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Royals Come Back With a Flurry and Fury to Beat Orlando, 6-2

Wednesday, April 2nd
Royals Come Back With a Flurry and Fury to Beat Orlando, 6-2

Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (win, 43-21-2-1=89) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League and the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League, defeated the Orlando Solar Bears (loss, 40-23-2-2= 84), ­­­­­­­­­­­­6-2, at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania.

For virtually the first two thirds of the game, Reading trailed the Solar Bears, but exploded for five goals in a span of 7:35 starting late in the second period to pull away and stretch the team’s unbeaten streak on home ice to ten (9-0-1-0). Reading got a pair of goals from Greg Wolfe and Kevin Walrod, who recorded his second game winner in a span of three games, to pull out the team’s seventeenth come-from-behind win of the year. With the victory, the Royals, who scored five third period goals on just seven shots, captured the Atlantic Division Title for the second consecutive season. This marks the fourth time in team history that Reading has won its Division—three of which have come under Head Coach Larry Courville.

The Solar Bears struck first when Jacob Cepis, the reigning ECHL Player of the Month, dropped a behind the back pass at the offensive blue line to Mickey Lang, who carried down the left wing side deep into the left circle and fired a hard snap shot that appeared to deflect off the stick of a Reading defender and go over the catching glove of Riley Gill (win, 19-12-1-1, 26/28) for his league leading forty-fourth of the season 11:10 into the first period.

Orlando stretched their lead to 2-0 13:51 into the second period on a sharp angle back-hand by Tyler Murovich, who found himself wide open at the left side of the Royals’ crease and didn’t waste the chance with a beautiful shot over the catching glove of Gill.

Reading finally broke through 18:43 into the second period when Jesse Todd, who stretched his personal point streak to seven games (5g-4a=9pts), fired a shot from the mid slot. Goaltender Maxime Clermont (loss, 8-11-0-1, 17/23) made the save but the rebound fell to the blue paint where a crashing Greg Wolfe, playing in his second game as a pro, scored his first goal in the professional ranks.

The Royals’ third period explosion started 34 seconds into the final frame, when defenseman Matt Campanale cut down the slot, took a feed from Ryan Cruthers and pin-pointed a snapper low glove for his seventh of the season to tie the game at two.

1:11 after that, Reading took the lead for good, when T.J. Syner charged into the offensive zone to track down a loose puck, out-battled an Orlando defender for the puck, and fed Walrod, who was cutting through the slot. Walrod settled long enough to get off a quick snapper that beat Clermont on the short-side for his seventh of the year.

Two minutes after that, Wolfe bagged his second of the night after Domenic Monardo threw the puck off the left wing wall, causing it to pinball off a Solar Bear, directly to Yannick Tifu, who fired towards the net. Wolfe got a chunk of the puck on the way in for his second of the night to make it 4-2.

2:33 after that, Reading stretched the lead to 5-2 when Mike Banwell fired one from the left point that clanged off the right pipe. Ethan Cox kept the play alive, allowing Walrod to gain possession and force it by Clermont for his second of the night and eighth of the season.

Reading added another with just 2:42 left in regulation, when T.J. Syner cut off the left half-wall, ducked under a big hit attempt by an Orlando defender and deftly slipped a back-hand between the legs of Clermont for his nineteenth of the year.

That would be it for the scoring as the Royals held on to push the team’s record to a season high twenty-two games over .500 and hold onto the top slot in the Eastern Conference.

The Royals return to action on Friday (April 4 @ 7:05 pm) when the Kalamazoo Wings visit Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania. That night is American Cancer Society night and the first 2000 fans 15 and older will receive a Royals/ACS T-Shirt courtesy of Reading Health System. The Miller-Keystone Blood Center will also hold a blood drive that night in front of Santander Arena prior to the game. The game night broadcast on Wednesday will kick off at 6:35 pm on CBS Sports Radio 1240 am and 98.5 fm with the Pre-Game Warm-Up Show presented by Highmark Blue Shield.


End 14 04-02