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Royals Fall in Wheeling for Fourth Time in Four Tries, 6-5

Friday, January 9th
Royals Fall in Wheeling for Fourth Time in Four Tries, 6-5

Teams     Per: 1          2          3

REA:              2          2          1= 5 

WHL:             1          4          1= 6


REA: 20-11-1-1=42 (3rd East Division)

WHL: 15-16-0-0=30 (4th North Division)


REA:  Ouellette (loss) 10-6-1-1 (26/32)

WHL: Palazzese (win) 8-10-0-0 (43/48)

Power Play:

REA: 2-6

WHL: 3-4

Wheeling, WV – The Reading Royals (­­­­­­­­­loss, 20-10-1-1=42) 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, 15-16-0-0=30), 6-5, at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling, WV.

The last time the Royals lost on the road, Reading blew a lead to fall in a one-goal decision to the Wheeling Nailers at WesBanco Arena (back on December 14, 2014). This was a different day, but the same result. Only in this one, the Royals blew three separate leads to fall for the fourth time this season in four tries in Wheeling. Reading scored first and also held leads of 2-1 and 3-2, only to give up three goals in a span of 1:33 late in the second period to find themselves suddenly trailing by two. From that point forward, Reading was chasing the Nailers, who bagged three power play goals—including the third period game winner—on just four tries with the man advantage. The loss snapped a three game win streak for the Royals, as well as the team’s six game road win streak.

First Period (2-1, Reading)

4:27 (1-0, Reading) Reading Goal

Mullane (12); Watters and Marcou (rebound of a deflected slap shot from right point)

For the second consecutive game against the Nailers, the Royals struck first when Mike Marcou ripped a low hard slap shot from the right point that was deflected by Ian Watters on the way in. The deflected puck clanked off the cross-bar and fell in the blue paint, where Pat Mullane stepped in and tapped it home for his twelfth of the year.

6:31 (1-1, Tie) Wheeling Goal

Johnson (7); Murovich and Skelly (multi-shot rebound after walk out and jam attempt)

After giving up the first goal of the game, Wheeling came back with a vengeance, pinning the Royals in the defensive zone. The Nailers then forced one home, when Chaz Johnson powered his way from the below the goal line to the top of the Royals’ crease where he had multiple whacks at a loose puck before chipping it up and over goaltender Martin Ouellette for his seventh of the year.

14:11 (2-1, Reading) Reading Goal (Penalty Shot)

Hatch (2) (snap shot from mid-slot)

Nine seconds into the first power play of the game, the Royals Matt Hatch took off on a short-handed breakaway and was hauled from behind by the Nailers’ Zach Torquato. Hatch was awarded his first pro penalty shot, and he did not waste the opportunity, carrying the puck to the mid slot where he ripped a hot rivet that slipped under and through the right arm of Palazzese for Hatch’s second goal of the year.

Second Period (5-4, Wheeling)

12:49 (2-2, Tie) Wheeling Goal (Power Play Goal)

Torquato (8); Ellis and Ratchuk (slap shot from high slot)

Wheeling tied the game on their second power play of the night when Zach Torquato fired a seeing-eye laser from the high slot that slipped through heavy traffic in the middle of the ice to beat Ouellette on the stick side for his eighth of the year .

15:29 (3-2, Reading) Reading Goal

Hatch 2 (3); Molle and Mullane (hard shot out of left circle)

2:40 later, the Royals took the team’s third lead of the night when Matt Hatch tracked down the puck in the left circle and fired a hard shot that snuck through the body of Palazzese for his second of the night and third of the season.

16:39 (3-3, Tie) Wheeling Goal

McGrath 2 (3); (fortuitous redirect off a shin pad)

Just 1:10 after that, however, the Nailers tied the game for the third time, when Patrick McGrath gained possession deep on the low left side and just fired a shot into a forest of shin pads in and around the Royals’ net, resulting in a fortuitous bounce that ricocheted by Ouellette for McGrath’s third of the year.

17:16 (4-3, Wheeling) Wheeling Goal

Skelly (2); (breakaway snap shot high blocker)

A mere thirty-seven seconds after that, Wheeling took their first lead of the game when Shawn Skelly scampered off on a break into the Reading end and ripped a bullet high stick side for his second of the year.

18:12 (5-3, Wheeling) Wheeling Goal (Power Play Goal)

Johnson 2 (8); Rathchuk and Torquato (rebound put back)

The Nailers stretched their lead to two fifty-six seconds later on their second consecutive power play goal. Mike Ratchuk fired a shot out of the right circle that hit the upper body of a Reading defender and fell to the right side of the crease, where Chaz Johnson corralled the loose puck, turned and buried it for his second of the night and eighth of the year.

19:56 (5-4, Wheeling) Reading Goal (Power Play Goal)

Watters (2); Cruthers and Marcou (rebound batted out of mid air)

Reading drew back within one with a power play goal with just four seconds left in the second period. Ryan Cruthers fired a shot from the left circle that Palazzese stopped with his blocker. The puck, however, fluttered up into the air, and Ian Watters stepped in and batted the puck baseball-style behind Palazzese for his second of the year.

Third Period (6-5, Wheeling)

11:23 (6-4, Wheeling) Wheeling Goal (Power Play Goal)

Ellis (5); unassisted (snap shot out of left circle)

Wheeling got what proved to be the game winner on their third straight power play goal of the night. Derek Army got a point blank look, firing a hard snap shot to the blocker side on Ouellette, who got a chunk of the shot, but not enough to keep it in front of him, as the puck trickled over his right arm towards the goal line. A Reading defender then stepped in and swept the puck away from the goal line, but in the ensuing scramble, Morgan Ellis took possession of the puck below the Royals’ goal line. Ellis then worked his way back above the goal line and turned, wheeled and fired a hot snapper across the body of Ouellette that caught the upper right corner of the net.

15:53 (6-5, Wheeling) Reading Goal (Power Play Goal)

Marshall (11); Hughesman (snap shot out of the deep low left slot)

Reading brought the game back within reach with the team’s second power play goal of the night. With time ticking down on the power play chance, Adam Hughesman fired a diagonal-down, cross-ice seam pass off the right half-wall directly to a waiting David Marshall, who was wide open and all alone at the left side of the net. Marshall had enough time to settle and rip a snap shot just below the cross bar for his eleventh of the year.

Reading would get one more power play chance—and had a six-on-four skater advantage when the team pulled Ouellette in favor of a six attacker—down the stretch and created more than one Grade-A chance to tie the game; but the Royals were unable to bag the equalizer, losing for the fourth time in four tries at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling.


  • The lone scratch for the Royals tonight was Kevin Walrod (f) (ECHL Reserve).
  • The Royals and the Nailers have played eight games to this point in the season—and the home team has won every time, with Reading winning all four played at Santander Arena in Reading and Wheeling winning all four played at WesBanco Arena.
  • The loss snapped a three game win streak for Reading—as well as a six game road winning streak, dating back to a 6-4 win at Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis, Indiana on December 17.
  • The only building in the ECHL in which the Royals have lost in regulation this season other than Santander Arena is WesBanco Arena.
  • This marked the sixth ‘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. Three of those ‘blown lead’ losses this year have come at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling.
  • The Royals scored the game’s first goal tonight, dropping the team’s record to 13-4-0-1 when scoring first and 5-3-0-0 when scoring first on the road.
  • Pat Mullane scored the game’s first goal tonight. That was his second ‘fg’ on the year and his twelfth goal overall, which ties him for the team lead (with Cam Reid). Mullane also picked up a helper on the Royals’ third goal (by Matt Hatch) to record his team leading ninth multi-point game of the season. Mullane leads the Royals with thirty-two points (12g-20a) in thirty-three games.
  • Matt Hatch scored on the team’s first penalty shot of the year. (It was awarded while the team was playing short-handed, so it proved to be Reading’s fifth short-handed goal of the year—four of which have come against the Nailers). Hatch also scored the Royals’ third goal (to tie the game at three), marking his first multi-goal game as a pro—and his third multi-point performance as a Royal. Hatch is the eighth different player this year to score two goals in a single game for Reading.
  • Ian Watters scored his first power play goal of the year tonight (with four seconds left in the second period to make the score 5-4, Wheeling) and picked up a helper on the team’s first goal of the game. That is Watters’ first multi-point game of the year.
  • David Marshall scored his second power play goal of the year to get the Royals within one at 6-5, Wheeling, with 4:07 left in regulation. The Royals now have five players with eleven or more goals: Mullane (12), Cam Reid (12), Adam Hughesman (11), Olivier Labelle (11) and Marshall (11).
  • Defenseman Mike Marcou recorded a pair of assists tonight. That was his second multi-point game of the year for Reading. Marcou leads all Reading defenders with twenty-points (3g-17a) in thirty-two games with the team.
  • Reading generated a season high 48 shots on goal tonight, surpassing the previous team high of 45 set on Wednesday against the Nailers.
  • Tonight’s game marked the seventh time this year that Reading has scored two or more power play goals in a single game.
  • Tonight’s game marked the fifth time this year that Reading’s penalty killers have given up more than one power play goal against. It was the third time this year that the opposition has scored three power play goals on Reading’s penalty killers. Reading is 0-3-0-0 in those games.


Reading Royals v Brampton Beast

@ Santander Arena – Reading, PA

Saturday, January 10, 2015 (7:05 pm)

NEXT UP: The Royals return home for back-to-back games on Saturday and Sunday at Santander Arena in Reading where they will face the Brampton Beast for the first time in team history. On Saturday, the Royals will celebrate Pink in the Rink with pink ice, and the first 2500 fans will receive a pink bag courtesy of Sweet Street Desserts. The team will wear special pink-themed jerseys that will be auctioned after the game to benefit Breast Cancer Support Services of Berks County. The Royals will also induct Malcolm MacMillan, who holds the all-time penalty minute record, into the team’s Wall of Honor.

Please note that Saturday’s broadcast 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. 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 15 01-09