Fort Wayne, IN – The Reading Royals (win, 9-4-0-0=18) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League and the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League, defeated the Fort Wayne Komets (5-5-0-2=12), 4-2, at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Reading scored first and built a two goal lead which the team was able to hold to the final buzzer, despite a spirited counter-punch from the Fort Wayne Komets, who drew within one on two occasions, but a late power play goal by Aaron Gens regained the two goal cushion and breathing space
For the eleventh time in thirteen games, Reading struck first when Ethan Cox, floating eight feet off the top of the crease, re-directed a Tyler Ruegsegger shot from the top of the right circle behind goaltender Andrey Makarov (loss, 5-3-0-0, 20/24) for Cox’s first of the year.
Forty-seven seconds later, Reading took a 2-0 lead when Domenic Monardo slid a perfect saucer to Yannick Tifu, who carried down the gut and fired ten feet above the hash-marks high glove for his third of the year.
Fort Wayne counter-punched nineteen seconds later. Brandon Marino dug one off the left half-wall and set it on a tee for Chris Auger, who drilled a hot rocket high, short-side on Brandon Anderson (win, 3-2-0-0, 25/27) for his seventh of the year.
Reading took the two goal lead back 11:24 into the second when Louie Caporusso back-handed a perfect cross-slot flat pass for defenseman Aaron Gens who stepped off the left point and rocketed his second of the year by Makaraov.
Early in the third, Fort Wayne drew back within one off the rush when Mickey Lang slipped a set up pass in the left circle for a charging Mike Vaskivuo, who gunned a bullet behind Anderson for his third of the year 2:57 into the final period.
But Reading responded with a similar marker on the team’s fifth and final power play chance of the night. Once again, it was Caporusso who would make the perfect pass to a driving Aaron Gens who (once again) ripped a one-time rocket out of the left circle for his second of the game and third of the year.
Fort Wayne pushed down the stretch and created several quality chances—one of which from Nick Tuzzolino clanged off the left pipe—but the Royals and Anderson held strong and poised for the team’s fifth road win in six tries (5-1-0-0).
The Royals return to action tomorrow night (Saturday, November 23 @ 7:35 pm) when the team travels to US Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio, to take on the Cincinnati Cyclones for the first time this season. The pre-game warm-up show presented by Highmark Blue Shield will kick off at 7:05 pm on CBS Sports Radio 1240 am and 98.5 fm. As with all Royals’ road games, Saturday’s game will be televised locally in Berks County Pennsylvania on BCTV courtesy of Boscov’s Travel and Apple Vacations.
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