Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (win, 10-5-0-0=20) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League and the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League, defeated the Elmira Jackals (4-9-0-2=10), 4-3, in a shootout at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania.
Despite getting significantly outshot and (at many moments) outplayed, the Royals were able to build a two goal lead mid-way into the third period—thanks in large part to the play of goaltender Brandon Anderson—only to have the Jackals mount a late-game comeback and get the game beyond regulation time. The Royals had several golden chances to end things in OT, but had to go to the shootout to end up extending the team’s home win streak to four straight.
Elmira came out storming and struck first 9:52 into the game, when a defensive zone turnover led to a blast out of the left circle that deflected off a Reading stick and ricocheted bar-and-in on Anderson (win, 4-2-0-0, 34/37 in 65:00; 4/5 in shootout), who had already made several spectacular saves to that point of the game.
Reading tied the game on the team’s first chance with the man advantage. Thirty seconds into the power play, Aaron Gens took control at the right point and fed Louie Caporusso, who would end the night with three assists (and score on his attempt in the shootout). Caporusso fired a low shot that Elmira’s goaltender, Scott Greenham (sol, 4-5-0-2, 21/24 in 65:00; 3/5 in shootout), kicked out with the right pad. The rebound bounced directly to Domenic Monardo, who punched it home for his team-leading seventh goal of the year 12:29 into the first period.
The Royals took a 2-1 lead 17 seconds into the second period, when Caporusso won an offensive zone face-off and T.J. Syner forced the puck towards the hash-marks, where a waiting Monardo drilled his second of the game (and eighth of the season) across the body of Greenham and in.
Reading built a two goal lead (3-1) 8:59 into the third, when Mondardo sprang Syner for a break into the offensive zone. Syner charged the Elmira net and slipped the puck under Greenham, who originally looked like he made the save, but couldn’t keep the puck above the goal-line when a back-checking Elmira defender took a swipe at the loose puck and appeared to punch it across the goal line.
Elmira’s comeback started 12:31 into the third, when Matt Carter stepped out of the penalty box and was sprung on a clear breakaway on a long stretch pass by Jordan Pietrus. Carter drilled a perfect snap shot over the catching glove of Anderson for his fourth of the year.
The Jackals tied the game at three, when Maxim Lamarche carried deep down the right wing side and slipped a cross-slot pass that found a wide-open Pietrus in the left circle. Pietrus’ one-timer found paydirt for his second of the season with just 2:04 remaining in regulation.
Both teams had several grade-A chances late in regulation and through the overtime session—including two late breakaways for the Royals in OT; but no one was able to find the back of the net, so the two teams headed to the shootout, where the Royals would win for the third time in three tries this season. Elmira’s Carter, shooting second for the Jackals, scored on his shot; but Anderson was perfect after that, while the Royals got shootout goals from Caporusso and Syner, shooting fourth and fifth (respectively) to pull out the win.
The Royals return to action on Friday (November 29 @ 7:05 pm) when the team will face the Cincinnati Cyclones at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania. The first 2000 fans fifteen years of age and older will receive a Royals’ Championship Flag courtesy of Metro Bank. Also, the first 2500 fans eighteen years of age and older will receive a lottery ticket courtesy of the Pennsylvania Lottery. Friday’s game is also Mama Lucia Royal Feast Friday, which features an all-you-can-eat buffet. More information on the ticket and meal deal is available at 610-898-7825. After the game on Friday, there will be a ‘I Hate Turkey’ Pizza Shoot courtesy of Little Caesars in Sinking Spring. The pre-game warm-up show on Friday presented by Highmark Blue Shield will kick off at 6:35 pm on CBS Sports Radio 1240 am and 98.5 fm on the Royals Broadcast Network presented by Boscov’s Travel and Apple Vacations.
End 13 11-27