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Royals Sweep Mid-Season Series with Shutout Victory over Elmira, 3-0

Sunday, January 12th
Royals Sweep Mid-Season Series with Shutout Victory over Elmira, 3-0

Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (win, 19-12-1-0=39) 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 (loss, 10-19-2-2=24), 3-0, at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania.

The win—the third in three days over the Jackals—extended the Royals win streak to a season high four games. Goaltender Brandon Anderson (win, 8-6-1-0, 30/30) stopped everything he saw, including a number of Grade-A chances for the Jackals who poured it on down the stretch, particularly in an extended five-on-three power play sequence. Reading would get all they need when Brett Flemming bagged a back-hand mid-way into the first; but the team added two insurance markers, including a five-on-three power play goal of their own by Sean Wiles with just 1.3 seconds left in the second period.

After a scoreless first, Flemming opened the scoring 7:26 into the second period on a beautiful tic-tac-toe passing sequence. Sean Wiles gained the offensive zone wide on the right side and fired a tape-to-tape cross-ice bullet to Yannick Tifu, who in turn tapped off to the defenseman Flemming who had joined the rush and was charging down the middle. As Flemming prepared to fire a shot on the forehand, he was caught from behind by Elmira’s Mike Vaskivou, who disrupted the initial shot. But Flemming stayed with the play and was able to chip a back-hand up and over Scott Greenham (loss, 6-10-1-1, 29/32) for his second of the year.

Reading went up 2-0 with just 1.3 seconds left in the second period while playing with a two skater advantage. The Royals were on the late period power play after a boarding call on Elmira’s Troy Rutkowski was followed in short-order with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against Jordan Pietrus. With the clock down to 25 seconds left in the period, the Royals power play turned up the energy and unleashed a wild flurry, creating multiple scoring chances. The sequence ended just before the period did, when Ryan Cruthers slipped a pass from behind the Jackal net to the top of the crease, where Wiles had the inside track. He drilled it hot and hard over the catching hand of Greenham for his eighth of the year.

The Royals took a 3-0 lead 5:22 into the third when the Royals forced the puck into the offensive end and Aaron Gens tracked it down on the right wing wall. As all of the Elmira’s defenders focused on Gens, he threw a perfect pass to the low slot where a wide open and all alone Brandon Blandina finished with a highlight reel spin-a-rama backhand up and over Greenham for his second of the season.

That would be all the scoring in this one; but that’s all the Royals needed thanks in large part to an exceptional effort for Anderson, who won his fourth game in five days for the Reading this week and notched his second shutout of the season.

The Royals were unable to wear the special brown jerseys honoring the Hershey Bears tonight because of a concern that the color was too close to the dark blue jerseys being worn by the Jackals. For that reason, the sale of those special jerseys, which was scheduled for this evening, has been postponed until a time to be determined. More information on the sale of these jerseys will be forthcoming in the near future. The Royals apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause.

The Royals return to action on Friday (January 17 @ 7:05 pm) when the Toledo Walleye visit Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania. The Royals will induct Chris Bala into the Reading Eagle Wall of Honor that night, and the first 3000 fans will receive a commemorative poster of Chris courtesy of the Reading Eagle. 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. 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 4:35 pm on the Royals Broadcast Network.

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