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Royals Fall in Final Game of the Season Against Florida, 3-2

Friday, April 11th
Royals Fall in Final Game of the Season Against Florida, 3-2

Estero, FL – The Reading Royals (loss, 45-22-2-2=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 by the Florida Everblades (win, 36-27-3-5=82), ­­­­­­­­­­­­3-2, at Germain Arena in Estero, Florida.

With their playoff lives on the line, Florida—for the second game in a row—came from behind to beat the Royals. The win for the Everblades served to keep the Everblades in the playoff picture—but a win by the Fort Wayne Komets later in the evening did serve to eliminate Florida from contention for the post-season. Reading scored first, but three in a row by the Everblades’ Geoff Walker proved to be the difference in this one.

The Royals struck 9:18 into the first off the rush. Jesse Todd took a feed from Bryce Williamson and charged into the offensive end on a two-on-one break. Todd’s original shot from deep on the left side was rejected by Andy Isles (win, 3-1-0-0, 27/29) , but Todd did not give up on the puck and was able to jam it in after the puck had bounced off the end wall and slid back towards the left pipe. For Todd, that was his sixth goal of the year.

Florida tied the game 13:20 into the second when Philip-Michael Devos threaded a pass into the right circle for Geoff Walker, whose shot appeared to pinball off a couple of Royals and then flutter over the left shoulder of Brandon Anderson (loss, 24-10-1-1, 37/40) for his third of the year.

13:04 into the second, Florida took a 2-1 lead on a power play goal by Walker. Brandon MacLean slipped a touch pass to Walker who snuck behind a Reading defender at the offensive blue line. Walker carried to just inside the top of the right circle and drilled it over the left shoulder of Anderson for his second of the game.

Walker hit for the trifecta 16:14 into the second on a hot one-timer bullet out of the left circle that beat Anderson on the short-side to make it 3-1, Florida.

Reading closed the gap to one with just 1:02 left in the second when Michal Cajkovsky carried coast-to-coast and drilled one from just inside the blue-line that went off a Florida stick and fluttered over the left arm of Iles for Cajkovsky’s fourteenth of the year.

The two teams played a scoreless third, but it was anything but dull as the Royals and Everblades traded chances and intense physical collisions through—and even after—the final buzzer.

The Royals travel to Orlando, Florida,  tomorrow (Saturday, April 12 @ 7:00 pm) where they’ll finish the 2013-14 regular season against the Orlando Solar Bears at Amway Center. The game night broadcast on Saturday will kick off with the Pre-Game Warm-Up Show presented by Highmark Blue Shield at 6:30 pm on CBS Sports Radio 1240 am and 98.5 fm in Reading. As with all Royals’ road games, Saturday’s game will also be televised locally in Berks County, Pennsylvania, on BCTV courtesy of Boscov’s Travel and Apple Vacations.

End 14 04-11