Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (win, 28-17-1-0=57) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League and the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League, defeated the Evansville Icemen (loss, 22-16-3-5= 52), 4-1, at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania.
The Royals remained ‘perfect in pink’ as the team won for the seventh consecutive year in the team’s annual Pink in the Rink game. This year, Reading struck first and built a 3-0 lead in the third period before the Icemen broke through. The Royals answered with a power play goal to regain a three goal advantage, which seemed to ignite a nasty edge to the game, which exploded into a wild fracas—and a goalie fight—with 3:57 left in regulation. Although 92 penalty minutes were assessed in the third, things settled enough to allow the Royals to finish things out with the third win of the year against Evansville (3-0-0-0).
After a scoreless and somewhat conservative first period, the Royals broke through 7:05 into the second period, when defenseman Marvin Degon sliced through the slot and dished a back-door saucer to the top of the crease on the right side, where Domenic Monardo slipped in for an easy slam dunk and his team-leading fourteenth of the year.
Reading got what proved to be the eventual game winner 8:13 into the third, when Kevin Walrod sprang Mondardo on the charge into the offensive zone. Monardo carried down the left side, cut to the middle, and ripped a bullet high short-side on goaltender Mike Clemente (14-8-0-4) for his second of the night and fifteenth of the night.
1:13 later, the Royals took a 3-0 lead on a driving transition rush into the offensive zone. T.J. Syner carried deep down the left wing side and drilled a hot cross-crease pass to the right side of the slot where a charging Sean Wiles finished off the weak side for his thirteenth of the year.
Evansville bounced back 36 seconds later off the rush, when Jeremy Langlois slipped through the Reading defenders, a fired a challenging shot on net. That bid was rejected by goaltender Brandon Anderson (win, 14-7-1-0, 22/23 in 55:39), but the rebound fell to the top of the crease, where Kellin Tochkin beat everyone to the loose puck and batted it home for his fourth of the year.
Reading regained the three goal advantage with a power play goal with 6:10 remaining in regulation. Marvin Degon cut around the Icemen net and shot forced one out front from below the goal-line. The puck ricocheted off the skate of an Evansville defender and into the net for his fifth of the year.
2:53 after that, things exploded into a messy scrum, which included Anderson charging across the center red line and challenging Evansville’s Clemente to a tilt. After a moment of hesitancy, the two goalies dropped the gear and went at it, resulting in several penalties—including matching game misconducts for each of the goalies—of the many infractions assessed in the final frame.
Goaltender Riley Gill came on at that point for the Royals and had to come up with five big saves against the power play of Evansville, who was awarded back-to-back chances with the man advantage as a result of the multi-player fracas. Gill held down the fort, but the win would go to Anderson, who has recorded the ‘W’ in ten of his last eleven decisions with Reading.
Reading and Evansville go at it again tomorrow (Sunday, February 16 @ 4:05 pm) at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania. The first 1000 kids tomorrow get a Zamboni Bank courtesy of Metro Bank. It is also a Berks Packing Dollar Day, in which fans can get dollar hot dogs, soda, popcorn and nachos, and a Royals Kids’ Club day. The game night broadcast on CBS Sports Radio 1240 am and 98.5 will kick off with the Highmark Blue Shield Warm-Up Show at 3:35 pm ET on the Royals Broadcast Network..
End 14 02-15