Evansville, Indiana – The Reading Royals (win, 25-15-1-0=51) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League and the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League, defeated the Evansville Icemen (loss, 21-12-3-5= 50), 2-1, at Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana.
Reading got a couple of big early stops from goaltender Riley Gill (win, 11-8-0-0, 39/40) and then scored on the team’s first shot of the game to take an early lead. But Evansville wasn’t phased in the least, continuing a strong attack that resulted in a tying goal in relative short-order. Reading countered with a power play goal to regain the lead half-way into the first; and from that point forward, it became a goaltender’s dual with Gill putting on a clinic that was certainly worthy of the game’s first star. With the win, Reading finished the team’s season-long six game road trip 3-3-0-0.
1:47 into the first, the Royals scored on the team’s first shot, when Ethan Cox sent one fluttering from the high slot that somehow eluded goaltender Mike Clemente (loss, 13-5-0-4, 22/24) for Cox’s eighth of the season.
7:33 into the first, Matt Lowry answered for the Icemen with a similar shot from the perimeter—this one from the top of the left circle that slipped under the catching glove of Gill for his eighth of the year.
Reading got what proved to be the game winner 10:21 into the first on the team’s first power play chance of the season against Evansville. Marvin Degon carried deep down the right wing side into the offensive zone and slipped a perfect pass to the low right slot where a charging Sean Wiles angled it up and over the catching had of Clemente for his eleventh of the year.
From there, the two teams traded chances, several golden ones coming on three third period power play chances for the Icemen when Gill was at his absolute best, making several huge pipe-to-pipe saves to preserve the victory for the Royals.
The Royals return to action on Saturday (February 8 @ 7:05 pm) when the Wheeling Nailers will visit Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania, and the Royals will honor the Animal Rescue League of Berks County, Inc., with an appearance from wrestling legend George ‘The Animal’ Steele. That night, the Royals will also host the Saturday Night Shoot for Cash presented by Diamond Credit Union. 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 ET on the Royals Broadcast Network.
End 14 02-01