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Royals Fall in a Shootout in Florida, 3-2

Wednesday, April 9th
Royals Fall in a Shootout in Florida, 3-2

Estero, FL – The Reading Royals (sol, 45-21-2-2=94) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League and the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League, were defeated in a shootout by the Florida Everblades (win, 35-27-3-5=80), ­­­­­­­­­­­­3-2, at Germain Arena in Estero, Florida.

The Royals scored a pair of goals mid-way into the first and held onto the two goal advantage into the third period; but the Everblades, who would have been eliminated from the playoffs had they lost in regulation, came strong in the final frame and scored a game-tying goal with the goaltender pulled and just 50.9 seconds remaining in regulation. After a scoreless overtime, the Blades struck on three of four chances in the skills competition to claim the critical two points.

Reading struck 7:48 into the first when Sean Wiles slipped a pass from below the goal line to Yannick Tifu who was waiting in the left circle. Tifu fired a quick diagonal down snap pass to a waiting Josh Brittain, who was planted at the right pipe to slam-dunk his thirteenth of the year.

1:10 later, Brittain bagged his second of the game when Matt Campanale fired a shot from the left point that Brittain deftly deflected over the right arm of goaltender Andy Iles (win, 2-1-0-0, 23/25 in 65:00, 3/4 in the shootout) for number fourteen.

After a scoreless second during which the Everblades only generated four shots on goal, the Everblades came out storming in the third. Florida hit pay-dirt 3:54 into the third period after a multi-shot scramble around the Royals’ net came to a stop when a falling Aaron Bogosian flipped a backhand up and over goaltender Brandon Anderson (sol, 24-9-1-1, 32/34 in 64:47, 1/4 in the shootout).

The Everblades tied the game with only 50.9 seconds remaining in regulation and the goaltender pulled. After an intense sequence of offensive zone pressure, defensive Mike Little fired a high shot from the right point that appeared to be deflected on the way in. Although the Royals argued that the puck was tipped with a high stick, that argument fell on deaf ears and the goal was awarded to Little—his fifth of the year.

Reading had their chances in overtime, including a power play opportunity over the final 1:53 of actual hockey. But the Royals were unable to break through, and this one went to the shootout for resolution.

Florida got the better of things in the skills competition, scoring on three of their four chances (by Mathieu Roy, Brandon MacLean and Evan Bloodoff, shooting two, three and four, respectively), while the Royals were only able to hit pay-dirt once (Yannick Tifu, shooting second). The shootout bids by T.J. Syner (shooting first), Josh Brittain (shooting third) and Domenic Monardo (shooting fourth) were rejected.

The Royals and Everblades go at it for the final time in the regular season on Friday (April 11 @ 7:30 pm). The game night broadcast on Friday will kick off with the Pre-Game Warm-Up Show presented by Highmark Blue Shield at 7:00 pm on CBS Sports Radio 1240 am and 98.5 fm in Reading. As with all Royals’ road games, Friday’s game will also be televised locally in Berks County, Pennsylvania, on BCTV courtesy of Boscov’s Travel and Apple Vacations.

End 14 04-09