Cincinnati, OH – The Reading Royals (loss, 15-12-1-0=31) 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 Cincinnati Cyclones (win, 20-9-1-1=42), 6-2, at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio.
For the third straight game, the Royals gave up a goal shortly after the opening face-off and, in this one, found themselves trailing by three after the first period. Cincinnati bagged a pair of power play goals in the second to build the lead to 5-0 before Reading was finally able to break through on goaltender Joe Howe (win, 5-0-1-0, 31/33) with a power play goal late in the second. The Royals made the pulse race a bit with a goal with just 9.9 seconds left in the second; but that would be it, as the Cyclones held the Royals at bay in the third and handed Reading back-to-back regulation losses on the road for the first time this year.
Cincinnati made the stuffed animals rain on the Teddy Bear Toss night in front of 13,237 forty-two seconds after the opening faceoff on their third shot of the game. Dan Eves, who had control on the left wing side, found Trevor Lewis cutting down the slot for a perfect one-timer from 21 feet that blitzed by goaltender Brandon Anderson (loss, 4-6-1-0, 6/9 in 17:09) for his fifth of the year.
The Cyclones took a 2-0 lead on Lewis’ second in a row. He cut down the slot right-to-left and fired from twenty-five feet low stick on Anderson 8:21 after the opening face-off.
Cincinnati built the lead to 3-0 and chased Anderson with a rocket off the stick of Jack Combs, who fired off the rush from outside the dot of the left circle across the body of the Royals’ netminder high glove side for his first of what would be two on the night 17:09 into the first. Royals’ goaltender Josh Watson took over at that point (no decision, 18/21 in 42:51).
The lead was pushed to 4-0 with Cincinnati’s first power play goal on home ice this season (in their 51st opportunity with the man advantage at U.S. Bank Arena). Combs hit Adam Brace with a pass at the right side of the Royals’ net. Brace spun and forced his way towards the blue paint and slid the puck under Watson and across the crease, where Paul Crowder stepped up and tapped it home for his ninth of the season.
The Cyclones capitalized on their next power play, as well. On this one, Combs came down the middle, fired a shot that was blocked right back to his stick. The second shot by Combs wasn’t blocked. It went through everyone and under goaltender Watson for his ninth of the year.
Reading broke through 18:40 into the second period on the team’s fourth power play chance of the game, when Sean Wiles found a wide open and all alone Marvin Degon, who slid in from the right point, in the mid-slot. Degon stepped up and ripped it high blocker on Howe for his second of the year.
The Royals gave everyone pause to think when they struck with just 9.9 seconds left in the second when Domenic Monardo stepped across the offensive blue line and uncorked a bomb over the right arm of Howe for his tenth of the year.
The Cyclones add one in the third on a blast from just inside the offensive blue line of their own, when Anthony Luciani, drilled one through Watson for his eighth of the year with just 4:22 left in regulation. But by that time the damage had been done, as the Cyclones kept the Royals attack at bay and dropped Reading’s record against teams from the North to 5-7-0-0.
The Royals return home to take on the Wheeling Nailers at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday, January 8 (7:05 pm). That night, fans can take advantage of the Steak-umm Burger Meal and Ticket Deal where $20.00 gets you a purple zone ticket, a Steak-Umm Burger, fries and a large soda. 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 6:35 pm on the Royals Broadcast Network.
End 14 01-04