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Royals Season Ends in Double Overtime in Fort Wayne, 2-1

Sunday, April 27th
Royals Season Ends in Double Overtime in Fort Wayne, 2-1

Fort Wayne, IN – The Reading Royals (­­­­­­­­­loss, 1-4-0) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League and the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League, were defeated in double-overtime by the Fort Wayne Komets (win, 4-1-0), ­­­­­­­­­­­­2-1, in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana. With the win, the Komets knocked the reigning Kelly Cup Champion Royals out of the playoffs, as Fort Wayne advances to the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals.

Reading had plenty of chances to stave off elimination—including a five-minute major power play at the end of regulation time and early into the first overtime—but for the fourth time in the series, the Royals were held to just one goal by goaltender Ben Meisner (win, 4-1-0, 39/40 in 86:45) and a stingy Fort Wayne defense. Reading’s Brandon Anderson (loss, 0-2-0, 34/36 in 86:45) was equally brilliant despite suffering his second loss in playoffs.

The Komets struck early when Reading got caught above the puck resulting in an odd man rush into Reading’s end led by forward Dean Ouellet, who carried down the right side, sent a cross-ice pass to the left circle, where a driving Mike Embach quickly returned the pass to Oullet who back-handed it behind a sprawling Brandon Anderson for his second of the playoff season.

After creating a plethora of scoring chances in the second period, the Royals finally broke through with just 2:31 remaining in the second frame. The Royals worked the puck low-to-high with Ethan Cox setting Brett Flemming at the right point for a hard snapper that was deftly re-directed by Sean Wiles for his third of the playoff season.

The Royals got a golden chance to win—but suffered the loss of forward Kevin Walrod, at least for the remainder of the game—when Walrod was clipped by Mike Embach of the Komets with just 1:17 remaining in regulation. Reading was awarded a five-minute major power play; but was unable to capitalize on that sequence—although they did keep the Komets at bay on back-to back too many men on the ice minors assessed against Reading in the first overtime, as well.

The end of the Royals season came 6:45 into the second overtime on a steal in the left wing corner by Fort Wayne’s Shawn Szydlowski, who fed the puck right out in front of the net to a charging and wide open Aaron Clarke, who in turn slipped the puck under Anderson to end the Royals’ bid to become the first team in ECHL history to win back-to-back Kelly Cup Championships.

End 14 04-27