Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (2-3-0-0=4) 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 Greenville Road Warriors (3-2-0-0=6), 3-1, at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania.
In a theme that has now played out in three consecutive home games, the Royals outshot and out-chanced the opposition only to fail to scored enough to get the two points. In those three games, Reading has only scored a total of four goals.
In this one, Reading scored first while playing short-handed in the second period, but the Road Warriors bagged a game-tying second period power play goal and then got what proved to be the game winner on a surprise snapper early in the third. Greenville added an empty netter in the Royals last ditch effort to tie in the waning moments.
After a scoreless first in which Reading outshot Greenville 10-6, the Royals broke through first with a short-handed blast by defenseman Brett Flemming 6:25 into the second period. T.J. Syner went streaking through neutral zone, carried deep into the offensive zone, and dropped to a trailing Flemming who stepped into the low slot and ripped a hot blast across the body of Greenville goaltender, Connor Knapp (win, 2-1-0-0, 32/33), for his first goal of the season.
Greenville tied the game 16:08 into the second period on the team’s fourth power play of the night. Michael Kantor tried to stuff the puck in at the left pipe. That effort was rejected, but the puck slid to the high slot where Brett Stamler settled off to the low right circle where a waiting Jordie Johnston ripped a one-time clapper from a sharp angle behind Royals’ goaltender Riley Gill (loss, 2-2-0-0, 20/22).
The Road Warriors got what proved to be the game winner 39 seconds into the third, after an offensive zone face-off led to a battle on the left half wall that was won by Andrew Rowe, who freed the puck to Josh Nicholls, who in turn tapped off towards Brandon Hynes high in the right circle. Hynes’ quick snapper may have deflected off a Royals’ stick high glove side on Gill for his first as a pro.
The Royals pushed down the stretch, particularly after pulling pulled the goaltender with 90 seconds left in regulation; but that strategy failed to produce the desired result—and instead hope evaporated when Johnston bagged an empty netter from 50 feet with 32.8 seconds left.
The Royals return to action on Friday (November 1), when the team travels to WesBanco Arena in Wheeling, West Virginia, to the Wheeling Nailers at 7:05 pm. The Royals game night broadcast on Friday kicks off at 6:35 pm with the Highmark Blue Shield Warm-Up Show on CBS Sports Radio in Reading (1240 am and 98.5 pm). Free internet streaming audio is also available on the Royals website. As with all Royals’ road games this season, Friday’s matchup in Wheeling will be televised locally in Berks County on BCTV courtesy of Boscov’s Travel and Apple Vacations.
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