Manchester, NH – Jordan Smotherman potted the game-winning strike with 5:52 remaining in the second overtime to give the Monarchs a 3-2 victory in Game 2 of the North Division Semifinals Saturday at SNHU Arena. John Muse made 53 saves for the Royals, the second straight game he’s had at least 50. The Monarchs lead, 2-0, in the best-of-seven series. Both of Manchester’s wins have been in double overtime.
Driving the right post, Smotherman flicked it to Muse and ran into him. With a body laying on top of Muse, the netminder pounced on it. Play resumed and Smotherman jammed it in for his first playoff goal.
Muse completed the game with more than 50 saves for the second straight game. Friday, Muse made a professional-best 54 saves and the Royals fell, 3-2.
Charles Williams stymied Reading with 39 saves. The Monarchs outshot Reading, 56-41.
The Royals scored on their first shot, a short-handed, unassisted strike from Adam Schmidt at 6:32 of the first. The Monarchs scored two goals in the last half of the second for their first lead. With 2:22 left in the second, Matt Willows tied the game with a power-play goal. Reading went 1-for-2 on the man up and Manchester was 1-for-3.
The Royals host Game 3 of the North Division Semifinals Monday at 7:00 p.m. Game 4 is Wed., Apr. 18 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are on sale at Royalshockey.com or calling 610-898-7825. The Royals ticket office will be open from 12:00-4:00 p.m. tomorrow for fans interested in purchasing tickets.
Schmidt intercepted a misfired puck at the red line and opening the scoring on a short-handed breakaway 6:32 into the first period. Eyeing an opening at the top-right shelf, Schmidt fired it over the glove of Williams on a thirty-foot rip from the left slot. The Royals were the second team to net a short-handed goal in the 2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs. Schmidt led Reading with three short-handed markers in the regular season.
Manchester knocked in a pair of goals in a 2:15 span to take a 2-1 lead in the middle frame. First, Michael Doherty banged in a rebound from the right post that struck Muse’s upper body. The goal came with 8:47 remaining in the middle frame Colton Saucerman took the initial right point shot that Muse rejected. Next, David Kolomatis entered the zone on the right side and beat Muse low. The goaltender Williams earned the power play assist.
Reading struck back on Willows’ first goal of the playoffs. Chris McCarthy waggled the puck to the Monarchs’ left post on a man-up rush chance. With 2:22 to go in the middle frame, Willows snuck it through Williams’ legs. Initially, referees waved the goal off, unsure if it crossed the goal line. After a convention in the officials’ crease, the play was overturned and the Royals tied the game on Willows’ first of the postseason. Matt Wilkins netted the primary helper. Last postseason, Willows had a goal and three points for Reading in six games.
Shots were 39-21 Monarchs headed to the extra session.
With fewer than five minutes remaining the first overtime, Willows was awarded a penalty shot. Steaming between the circles, he shot it off Williams’ blocker, keeping the game tied headed to the second overtime.
The Royals outshot Manchester, 13-9, in the first overtime.
Game 1 at Manchester: Monarchs 3, Royals 2 (2 OT)
Game 2 at Manchester: Monarchs 3, Royals 2 (2 OT)
Game 3 vs. Manchester: Mon, Apr. 16, 7:00 p.m., Santander Arena
Game 4 vs. Manchester: Wed, Apr. 18, 7:00 p.m., Santander Arena
Game 5 vs. Manchester (if necessary): Thu, Apr. 19, 7:00 p.m., Santander Arena
Game 6 at Manchester (if necessary): Sat, Apr. 21, 3:00 p.m.
Game 7 at Manchester (if necessary): Tue, Apr. 24, 7:00 p.m.
2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs Tickets On Sale
the Royals return to Reading for Game 3, Game 4 and Game 5 (if necessary) at Santander Arena. Game 3 is Mon., Apr. 16, Game 4 is Wed., Apr. 18 and Game 5 is Thurs., Apr. 19 (if necessary). All playoff games at Santander Arena begin at 7:00 p.m. and tickets are available here.
The Reading Royals will continue to collect donations and raise money for those affected by the Humboldt Broncos’ tragedy for Reading’s first two home playoff games Mon., Apr. 16 and Wed., Apr. 18 at 7:00 p.m. Proceeds from tickets purchased at this link or by calling 610-898-7825 will go to the families and others affected.
Tickets are now available for the Royals’ home playoff games by calling 610-898-7825. The Royals are offering 5 playoff vouchers starting at $85. Use the five vouchers at any home playoff games. The team is also providing curbside ticket service; call 610-898-7825 and a Royals ticket staff member will provide you with your tickets outside the Lion’s Den Team Store at the corner of 8th Ave. and Penn St.
Miniplans available for 2018-19!
Call 610-898-7825 to learn more about 9, 12 and 18 game mini-plans for the 2018-19 season!
2018-19 season tickets now available
Top full-season benefits include: exclusive Reading Hockey Club per seat gift, discounted rate off regular ticket prices, ticket exchange, preseason meet and greet, exclusive season ticket holder events, advanced entry and a chance to win and the Royals Owner’s Suite for a game. Call 610-898-7825 and visit to join the Royals family or renew season tickets for the 2018-19 season. Visit royalshockey.com/tickets/season-tickets to learn more.
About the Royals
The Royals have been owned by serial entrepreneur Jack Gulati since 2014 and are in their 17th ECHL season. Proudly affiliated with the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers and AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms, Reading plays in the Santander Arena, located in downtown Reading, PA at 700 Penn Street. The Royals won the Kelly Cup in 2013, have made the playoffs in eight straight seasons and are four-time division champions.
All Royals game can be heard on Rumba 1340 AM and the iHeartRadio app by searching “Rumba 1340”. The pregame show starts 15 minutes before puck drop. Watch Royals games on ECHL.tv. Reading away games are shown locally on BCTV, channel 15 Comcast, channel 19 Service Electric.