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Royals Come From Behind to Win Game Three in Stockton, 3-1

Wednesday, May 22nd
Royals Come From Behind to Win Game Three in Stockton, 3-1

Yannick Tifu Scores a Pair—Including a Third Period Tie-Breaking Game Winner—To Give Reading a Three Games to None Lead in FinalsStockton, CA– The Reading Royals of the ECHL, affiliate of the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League and the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League, defeated the Stockton Thunder, 3-1, in Game Three of the best-of-seven Kelly Cup Championship Final match-up between the Royals and Thunder at Stockton Arena in Stockton, California. The Royals, who lead the Final Series three games to none, take on the Thunder in Game Four on Friday (May 24) at 10:30 pm eastern time. Reading fell behind in the first, but battled back to gain a 1-1 tie after one—and held that position through a scoreless second; and for the fifth time in the post season (5-0-0) and the seventeenth time this year (17-2-1-0), Reading pulled out the win when entering the third tied with the opposition—this time on the second goal of the night (a tie-breaking game winner) by the team’s captain, Yannick Tifu. For the first time in the series, Stockton struck first 8:37 into the opening frame while the teams were playing four aside. Defenseman Mike Little sprang Harrison Reed, who split the Royals defenders at the offensive blue line, on a clean breakaway. Reed froze Riley Gill (win, 12-2-1, 28/29) with a solid forehand-backhand move and finished for his ninth of the playoff season. Reading tied things up 11:18 into the first. A counter-punch odd-man rush started by Ethan Cox hit pay dirt when T.J. Syner slipped a perfect saucer from the right circle to a spot low in the left circle, where a charging Yannick Tifu ripped it by Olivier Roy (loss, 12-7-2, 20/22) for his eleventh of the year. After a scoreless second, during which Stockton outshot Reading 13-6 (and had several golden scoring chances—particularly on the power play), the Royals got what proved to be the game winner on a carbon copy of their first goal of the game. Again it was Syner who picked off a pass in the Royals’ defensive zone and broke hard through the neutral area. He blew by everyone, carried down the right wing side into the offensive zone and slipped a perfect cross-ice saucer to the charging Tifu, who buried his twelfth of the playoffs—and his league leading fifth game winning goal of the post season. After weathering a strong late push by the Thunder, Reading iced things with 6.6 seconds left on an empty netter by Kirk MacDonald. The Royals and Thunder play Game Four of the best-of-seven Kelly Cup Championship Finals on Friday (May 24 @ 10:30 pm eastern time) at Stockton Arena in Stockton, California. Friday’s game night broadcast on CBS Sports Radio 1240 am and 98.5 fm will kick off with the pre-game warm-up show presented by Steve Moyer Subaru at 10:00 pm eastern time. As with all Royals road games, Friday’s game will be televised locally in Berks County, Pennsylvania, on BCTV courtesy of Boscov’s Travel and Apple Vacations. Ticket information for the ECHL’s Kelly Cup Championship Finals matchup between the Reading Royals and the Stockton Thunder can be obtained by calling the Royals office (610-898-PUCK) or by logging onto the Royals website: www.royalshockey.com. KELLY CUP CHAMPIONSHIP FINALSReading Royals v Stockton Thunder READING LEADS SERIES THREE GAMES TO NONEGame One: Reading 6 – Stockton 5 OT (Sovereign Center, Reading PA)Game Two: Reading 4 – Stockton 0 (Sovereign Center, Reading, PA)Game Three: Reading 3 – Stockton 1 (Stockton Arena, Stockton, CA)Game Four: Friday, May 24 (10:30 pm et) at Stockton Arena, Stockton, CAGame Five (IF NECESSARY): Saturday, May 25 (10:30 pm et) at Stockton Arena, Stockton, CAGame Six (IF NECESSARY): Tuesday, May 28 (7:05 pm) at Sovereign Center, Reading, PAGame Seven (IF NECESSARY): Wednesday, May 29 (7:05 pm) at Sovereign Center, Reading, PA