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Royals Offense Comes Up Empty Again in Loss in Fort Wayne, 3-1

Friday, April 25th
Royals Offense Comes Up Empty Again in Loss in Fort Wayne, 3-1

Fort Wayne, IN – The Reading Royals (loss, 1-3-0) 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 Fort Wayne Komets (win, 3-1-0), ­­­­­­­­­­­­3-1, in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana. With the win, the Komets take a three-games-to-one lead in the best-of-seven first round series. The Royals are going to have to win on Sunday afternoon in Fort Wayne if they want to stay alive in the effort to repeat as Kelly Cup champions.

In this one, the Komets bagged an early goal on their first shot of the game, and despite a strong first period push by the Royals—who outshot Fort Wayne 16-8 in the opening frame—Reading was never able to gain a lead for the second consecutive night in Fort Wayne, thanks in no small measure to another solid performance from goaltender Ben Meisner (win, 3-1-0, 33/34), who for the third time in the series held the Royals to just one goal. The Royals did tie things with a power play goal by Stanislav Galiev in the first, but a deft deflection in the second proved to be the game winner, and the Komets added a late-game dagger to push the Royals to the brink of elimination.

Fort Wayne scored on their first shot. The Royals coughed one up on the right wing boards. The Komets’ defenseman Jayce Coyle intercepted the failed clear and found Kaleigh Schrock wide open and all alone out in front of the Royals’ net. Schrock got just enough of his shot to force it under and through the legs of goaltender Riley Gill (loss, 1-3-0, 27/30 in 58:08) for his first of the playoff season 4:04 into the first.

Reading answered on their second power play chance of the night. Ryan Cruthers found a wide open Stanislav Galiev with a pass from below the goal line to the high slot, where the waiting Galiev unleashed a hot bullet high blocker for his first of the playoff season 16:12 into the first.

Fort Wayne regained the lead 5:18 into the second period when Matthew Maione fired a seemingly harmless wrister from wide on the left point that was perfectly deflected by Christain Ouellet directly under the bar and in for Oullet’s first of the playoff season—and what would prove to be the game winner.

Reading pushed as the third period progressed, but it was the Komets who would strike pay-dirt and build a two-goal cushion with 3:03 remaining in regulation. This goal came off another failed clear. This time, however, it was Shawn Szydlowski who kept the puck at the right point, carried into the right circle and dished to low slot where a driving Mike Embach took control and snapped a low shot across the body of Gill and in for the 3-1 lead in the game and, ultimately, in the series.

The Royals and Komets go at it again on Sunday (April 27, 2014 @ 6:00 pm) in Game Five of the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The game night broadcast on Sunday will kick off with the Pre-Game Warm-Up Show presented by Highmark Blue Shield at 5:30 pm on CBS Sports Radio 1240 am and 98.5 fm in Reading. As with all Royals road games, Sunday’s game will be televised locally in Berks County, Pennsylvania, on BCTV courtesy of Boscov’s Travel and Apple Vacations.

End 14 04-25