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Royals Season Ends in Elmira, 4-2

Monday, April 9th
Royals Season Ends in Elmira, 4-2

Jackals Hold Off Reading’s Third Period Charge to Take Decisive Game Five

Elmira, NY – The Reading Royals of the ECHL (2-3-0), affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League and the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League, were defeated by the Elmira Jackals (3-2-0), 4-2, in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal playoff series at First Arena in Elmira, New York. The Jackals scored first and bounced back after Reading tied the game twice in the third to win for the third consecutive game and take the decisive Game Five on home ice. The loss ends the 2011-12 season for the Royals—the eleventh year of pro hockey in Reading.

Mark Owuya (2-3-0, 29/32, 1 eng) sustained his third consecutive playoff loss for Reading; while Elmira’s Brian Stewart (3-1-0, 25/27) registered his third straight win. Each team got three chances with the man advantage; but neither team was able to break through on the power play. In fact, despite winning the series, the Jackals did not score a single PPG against Reading in the five games (0-12).

Elmira struck 11:45 into the first when Jean Bourbeau walked off the end wall, battled his way to the right side of the crease, and got off two whacks at a back-hand, forcing it through Owuya with his second whack for his first of the playoff season.

After a scoreless second—and seven consecutive scoreless periods for the Royals—Reading tied the game at one 1:54 into the third, when Denny Urban fired a snap wrister from the right point that hit the right pipe and went around-the-horn-and-in for his first of the playoff season.

Elmira bounced back however to re-take the lead at 2-1 7:20 into the third, when Dustin Gazely dug one off the end wall and fired a perfect behind-the-back pass to the top of the crease, where a driving Artem Demkov was able to drive it behind Owuya for his second of the playoff season.

Undaunted, the Royals re-tied the game six minutes later, when Dale Mitchell and Ethan Cox out-battled the Jackals for a loose puck behind their net. Mitchell slid the puck out front to the mid-slot where Yannick Tifu was wide open for a back-hand that he drilled behind Stewart for his second of the playoff season.

But, once again, the Jackals bounced back to re-gain the one-goal lead when a loose puck got behind the Reading defenders and Elmira’s Corey Cowick out-raced everyone for it. Cowick fired from deep in the right circle. Owuya got a chunk of the puck with his right arm, but not enough to keep out what proved to be the game winner.

With ninety-two seconds left the Royals pulled the goaltender for one more last gasp effort, but the Jackals doused those hopes—and the Royals 2011-12 season—with an empty netter by Cowick with fifty-two seconds left.