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Royals Overcome Mid-Game Lull to Beat Elmira, 4-3

Saturday, December 27th
Royals Overcome Mid-Game Lull to Beat Elmira, 4-3

Teams     Per: 1          2          3

ELM:              0          2          1= 3 

REA:              1          1          2= 4


ELM:  15-12-0-3=33 (t-4th East Division)

REA: 17-9-1-1=36 (3rd East Division)


ELM: Marotta (loss) 6-8-0-1 (33/37) (58:17)

REA:  Howe (win) 1-0-0-0 (Reading) (Overall: 4-3-0-2) (25/28)

Power Play:

ELM: 1-3

REA: 0-4

Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (­­­­­­­­­win, 17-9-1-1=36) 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 (loss 15-12-0-3=33), 4-3, at Santander Arena in Reading, PA.

For the second straight night, the Royals defeated the East Division rival Jackals, stretching the team’s current win streak to five straight and solidifying the team’s hold on third place in the East. This win required considerable resiliency from the Royals, who came out storming (outshooting the Jackals 17-2 in the first period); but found themselves trailing 2-1 after a long lull in the second frame. But the Royals battled back for what would prove to be the team’s eighth come-from-behind win of the year. In doing so, Reading got a pair of goals from defenseman Jordan Heywood—his first as a pro opened the scoring and his second proved to be the game winner—and twenty-five saves from goaltender Joe Howe, playing in his first game for Reading. The win pushed the Royals’ record to 9-6-0-1 at Santander Arena, where the team has won its last four games.

First Period (1-0, Reading)

16:00 (1-0, Reading) Reading Goal

Heywood (1); Johnston and Labelle (net drive swipe off the rush)

For the second time in two days, Reading struck first with the first pro goal for one of the Royals’ players. Last night it was Matt Hatch who started the scoring with his first as a pro and tonight it was defenseman Jordan Heywood. Late in a dominating period, during which Reading outshot the Jackals 17-2, Andrew Johnston carried off the rush deep down the left wing side. Johnston threw a cross-ice pass that went sliding through the blue paint, as Olivier Labelle was crashing at the top of the crease. The puck, however, slid all the way through the crease to the right side of the net, where Heywood stepped up and swiped the puck home for his first as a pro.

Second Period (2-2, Tie)

3:36 (1-1, Tie) Elmira Goal

Bloodoff (3); Tuzzolino and Tassone (wrist shot from low slot)

Elmira took advantage of a lackluster effort by the Royals in the second period to take a 2-1 lead. The Jackals broke through after a strong attack, which when coupled with a blown coverage in the low slot of the Royals’ defensive zone, left Lucas Bloodoff wide open and all alone out in front of the Reading net. Bloodoff, who had just missed a point blank look moments prior by shooting high and wide, instead slipped this one under and through goaltender Joe Howe for his second in two nights and third of the season.

7:55 (2-1, Elmira) Elmira Goal (Power Play)

Rashid (4); Holmberg and Hart (wrist shot along the goal line from deep on the left side)

Elmira snapped a streak of fifteen consecutive penalty kills over a span of five games for the Royals with a power play goal mid-way into the second period to take a 2-1 lead. Ryan Rashid controlled deep on the left side directly along the goal line. He slid a puck towards the crease that appeared to pinball through the pads of Howe and into the net for Rashid’s fourth of the year.

16:14 (2-2, Tie)  Reading Goal

Mullane (11); Caruso and Marshall (snap shot from top of the right circle)

After playing a less than inspired second period, the Royals got a bit of a break late in the frame, when Pat Mullane fired a snap shot from off the top of the right circle that snuck through the thighs of goaltender Sam Marotta and had just enough energy to trickle across the goal line for Mullane’s eleventh of the year.

Third Period (4-3, Reading)

12:04 (3-2, Reading) Reading Goal

Labelle (9); Hatch and Lamarche (hard bullet off the rush wide in the right circle)

Reading re-took the lead mid-way into the third off the rush, when Matt Hatch carried deep down the left side. As Andrew Johnston drove to the top of the crease, Hatch passed the puck behind Johnston to Olivier Labelle, who was trailing the play deep on the right wing side. Labelle caught the pass and released a hot rocket across the body of Marotta for his ninth of the season.

14:48 (4-2, Reading) Reading Goal

Heywood 2 (2); Mullane and Hatch (slap shot from just inside of offensive blue line)

The Royals built a two goal cushion 2:44 later with the second of the night for Jordan Heywood. With Olivier Labelle creating an aggressive screen in front of the Elmira net, Heywood ripped a hard slap shot from just inside the blue line in the middle of the ice. The shot buzzed by everybody and hit paydirt high glove side for what would prove to be the game winner.

19:35 (4-3, Reading) Elmira Goal (Sixth Attacker Goal)

Tassone (12); Shamanski and Holmberg (rebound put back)

Elmira made it a one-goal nail-biter down the stretch with a pulled goaltender sixth-attacker goal with just 25 seconds left in regulation. Steven Shamanksi fired a shot from the left point that goaltender Howe kicked out with the left pad, but Matt Tassone used the inside track to gain possession and chip the puck home for his twelfth of the year.


  • The scratches for the Royals tonight were: (d), Kevin Walrod (f) (ECHL Reserve), and Ian Watters (f) (ECHL Reserve).
  • The victory pushed Reading’s win streak to a season long five games. The Royals, who have won four consecutive home games, are 8-1-0-0 in the team’s last nine games.
  • Tonight’s win pushed the Royals’ record to the team’s high-water mark of eight games over .500 for the first time this season (17-9-1-1=36).
  • Tonight’s game marked the eighth come-from-behind win of the year for the Royals.
  • This was the sixth game in the last eight for Reading that was decided by one goal—Reading has won seven of those one-goal decisions. Overall, Reading is 10-4-1-1 in one-goal games.
  • The Royals are 7-1-1-1 when entering the third period tied with the opposition.
  • Jordan Heywood became the seventh Royal to record a multi-goal game this season (2g-0a). This was the second consecutive game that a player for Reading scored two goals with one of them proving to be the game winner. Last night, it was Cam Reid who pulled off that feat. Heywood is also the seventh different skater to record a GWG for the Royals this season.
  • Olivier Labelle scored a goal and picked up an assist to record his fifth multi-point game of the season. Labelle who leads the team in plus –minus at plus-12 (+12) through twenty-eight games played to a plus-3 (+3) tonight. Labelle’s goal tonight was his 80th career goal as a Royal—more than any player in team history. Labelle, who now has 152 career points as a Royal (80g-72a), was playing in his 184th game as a Royal tonight, which ties Yannick Tifu for second most in team history.
  • Patrick Mullane recorded his seventh multi-point performance tonight (1g-1a), which is tied for the team lead. Mullane extended his personal point streak to six games (3g-6a=9pts). Mullane who leads the Royals with twenty-seven points (11g-16a) in twenty-eight games, has twenty points (6g-14a) in his last seventeen games. His eleven goals is tied with Cam Reid for the team lead.
  • Matt Hatch recorded his second consecutive multi-point game tonight (0g-2a). (In last night’s win he had a goal and an assist.) Hatch also played to a plus-3 (+3) tonight.
  • David Marshall pushed his personal point streak to five straight games with an assist on the Royals second goal tonight (1g-5a=6pts).
  • Reading’s power play was held off the board (0-4) for the sixth time in the last seven games and the tenth time in the thirteen games. During that thirteen game span, the Royals PP has gone 4 for 49 (8.2%).
  • The Jackals broke through for a power play goal tonight snapping a string of four straight games during which the Royals did not give up a power play goal against.


Reading Royals v Elmira Jackals

@ Santander Arena – Reading, PA

Wednesday, December 31, 2014 (5:30 pm)

NEXT UP: The Royals will finish a stretch of three straight against the Jackals on New Year’s Eve (Wednesday, December 31, 2014 @ 5:30) at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania. That night fans can take advantage of the Steak-umm Burger Meal and Ticket Deal, where $25.00 gets you a Purple Zone Ticket, a Steak-umm Burger, Fries and a Large Soda. Season Ticket Holders can also purchase one ticket for the New Year’s Eve game and get one ticket free. Please note that Wednesday’s game day 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 5:00 pm. 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.

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