Kalamazoo, MI – The Reading Royals (win, 6-4-0-0=12) 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 Kalamazoo Wings (3-4-0-1=7), 2-1, Wings Stadium in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Reading scored first and took a 1-0 lead to the third period, but gave up an early short-handed goal and a late deflection to fall for the first time this season out on the road (3-1-0-0).
After a scoreless first which featured 52 seconds of 5-on-3 penalty kill, the Royals struck first for the ninth time this season in the ten games played. Bryant Molle chipped the puck to a breaking Yannick Tifu, who carried deep down the right wing side and fired a hard snap shot across the body of goaltender Jordan Binnington (win, 2-2-0-0, 27/28). For Tifu, that was his first goal of the season.
Reading started the third period with 3:48 of power play opportunity due to a double minor assessed to Kalamazoo’s Jeremie Blain late in the second period. But that chance back-fired 1:33 into the period when Eric Kattelus out-battled several Royals, dug the puck off the end wall, and fed the unguarded Yanni Gourde in front of the Royals’ net. Gourde outwaited Brandon Anderson (loss, 2-2-0-0, 16/18) and back-handed the puck home for his third of the year.
Kalamazoo got the game winner with 4:15 left in regulation on a beautiful high deflection by Sebastian Wannstrom. Mike Matczak fired from the high slot. Wannstrom re-directed the puck, which was about 18 inches off the ice, back against the grain on Anderson for his first in the ECHL.
Reading pressed down the stretch and got at least two good looks to tie things; but weren’t able to find pay-dirt, snapping a four game win streak.
Reading returns to action on Sunday (November 17 @ 5:15 pm), when the team will travel to Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio, to face the Toledo Walleye for the first time this season. Friday’s game night broadcast on CBS Sports Radio in Reading (1240 am and 98.5 fm) will kick off at 4:45 pm with the pre-game warm-up show presented by Highmark Blue Shield. Friday’s game, as with all Royals’ road games this season, will be televised locally in Berks County, Pennsylvania, on BCTV courtesy of Boscov’s Travel and Apple Vacations.
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