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Royals Take Pre-Season Finale Against Elmira, 4-1

Saturday, October 11th
Royals Take Pre-Season Finale Against Elmira, 4-1

Teams     Per: 1          2          3          F

REA:              1          0          0          1          (Knapp, Win 1-0-0-0,    17/18, 39:58) (Marotta, ND  11/11, 20:00)

ELM:              1          2          1          4          (Fullerton, Loss 0-1-0-0   27/31)

Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (­­­­­­­­­pre-season win, 2-0-0-0) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the American Hockey League, defeated the Elmira Jackals (pre-season loss, 0-2-0-0), 4-1, in the pre-season finale for both clubs. The Royals now turn their attention to the start of the 2014-15 regular season, which will kick off next Saturday (October 18) in Wheeling, West Virginia.

The Royals fell behind on an early misplayed puck by goaltender Connor Knapp, but were able pull off the comeback win on the strength of a late first period deflection and a strong second period attack. Elmira pushed back hard in the third, but goaltender Sam Marotta, who came on in substitution of Connor Knapp, thwarted the attack with a calm, solid style. Knapp (1-0-0-0, 17/18; 39:58), who played the first two periods, was credited with the pre-season win. Travis Fullerton (0-1-0-0, 27/31) went the distance and sustained the loss. The Royals bagged the game winner while playing with the man advantage (1/2). Elmira’s power play was held off board on their only power play chance (0/1).

First Period (1-1, TIE)

4:59 (0-1) Elmira Goal

Tassone (1), McParland, Rashid (loose puck snap shot from right side of crease)

A seemingly harmless shot from the low slot turned into the first goal of the game, when Royals’ goaltender Connor Knapp got handcuffed trying to cover the loose puck at the right side of the crease. When the puck slipped free, Matt Tassone dug it out and fired it home for his of the pre-season.

19:57 (1-1) Reading Goal

Wiles (1), Molle, Cruthers (deflection of shot from high slot)

Reading tied the game at one in the waning moments of the first after gaining possession through an aggressive neutral zone fore-check and attacking down the middle. When the initial thrust through the slot was slowed, the puck slid back to the high slot where defenseman Bryant Molle stepped in and fired a high snap shot that was deflected by Wiles, who was planted at the right side of the top of the crease. Although the puck was high, Wiles stick appeared below the cross-bar and the puck hit the back of the net with just 3.5 seconds left in the period.

Second Period (3-1, Reading)

11:34 (2-1, Reading) Reading Goal (Power Play)

Wiles (2), Cruthers, Davies (shot from low left circle ricocheted off Elmira defender in front of net)

The Royals took a 2-1 lead on the team’s first power play of the night. After controlling the puck in the offensive zone for a considerable stretch, the Royals worked the puck around the horn—Zach Davies from the left point to Ryan Cruthers on the left half-wall to Sean Wiles low in the left circle. Wiles attempted a cross-ice snap pass, but the puck caught the middle of the shin pad of an Elmira defender and deflected by goaltender Travis Fullerton for Wiles’ second of the game.

13:13 (3-1, Reading) Reading Goal

Labelle (1), Bodie (slap shot from left circle)

The Royals expanded the lead to 3-1 on a blast out of the right circle by number 13 (Olivier Labelle) at the 13:13 mark. Labelle, who’s a right shot, got it all and ripped a laser across the body (low blocker) off Fullerton for his first of the pre-season.

Third Period (4-1, Reading)

10:25 (4-1, Reading) Reading Goal

Daniels (2), Hatch (center net drive re-direct of a pass from deep right side)

Reading stretched the lead to three with a beautiful re-direct by Justin Daniels. Reading created a strong, well-spread out rush into the offensive zone. Matt Hatch carried deep into the right corner and slid the puck to the top of the crease, where a hard-crashing (and falling) Daniels re-directed the puck upper left corner for his second in two nights.

The Royals open the 2014-15 season on Saturday, October 18, at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling, West Virginia, where the team will face the Wheeling Nailers. The home portion of the schedule will kick off the following Saturday (October 25, 2014 @ 7:05 p.m.) when the Elmira Jackals travel to Santander Arena. Royals’ season tickets are currently available. Call 610-898-7825 for more information or log onto www.royalshockey.com.

End 14 10-11