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Royals Win Streak Snapped in Wheeling, 3-2

Sunday, December 14th
Royals Win Streak Snapped in Wheeling, 3-2

Teams     Per: 1          2          3

REA:              0          1          1= 2 

WHL:             0          1          2= 3


REA: 12-9-1-1=26 (t-5th East Division)

WHL: 12-10-0-0=24 (3rd North Division)


REA:  Knapp (loss) 5-5-0-0 (29/32)

WHL: Hartzell (win) 5-4-0-0 (36/38)

Power Play:

REA: 0-4

WHL: 1-6

Wheeling, WV – The Reading Royals (­­­­­­­­­loss, 12-9-1-1=26) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the American Hockey League, were defeated by the Wheeling Nailers (win, 12-10-0-0=24), 3-2, at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling, WV.

After a two-hour-and-fifteen minute delay due to ice conditions, the Royals got to work early creating a number of quality scoring chances right off the hop; but, as would be the case virtually all night long, Wheeling goaltender Eric Hartzell was up to the task, repeatedly leaving the Royals high and dry. Nonetheless, Reading did strike first—on one of what would be two short-handed goals on the night; but the Nailers counter-punched twice—once to tie the game at one and a second time after the Royals had battled back to tie the game at two—to bag the third period tie-breaking game winner that would take the two points. The loss, which came in the third game in three days between the Royals and Nailers, snapped Reading’s three game winning streak, as well as the Royals four game road unbeaten streak (3-0-1-0).

First Period (0-0, Tie)


Despite ample opportunities for both teams, including a series of close calls for Reading on back-to-back dominating shifts by the line of the Willie Coetzee – Ryan Cruthers – Brandon Alderson line, neither team was able to break through. That was despite the fact, as well, that Reading benefitted from three first period power play chances and outshot the Nailers 11-6 in the first frame.

Second Period (1-1, Tie)

7:10 (1-0, Reading) Reading Goal (Short-handed Goal)

Wiles (4); Mullane and Molle (snap shot finish off short-handed odd-man rush)

The game started late and so did the scoring, relatively speaking, as Reading struck first—on the team’s fourth penalty kill of the night—as the game approached the half-way mark. The play started when Bryant Molle stood strong at the defensive blue line and used a relentless stick check to free Pat Mullane through the neutral zone on a short-handed odd man rush with Sean Wiles. Mullane threaded a perfect diagonal seam pass to the charging Wiles, who buried top shelf from in tight for his fourth of the season—two of which have been SHGs.

8:13 (1-1, Tie) Wheeling Goal (Power Play Goal)

Makowski (2); Army and Burton (slap shot from the right circle)

1:03 later, Wheeling tied the game on the same power play on which they had allowed Reading’s short-handed goal against. The Nailers attacked immediately after giving up the SHG and had the Royals penalty killers scrambling in relative short order. Derek Army and Jarrett Burton worked the puck around the horn to the top of the right circle where David Makowski stepped into a hard high shot that appeared to slip by goaltender Connor Knapp and hit a Reading defender who had slipped behind the goaltender. The puck then trickled across the goal line for Makowski’s second of the year.

Third Period (3-2, Wheeling)

3:34 (2-1, Wheeling) Wheeling Goal

Burton (2); Army and Yuen (snap shot from below hash-marks)

Wheeling took their first lead of the game on a turnover by the Royals that resulted after Reading felt the play should have been blown dead on an icing infraction against Wheeling. The whistle did not blow, and the Royals coughed the puck up, resulting in a point blank wide open look for Jarrett Burton cutting through the low slot. Burton did not waste the chance, drilling a snap shot high stick side for his second of the year.

6:01 (2-2, Tie) Reading Goal (Short-Handed)

Hughesman (9); Mullane (snap shot from left circle short-side)

After killing forty-seven seconds of five-on-three against (the Royals were assessed with a bench minor for unsportsmanlike conduct after Wheeling’s second goal—and David Marshall picked up a high-sticking minor, while seeking to kill that penalty), Mullane pounced on a turnover at the defensive blue line by the Nailers power play unit and threaded a pass to Adam Hughesman—who had served the bench minor. Hughesman carried deep into the left circle and drilled a bullet short-side on goaltender Eric Hartzell for his team leading ninth goal of the year.

8:18 (3-2, Wheeling) Wheeling Goal

Army (2); Brace and Burton (rebound punch back from top of crease)

The Nailers got what proved to be the tie-breaking game winner off the rush shortly after Reading had re-tied the game. Burton fed Riley Brace down the left side, and Brace fired a high hot snapper that Knapp got with the upper body, but the rebound bounded directly in front of the net, where a crashing Derek Army swiped it home for his ninth 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 loss snapped a three game win streak for Reading—as well as a four game road unbeaten streak (3-0-1-0), dating to November 21.
  • Tonight’s game marked the twelfth time this season that Reading has scored the first goal of the game (8-3-0-1). The Royals are 2-2-0-0 when scoring first on the road.
  • This marked the fifth ‘blown lead’ game of the year for Reading, i.e. a game in which the team held a lead at some point in the contest but did not win.
  • Both of tonight’s goals for Reading were scored while the Royals were playing a man short—the first multi-short-handed goal game of the year. Reading has scored four SHGs this season.
  • Sean Wiles scored his second short-handed goal of the season tonight. He has three short-handed points this season.
  • For Hughesman, his goal was his team-leading ninth of the season—and his first SHG.
  • Pat Mullane racked up his fourth multi-point game of the year (0g-2a). His two short-handed assists tonight gives him four short-handed points (1g-3a), which leads the league. Mullane has registered thirteen points (4g-9a) in his last twelve games.
  • Goaltender Connor Knapp has sustained the loss in each of his last three decisions.


Reading Royals v Indy Fuel

@ Pepsi Coliseum – Indianapolis, IN

Wednesday, December 17, 2014 (7:05 pm)

NEXT UP: The Royals five game road trip continues when the team travels to Pepsi Coliseum at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, Indiana for the first time in team history on Wednesday, December 17 (@ 7:05 pm) to face the Indy Fuel. Wednesday’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 6:35 pm. As with all Royals’ road games this season, the game will be telecast 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.

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