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Royals Hit Pay Dirt Again in Fort Wayne, 5-1

Friday, December 20th
Royals Hit Pay Dirt Again in Fort Wayne, 5-1

Fort Wayne, IN – The Reading Royals (win, 11-9-1-0=23) 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 (loss, 10-9-1-3=24), 5-1, at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The Royals avenged a 7-2 loss to the Komets in Reading back on December 7, by scoring  first and never looking back. Reading exploded for three in the second and built a 5-0 lead early in the third before the Komets spoiled the shutout bid of goaltender Riley Gill, who earned the night’s first star. The Royals, who came into tonight’s contest riding a five game winless streak, won for the first time in regulation since November 22, when Reading defeated the Komets (4-2) here in Fort Wayne.

Reading snapped a streak of seven games giving up the first goal to the opposition on their second power play of the night. Nine seconds into that PP, it appeared as though it was Dustin Gazley who slipped a cross-crease pass from low on the right side that somehow got by goaltender (Cody Reichard, loss, 2-4-1-2, 25/30) and slid to the left side of the crease, where (once again) it appeared as if Ryan Cruthers stepped in and punched it home 16:34 into the first period. But the goal was actually credited to Louie Caporusso—his fifth of the season—with assists to Yannick Tifu and Marvin Degon.

The Royals opened it up in the second, getting what proved to be the game winner with a hot rocket out of the left circle by Michal Cajkovsky that blew by Reichard high to the glove circle for Cajkovsky’s second of the season 5:38 into the second. Defenseman Matt Campanale threaded his second of the season through a throng out in front of the Komet net 8:24 into the second frame to give Reading a 3-0 lead; and Domenic Monardo finished the scoring in the second frame, when he stepped out of the penalty box and took off on a 90 foot breakaway, which he finished with a perfect backhand-forehand-stuff for his team leading ninth of the year 11:09 into the second.

Reading blew it wide open 3:07 into the third, just as the team’s third power play chance of the night came to a conclusion. Matt Campanale gained possession deep on the left side and threw a 65 foot cross-ice pass directly to the tape of a waiting Yannick Tifu in the right circle. Tifu tapped a pass to the high slot to a waiting Dustin Gazely who drilled it behind Reichard for his sixth of the year.

Fort Wayne broke up the shutout bid of Riley Gill (win, 7-5-0-0, 26/27) 8:39 into the third, when Mike Vaskivuo got a wide open look from just above the hashmarks in the middle of the ice. Vaskivuo didn’t waste that chance, drilling it behind Gill for his fifth of the season. But Gill and the Royals held on from there to run the team’s road record to 6-2-1-0.

The Royals and Komets go at it again tomorrow (Saturday, December 21, 2013 @ 7:35 pm) at the Allen County War Memorial Arena. The game night broadcast on CBS Sports Radio 1240 am and 98.5 will kick off with the Highmark Blue Shield Warm-Up Show at 7:05 pm. As with all Royals road games, Saturday’s match-up against the Komets will be televised locally in Berks County, Pennsylvania on BCTV courtesy of Boscov’s Travel and Apple Vacations.

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