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Royals Come Back to Stretch Road Win Streak to Five in Evansville, 3-1

Friday, January 2nd
Royals Come Back to Stretch Road Win Streak to Five in Evansville, 3-1

Teams     Per: 1          2          3

REA:              0          2          1= 3 

EVN:              1          0          0= 1


REA: 18-10-1-1=38 (3rd East Division)

EVN:  9-17-2-2=22 (6th North Division)


REA:  Knapp (win) 8-5-0-0 (26/27)

EVN: Dreidger (loss) 6-14-1-1 (35/38)

Power Play:

REA: 0-3

EVN: 1-4

Evansville, IN – The Reading Royals (­­­­­­­­­win, 18-10-1-1=38) 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 Evansville Icemen (loss, 9-17-2-2=22), 3-1, at the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana.

In the first game played after the Royals’ first coach in team history, Al Sims (who led Reading in the organization’s 2001-02 inaugural year), was hired to take over the helm of the Icemen, Evansville came out with considerable jam and scored an early power play goal to put Reading back on their heels. However, the Royals answered with pair of goals within a forty-five second span 1:39 into the second period to bounce back and take a lead that they would never relinquish in the team’s third win in three tries at Evansville’s Ford Center this season. The Royals then rode the steady net-minding of Connor Knapp, who made several big stops, to hold off the Icemen long enough to bag an insurance goal in the third. With the win, the Royals pushed the team’s record back to a season-best eight games over .500, as Reading jumped into sole possession of third place in the East Division.

First Period (1-0, Evansville)

6:50 (1-0, Evansville) Evansville Goal (Power Play Goal)

Rutkowski (2); McKenzie and Kerbashian (back-door tap in of below the goal line pass)

Evansville, who were dead last in the league in home power play scoring percentage (5.6%) coming into tonight’s contest, only needed seven seconds of the their first power play chance of the night to strike pay-dirt. Directly off the face-off to restart play, Kale Kerbashian fed Jim McKenzie below the goal line in the left wing corner. McKenzie wasted no time ripping a perfect seam pass across the top of the crease where defenseman Troy Rutkowski stepped off the right point to meet the pass for an easy back-door tap in and his second of the season.

Second Period (2-1, Reading)

0:54 (1-1, Tie) Reading Goal

Hughesman (6); Davies and Reid (deflection of shot from left point)

Reading broke a streak of 86:06 without a goal, when Zach Davies fired a low shot from the left point that was deftly deflected by Adam Hughesman up an over the outstretched blocker of goaltender Chris Dreidger for Hughesman’s tenth of the season.

1:39 (2-1, Reading) Reading Goal

Marshall (10); Reid and Davies (multiple rebound put back)

Forty-five seconds later, the Royals got what would prove to be the game winner when Davies fired another shot from the left point that went in and out of Dreidger’s catching glove. The puck fell to the top of the crease, where Cam Reid had the first chance at the rebound. Dreidger rejected that one, but the second rebound fell to the right side of the crease, where David Marshall settled, carried around the goaltender and stuffed it in for his tenth of the season—and what would prove to be his sixth game winner of the year.

Third Period (3-1, Reading)

12:56 (3-1, Reading) Reading Goal

Labelle (10); Mullane and Marcou (multiple rebound put back)

The Royals tacked on an insurance goal mid-way into the third—that was basically a carbon copy (or mirror image) of the team’s second goal. This time it was Mike Marcou’s shot from the right point that was rejected by Dreidger. On this one, the rebound fell five feet off the top of the crease to Pat Mullane, whose quick shot was rejected by the Evansville goalie. But, once again, Reading did not give up on the puck, and Olivier Labelle slammed it home for his tenth of the year.


  • There were no scratches for the Royals tonight, as the team played with all available players on the active roster, eleven forwards and five defensemen (and two goaltenders).
  • Tonight’s win in Evansville stretched the Royals’ road win streak to five (5-0-0-0), dating to a 6-4 win over the Indy Fuel at Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis, Indiana.
  • Reading has compiled a record of 9-2-0-0 in the team’s last eleven games.
  • Tonight’s win pushed the Royals’ record back to eight games over .500 for the second time this season, which is the team’s high-water mark
  • With the victory in Evansville, Reading jumped back into sole possession of third place in the East Division for the second time this year. That is also the high-water mark for the team with respect to position in the standings.
  • This game marked the ninth come-from-behind win of the year—and second consecutive come-back against Evansville—for Reading.
  • The goals scored tonight were the tenth goals of the year for each of the three Royals who scored. Reading has five players in double-digit goals to this point of the season: (i) Pat Mullane (11); (ii) Cam Reid (11); (iii) Adam Hughesman (10); (iv) David Marshall (10); and (v) Olivier Labelle (10).
  • Tonight’s goal snapped a six game goal scoring drought for Adam Hughesman.
  • David Marshall’s goal proved to be his sixth game winner of the season, which is tied for the league lead.
  • Olivier Labelle’s goal was his 81st career goal as a Royal (in his 186th game with the team). That is the team’s all-time career lead.
  • Cam Reid recorded his sixth multi-point game of the season, as he picked up a pair of assists including the primary assist on the game winner by David Marshall.
  • Defenseman Zach Davies recorded an assist on the first two goals scored by the Royals to register his fourth multi-point performance of the season.
  • With his assist on the team’s third goal, Pat Mullane picked up his team-leading twenty-eighth point in his thirtieth game with the team. Mullane has twenty-one points (6g-15a) in his last nineteen games.
  • Goaltender Connor Knapp pushed his personal win streak to three games with the twenty-six save victory tonight. This marked the third time this season that Knapp has held the opposition to just one goal.
  • Reading’s power play was held off the board for eighth time in the team’s last nine games, the eleventh time in the last thirteen, and the twelfth of the last fifteen. In those fifteen games, the Royals’ power play has gone 4 for 55 (7.2%).
  • The Royals penalty killers have given up at least one power play goal against in each of the last three games, which is the worst streak for the PK since the team gave up a PPGA in the first four games of the season.


Reading Royals @ Indy Fuel

@ Indiana Farmers Coliseum – Indianapolis, IN

Saturday, January 3 (7:35 pm Eastern Time)

NEXT UP: The Royals travel back to Indianapolis, Indiana, to face the Indy Fuel at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum on the Indiana State Fairgrounds for the second time this season on Saturday, January 3, @ 7:35 pm. Please note that the Saturday’s game is an internet only broadcast. (Coverage on CBS SportsRadio 1240 am and 98.5 fm in Reading will be pre-empted by NFL Football presented by Westwood One.) Nonetheless, Saturday’s game, as with all Royals’ road games this season, will 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.

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