came on a shot from the left point by Wade Epp that went off the body of Tim McGauley, causing the puck to flutter by Ouellette for McGauley’s third of the year.
Reading re-tied the game at two 13:24 into the second eleven seconds after the conclusion of the Royals’ second power play chance when Mike Marcou, playing in his first game after missing twenty-eight straight games on the injured reserve, slipped a puck from below the goal-line to a waiting Matt Wilkins, who was pretty much wide open at the right side of the crease, where he quickly chipped the puck across the body and by Carlson for his ninth of the year.
Ten seconds later, the Royals took their only lead of the game (at 3-2) when a Carlson got caught playing the puck behind the Stingray net, and Steven Swavely picked off an attempted pass by the goaltender. Swavely slipped the puck from below the goal line back out in front of the South Carolina net where Tyrell Goulbourne stepped up for a quick swipe into the unguarded net for his fifth of the year.
However, the Stingrays bounced back to re-tire (at three) the game with just 24.9 seconds left in the second frame—eight seconds after the conclusion of South Carolina’s second power play chance of the game. A failed clear from the defensive zone by Reading after a successful kill resulted in a steal by Max Nicastro at the left point. He quickly fired a pass to Monardo at the left side of the slot, and Monardo in turn slid the puck cross-crease to a waiting McGauley who roofed his second of the game.
The Stingrays bagged their third lead of the game 3:01 into the third period, when Reading failed to get the puck deep into the offensive zone just outside the offensive blue-line. Instead the dump-in attempt was blocked by Monardo, who was able to pick up the loose puck in the neutral zone and carry into the offensive end, where he fired a hot snapper from the right circle that clanked the right pipe—and then the left pipe—and then ricocheted to the top of the crease where Andrew Cherniwchan stepped up for an easy tap in and his fourth goal of the year.
Reading bounced back to re-tie the game for the fourth time (at four) when Mike Pereira, playing in his first game since spending 21 games on the injured reserve, forced his way out of the right corner and into the right circle where he snapped the puck through Carlson for his ninth goal of the year 9:03 into the final frame.
But, undaunted, the Stingrays came back 1:18 later to bag a long-range snapper of their own, which proved to be the game winner. On this one, John Parker took the puck off the left half wall, looping to the top of the left circle where he threw the puck through heavy traffic that buzzed by the catching glove of Ouellette for his ninth of the year.
From there, the Royals turned up the come-back jets but came up empty, despite a late game power play chance—and a wild scramble in the crease on the final buzzer that ended the game before Reading was able to force the equalizer off the goal line.
NEXT UP FOR THE ROYALS
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2017
v NORFOLK ADMIRALS
Santander Arena – Reading, PA (7:00 pm)
SPECIAL OLYMPICS NIGHT
“Shake, Shiver & Freeze”
Fans Encouraged to bring a Bathing Suit and Towel
to take an Indoor “Polar Bear Plunge”!
First 2500 Fans Get a Yannick Tifu Bobblehead
Courtesy of Reading Health System
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.J. 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)
End 17 02-09