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Royals Come From Behind to Beat Wheeling, 2-1

Saturday, December 13th
Royals Come From Behind to Beat Wheeling, 2-1

Teams     Per: 1          2          3

WHL:             1          0          0= 1 

REA:              0          1          1= 2


WHL: 11-10-0-0=22 (3rd North Division)

REA:  12-8-1-1=26 (t-4th East Division)


WHL:  Hartzell (Loss) 4-4-0-0 (21/23)

REA: Ouellette (Win) 7-4-1-1 (40/41)

Power Play:

WHL: 0-5

REA: 0-3

Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (­­­­­­­­­win, 12-8-1-1=26) 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 Wheeling Nailers (loss, 11-10-0-0=22), 2-1, at Santander Arena in Reading, PA.

Resplendent in their ‘Ugly Sweater’ jerseys, the Royals fell behind early but battled back in the second consecutive one-goal nail-biter over the Nailers. In this one, the Royals needed a third period tie-breaking game winner off the stick of the organization’s all-time leading scorer, Ryan Cruthers, and more than one great save by goaltender Martin Oullette—including one from point blank range in the waning moments—to record the team’s third straight win.

First Period (1-0, Wheeling)

7:38 (1-0, Wheeling) Wheeling Goal

Burton (2); Shea (rebound put back)

Wheeling struck first after winning an offensive zone face-off after an icing infraction against Reading. Former Royal Bobby Shea carried down from the left point and threaded a high snap shot through a maze of players that goaltender Martin Ouellette blocked with his upper body. The rebound, however, fell in front of Ouellette and a mad scramble ensued which ended when Jarrett Burton forced the puck over the goal line for his second of the year.

Second Period (1-1, Tie)

8:36 (1-1, Tie) Reading Goal

Johnston (2); Alderson and Coetzee (quick snap shot from below the hashmarks)

About mid-way into the game, Reading tied it up when Brandon Alderson and Willie Coetzee went to work on the end wall to free a fifty-fifty puck. Alderson ended up with possession and slipped a perfect pass to the low slot, where a relatively unguarded Andrew Johnston stepped in for a one time snapper that slipped under and through goaltender Eric Hartzell for his second of the year.

Third Period (2-1, Reading)

4:01 (2-1, Reading) Reading Goal

Cruthers (4); Alderson and Coetzee (slap shot from eight feet inside the blue line)

Reading got what proved to be the third period tie-breaking game winner early in the third, when Michael Caruso made a strong play in the defensive zone to start a rush for the Royals. Upon entering the offensive zone, Alderson and Coetzee executed a perfect tic-tac-toe passing sequence with Alderson finally dropping the puck to the trailer, Ryan Cruthers, who ripped a hard slap shot that beat Hartzell low blocker.

As with last night, the Nailers turned up the heat down the stretch, during which they had three third period power play chances. But unlike last night, Wheeling was unable to find pay-dirt, despite generated several quality scoring chances—including one from point blank range with time ticking down on which Ouellette made what might have been the team’s best save of the year.


  • The scratches for the Royals tonight were: Jordan Heywood (d), Kevin Walrod (f), Matt Hatch (f) (ECHL Reserve), and Ian Watters (f)  (ECHL Reserve).
  • The Royals pushed the team’s record to four games over .500 (12-8-1-1), which ties the team season high water mark.
  • The current three game winning streak also ties the team season long.
  • This game marked the fifth come-from-behind win of the season for Reading.
  • With this win, the Royals completed the longest home stand in team history with a 6-3-0-1 record.
  • The Royals have compiled a record of 3-2-0-0 against the Nailers through five games between the two teams. All three of Reading’s wins in the series have come at Santander Arena. The Royals and Nailers play the sixth (of what will be a total of twelve total regular season games between the two teams) tomorrow at WesBanco Arena.
  • Willie Coetzee recorded his second consecutive multi-point game tonight (0g-2a). He has four multi-point games in seven played for Reading.
  • Brandon Alderson also recorded his second consecutive multi-point performance (0g-2a).
  • Ryan Cruthers’ goal tonight was his seventy-fifth career goal as a Royal (and his 241st point) in his 233rd game with the team. It was his first game winner of the season.
  • Goaltender Martin Oulette pushed his record to 6-1-1-1 in his last nine games.


Reading Royals @ Wheeling Nailers

@ WesBanco Arena – Wheeling, WV

Sunday, December 14, 2014 (4:05 pm)

NEXT UP: The Royals and Nailers complete the three-game-in-three-days series tomorrow at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling, West Virginia (4:05 pm). Sunday’s game day broadcast can be heard live in the Reading area on CBS SportsRadio (1240 am and 98.5 fm) beginning with the pre-game warm-up show presented by Highmark Blue Shield at 3:35 pm. The game will also be televised locally in Berks County, Pennsylvania, on BCTV courtesy of Boscov’s Travel and Apple Vacations. Streaming internet audio is also available free of charge and can be accessed by following the ‘headset’ icon on the Royals’ website. 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.

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