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Royals Stumble Down the Stretch in Second Straight Loss to Fort Wayne, 7-6

Saturday, November 8th
Royals Stumble Down the Stretch in Second Straight Loss to Fort Wayne, 7-6

Teams     Per: 1          2          3

FTW:              1          2          4 = 7

REA:              2          2          2 = 6


REA:  3-5-0-0=6 (7th East Division)

FTW: 8-1-0-0=16 (1st North Division)


REA: Martin Ouellette (Loss) (1-3-0-0) (32/39)

FTW: Sami Aittokallio (Win) (2-0-0-0) (15/21)

Power Play:

REA: 3-4

FTW: 3-8

Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (­­­­­­­­­loss, 3-5-0-0=6) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the American Hockey League, were defeated by the Fort Wayne Komets  (win, 8-1-0-0=16), 7-6, at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania.

In a game that featured accurate and heavy shots that blitz by both goaltenders throughout the game, the Royals were unable to hold three separate two goal leads—including a 6-4 lead in the third period with just 7:37 remaining in regulation time—and fell to the high-flying and red-hot Fort Wayne Komets for the second consecutive night. It was the third straight loss for Reading. Fort Wayne is 5-0-0-0 on the road this season.

On the positive side, Reading didn’t waste many shots, scoring six goals on a season-low twenty-one shots, bagging two goals on just three shots in the second period—and scoring on the first shot the team took in the third. On the not so positive side, the Royals were never able to slow the relentless Fort Wayne attack, as the Komets appeared to be able to score at will, particularly down the stretch in the third. Reading did get critical bounce back goals from Ryan Cruthers and Patrick Mullane, as well as the first goal of the season from Adam Comrie; but the Royals penalty kill was touched up three times including on the game winner with 3:07 remaining in regulation in the last game of the regular season against Fort Wayne.

First Period (2-1, Reading)

6:21 (1-0) Reading Goal

Hughesman (4); Reid and Watters (slap shot from low right circle)

After weathering an early withering attack from the Komets, the Royals scored on what was really their first scoring chance of the game. Cam Reid dug a puck off the end wall and slipped a soft saucer to the low right circle where a waiting Adam Hughesman ripped a perfectly placed slap shot over the blocker arm of Sami Aittokaillio for his fourth of the year.

9:18 (2-0, Reading) Reading Goal (Power Play Goal)

Marshall (2) (snap shot from wide on the left half-wall)

Reading scored on the team’s first power play chance of the night when David Marshall batted an up-the-middle clearing attempt by the Komets out of mid-air, tracked the puck to the left half-wall, and fired a shot that appeared to pinball off the body of Aittokaillio and the goal post and fall into the net.

19:50 (2-1, Reading) Fort Wayne Goal

Faille (3); Szydlowski and D. Daniels (redirect of slap pass at top of the crease)

Fort Wayne finally broke through on Martin Ouellette, who was nothing short of spectacular in the early going, with 9.3 seconds left in the first period. Shawn Szydlowski executed a perfect fake and diagonal-down slap pass from the top of the right circle that Eric Faille angled up and over Ouellette from the top of the crease for his third of the year.

Second Period (4-3, Reading)

3:22 (2-2, Tie) Fort Wayne Goal

Martin (2); Sol and Oullet (snap shot from right point)

Fort Wayne tied the game at two with a seemingly harmless snap shot from fifty-five feet on the wide right point by defenseman James Martin that flew over Ouellette’s right pad.

9:38 (3-2, Reading) Reading Goal

Cruthers (1); Labelle and Hughesman (slap shot from low right circle)

Reading re-took the lead on the team’s second shot of the secon period, when Olivier Labelle carried deep to the left side of the slot and slipped a blind-backhand pass across four feet off the top of the crease and into the right circle, where Ryan Cruthers stepped in and ripped a hot bullet across the body of Aittokallio bar-down for his first of the year.

14:40 (3-3, Tie) Fort Wayne Goal (Power Play)

Heard (7); Szydlowski and Embach (snap shot from mid-slot)

Fort Wayne re-tied the game with the first of what would be three power play goals—this one coming on the third consecutive minor penalty assessed against Reading’s Cam Reid in a span of just over nine minutes. After an extended sequence of offensive zone puck possession, Mitchell Heard floated through the slot and drilled a rocket that went ‘around the horn’ (left-pipe-cross-bar-right-pipe-and-in) for his seventh of the season.

19:26 (4-3, Reading) Reading Goal (Power Play)

Mullane (4); Cruthers and Wiles (snap shot from left circle)

Reading re-took the one goal advantage (again) with the team’s second power play goal in as many chances with the man advantage with just 33.4 seconds left in the second period. Cruthers found Patrick Mullane sniping in the mid-slot, and as Mullane’s momentum carried him from right-to-left and into the left circle, he ripped a bullet back against the grain into the upper right side of the net.

Third Period (6-7, Fort Wayne)

6:59 (5-3, Reading) (Reading Goal)

Marshall 2(3); Cruthers and Hughesman (off-the-rush finish on a two-on-one break)

The Royals took the team’s second two-goal advantage of the game, immediately after Ryan Cruthers stepped out of the penalty box (at the conclusion of his second minor of the game—for slashing), and Adam Hughesman sprang Cruthers on a two-on-one break with David Marshall. Cruthers carried deep into the low left slot and landed a perfect saucer to the hard-charging Marshall, who was crashing at the right side of the net. Marshall angled it up and over Aittokaillio for his second of the game.

8:07 (5-4, Reading) Fort Wayne Goal (Power Play)

Szydlowski (4); Embach and Heard (hard one-time slap shot from top of the left circle)

Fort Wayne cut the lead back to one on a power play goal that came after a disputed interference minor was assessed against Ian Watters of Reading. The Komets maintained offensive zone puck possession when Ouellette lost control of his goaltending stick—and took a skater’s stick from Kevin Walrod. That wasn’t enough to help stop an absolute laser off the top of the left circle by Szydlowski.

12:23 (6-4, Reading) Reading Goal (Power Play)

Comrie (1); Cruthers and Labelle (weak side one-time snap shot from the low right circle)

The Royals re-gained the two goal advantage for the third time in the game—and second time in the third period—with the team’s third power play goal (in the team’s fourth chance with the man advantage). As Adam Comrie snuck down the weak side deep into the right circle, Ryan Cruthers threaded the needle through the box from the wide on the left side. Comrie didn’t waste the chance, bagging his first of the year.

13:00 (6-5, Reading) Fort Wayne Goal

Heard 2 (8); Ouellet (hot rocket from the high slot)

Thirty-seven seconds later, the Komets cut the lead back to one (again), when Mitchell Heard took matters into his own hands—quite literally—carrying out from below the goal line, circling to the mid-slot, and turning and wheeling a snap shot that blew by Ouellette so fast that the Royals’ goaltender never appeared to move.

15:19 (6-6, Tie) Fort Wayne Goal

Frazee (4); Ouellet and Heard (snap shot from left half-wall)

Fort Wayne tied the game for the third time on a relative weak goal from the left half wall. Thomas Frazee fired a hard shot, but it appeared within the grasp of Ouellette, who unfortunately just missed the puck, which flew over catching glove and ended up in the net for Frazee’s second in two nights.

16:53 (6-7, Fort Wayne) Fort Wayne Goal (Power Play)

Sol (2); Martin and Pistilli (big one-time blast from the top of the right circle)

The Komets earned their first lead of the night with their third power play goal of the game, which came on a ‘closing the hand on the puck’ penalty on Ian Watters (which was assessed when Watters caught a fluttering puck and threw it from the defensive zone). Again, it was a hot rocket—this one from the top of the right circle on a one-time blast by defenseman Cody Sol—that blew by Oullette (low stick side) that served to crush the Royals’ collective spirit.


  • The scratches for the Royals tonight were: Dan Ford (d) (healthy), Jordan Heywood (d) (healthy), Brock Higgs (f) (healthy), and Matt Hatch (f) (healthy).
  • The Royals gave up a season-high three power play goals against on a season-high eight power play chances for the opposition.
  • This marks the third ‘blown-lead’ loss for the Royals in the team’s eight games played—including back-to-back nights against the Komets.
  • Four different Royals had a multi-point performance tonight: (i) Olivier Labelle (0g-2a); (ii) Ryan Cruthers (1g-3a); (iii) Adam Hughesman (1g-2a); and (iv) David Marshall (2g).
  • Reading scored six goals on a season-low twenty-one shots on goal.
  • The Royals have now allowed 30 goals against in eight games played (3.75 team goals against average).


Reading Royals @ Kalamazoo Wings

@ Wings Stadium, Kalamazoo, MI

Friday, November 14, 2014 (7:30 pm)

NEXT UP: The Royals head out on the road for four straight including back-to-back games against the Kalamazoo Wings this Friday and Saturday. Friday’s game night broadcast can be heard live on CBS SportsRadio 1240 am and 98.5 in Reading, Pennsylvania, starting with the pre-game warm-up show presented by Highmark Blue Shield at 7:00 pm. As with all Royals’ road games, Friday’s game will also be televised live in Berks County, Pennsylvania, on BCTV courtesy of Boscov’s Travel and Apple Vacations. Streaming audio is available free of charge on the Royals’ website (follow the ‘headset’ icon); and streaming video is available on a pay-per-view basis through ECHL.TV.

For more information about the Royals, call 610-898-7825 or log onto www.royalshockey.com.

End 14 11-08