Teams Per: 1 2 3
REA: 1 1 1= 3
IND: 0 1 0= 1
REA: 19-10-1-1=40 (3rd East Division)
IND: 6-19-3-3=18 (7th North Division)
REA: Ouellette (win) 10-5-1-1 (28/29)
IND: Carruth (loss) 1-8-2-2 (29/32)
Indianapolis, IN – The Reading Royals (win, 19-10-1-1=40) 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 Indy Fuel (loss, 6-19-3-3=18), 3-1, at Indiana Farmers Coliseum on the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, Indiana.
In the second game in team history in Indianapolis, Indiana, the Royals struck for the first goal of the game and a number of other firsts, including the first ECHL goals for defensemen Michael Caruso and Bryant Molle—as well as the first power play goal and game winner of the season for forward Sean Wiles. But the most important number one in this game may have been the one on the scoreboard—as in the number of goals that goaltender Martin Ouellette allowed the Indy Fuel, who repeatedly buzzed the Reading net with Grade-A scoring chances but were left empty handed for the most part because of the stellar performance of the first year goaltender. The win, which was the sixth consecutive victory on the road for the Royals, pushed Reading’s record to nine games over .500 for the first time this season.
First Period (1-0, Reading)
10:02 (1-0, Reading) Reading Goal
Caruso (1); Johnston and Molle (hot snap shot from mid slot)
Reading struck first with the first in the ECHL career for defenseman Michael Caruso. After the rousing rendition of America’s National Anthem by Chicago Blackhawks’ legend Jim Cornelison had ramped the packed house—and the Indy Fuel—up to red-line level, the Royals withstood the early thrust and bagged the game’s first goal when Caruso found a soft seam from the right point to a spot eight feet off the top of the right hash mark where he ripped a hot bullet bar-down for his first of the season.
Second Period (2-1, Reading)
4:13 (1-1, Tie) Indy Goal
Bembridge (11); Franzon and Ford (stuff in from crease)
Indy came out in the second hitting everything that moved and pinning the Royals in the team’s defensive zone. The Fuel capitalized and tied the game when Anders Franzon fired a shot from the right point that appeared deflected on the way in by Robert Czarnik. The deflected puck eluded goaltender Martin Ouellette on the stick side, but clanked off the left pipe and fell behind Ouellette in the blue paint where a puck battle ensued that ended when a falling Garrett Bembridge forced it home for his eleventh of the year.
19:10 (2-1, Reading) Reading Goal (Power Play Goal)
Wiles (7); Cruthers and Mullane (tap-in off the rebound from the blue crease)
The Royals broke a string of nineteen straight power play opportunities over the past five games without a goal on their third PP chance of the night. Pat Mullane fed the puck to Ryan Cruthers in the left circle. Cruthers slipped the puck to the top of the crease, where Sean Wiles came cutting through the middle of the slot and redirected the puck on net. Goaltender Mac Carruth sealed off on the original bid; but Wiles stayed with it and stuffed it through Carruth for his seventh of the year—and what would prove to be his first game winner of the season.
Third Period (3-1, Reading)
19:10 (4-3, Reading) Reading Goal (Empty Netter)
Molle (1); Labelle (power move to the top of the crease and finish off on a rebound)
Speaking of first goals, late in the game defenseman Bryant Molle bagged his first ECHL goal in his 154th over three seasons with the Royals. Before we got to that point, the third period was filled with Grade-A opportunities for the Fuel, who were buzzing in their effort to tie the game, but Ouellette was flashing his A-Game in response and that proved good enough on this day. Then, with 9.3 seconds left in regulation and the Fuel net empty, Molle took control just above the center red line and flipped one dead center to ice the game.
- There were no scratched skaters for the Royals tonight, as all sixteen available skaters (eleven forwards and five defensemen) dressed and played.
- Tonight’s win in Indy stretched the Royals’ road win streak to six (6-0-0-0), dating to the first time the Royals played at Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis (a 6-4 victory on December 17). Overall, Reading is 10-3-1-0 in the fourteen games played on the road.
- Reading has compiled a record of 10-2-0-0 in the team’s last twelve games. Reading has outscored the opposition 35 – 26 during that span.
- Tonight’s win pushed the Royals’ record to nine games over .500 (19-10-1-1=40) for the first time this season.
- With the win in Indy tonight, Reading maintained sole possession of third place in the East Division. The Royals have the second best win percentage in the division at .645.
- Tonight’s game marked the ninth time this year that the Royals have held the opposition to one goal or less (9-0-0-0). Reading is 11-0-0-0 when holding the opponent to two goals or less.
- The Royals scored first in tonight’s game to push the team’s record to 12-3-0-1 when scoring the game’s first goal.
- Michael Caruso scored the game’s first goal tonight. For Caruso, who has played 353 AHL games in his career, tonight’s goal was also his first as a Royal (and in the ECHL) in his twenty-fourth game with the team (and in the league).
- Wiles goal was his seventh of the season, but it was his first power play goal of the year—and proved to be his first game winning goal of the season, as well.
- For Bryant Molle, tonight’s goal was his first with Reading (and in the ECHL) in his 154th game with the team over a span of three seasons. (Molle did score a goal during his rookie season with the Fort Wayne Komets when that team was in the Central Hockey League.) Molle also recorded an assist on the Royals’ first goal to register his first multi-point game in his three years with Reading.
- Ryan Cruthers recorded the primary assist on Wiles’ game winner. For Cruthers, that was his 245th point (78g-167a) in his 242nd goal as a Royal.
- Pat Mullane stretched his road point streak to eight straight games (3g-8a) dating back to the Royals’ game in Elmira on November 21. Mullane, who is the Royals leading scorer with twenty-nine points (11g-18a) in thirty-one games, has twenty-two points (6g-16a) in his last twenty games.
- Tonight’s game marked the sixth time this season that goaltender Martin Ouellette has held the opposition to one goal or less. Ouellette, who has won six of his last seven games, has compiled a record of 9-2-1-1 in his last thirteen games for Reading.
- Tonight’s power play goal for Reading was only the team’s fifth power play goal in the last fifty-eight chances with the man advantage over a span of sixteen games (8.6%).
- This marked the eighteenth game of the year that Reading’s penalty killers have kept the opposition off the board. The Royals have compiled a record of 13-3-1-1 in those games.
NEXT UP FOR THE ROYALS
Reading Royals v Wheeling Nailers
@ Santander Arena – Reading, PA
Wednesday, January 7, 2015 (7:30 pm Eastern Time)
NEXT UP: The Royals return to Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania, next Wednesday (January 7 @ 7:30 pm) to face the Wheeling Nailers in one of only four home games for the Royals during the month of January. That night, fans can take advantage of the Steak-umm Burger Meal and Ticket Deal in which $25.00 not only gets you a purple zone ticket to the game, but also a Steak-umm Burger, fries and a large soda. There will also be beer specials during Wednesday’s game. The game night broadcast for Wednesday’s matchup with the Nailers 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 7:00 pm Eastern Time. 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 01-03