Elmira, NY – 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, were defeated by the Elmira Jackals, 3-1, in the pre-season finale at First Arena in Elmira, New York. The Royals ended the pre-season 1-1-0-0.
Reading got an early power play goal from Stanislav Galiev, but Elmira and goaltender Maxime Clermont (win, 1-0-0-0, 29/30) held strong long enough to give his teammates an opportunity to pull out the comeback, despite solid netminding from Brandon Anderson (loss, 0-1-0-0, 22/24, 1 eng) in his first appearance of the pre-season.
The Royals struck 1:42 in—fourteen seconds into the team’s first power play chance of the night—on a picture perfect set up. Louie Caporusso passed to T.J. Syner below the goal line on the right side. Syner fired a perfect cross-crease pass to a waiting Galiev in the left circle. Galiev ripped the one-timer for his first of the pre-season.
Elmira tied the game at one 12:18 into the second period while the two teams were playing four aside. When a Reading defender got caught trying to make a play in the offensive zone, the Jackals stole and Zach McCullough flew down the left wing deep into the Royals’ zone. McCullough fired a hard pass from left corner to the top of the crease, where a charging Jordan Pietrus re-directed it home for his first of the pre-season.
The Jackals picked up what proved to be the third period tie-breaking game winner 7:12 into the final frame on a disputed play. After a flurry of scoring chances for Reading, Elmira blew the zone on a two-on-one. Justin Gvora fired out of the right circle. Anderson got it with the cuff of the glove, but the puck fluttered up and over his head, landing behind him before he could find it. A crashing Michael Beaudry forced it home just as the net was dislodged by the hounding Jackals, and it was ruled a good goal.
The Royals pushed late and appeared to tie the game on a multi-shot rebound flurry with the sixth attacker on the ice; but, despite the puck crossing the goal line, the referee determined that Clermont had been forced into the net with the puck. Elmira added a late empty netter to ice things.
The Royals kick off the defense of the team’s 2013 Kelly Cup Championship on Saturday, October 19, 2013, (7:35 pm), at the Sovereign Center in Reading, Pennsylvania, with the 2013-14 season opener against the South Carolina Stingrays. The Royals also face the Stingrays on Sunday, October 20 (4:05 pm) in Game Two of Opening Weekend. Season Tickets for the 2013-14 Reading Royals are currently available. Call 610-898-7825 or visit www.royalshockey.com for more information.
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