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Royals Withstand the Pressure Cooker of the Red Hot Fuel to Win Sixth Straight, 3-2

Friday, January 30th
Royals Withstand the Pressure Cooker of the Red Hot Fuel to Win Sixth Straight, 3-2

Teams     Per: 1          2          3

REA:              2          1          0= 3 

IND:               0          1          1= 2


REA: 27-13-1-1=56 (2nd East Division)

IND:   14-22-4-3=35 (6th North Division)


REA:  Knapp (win) 14-7-0-0 (29/31)

IND: Owen (loss) 8-13-1-0 (23/26)

Power Play:

REA: 1-4

IND: 1-6

Indianapolis, IN – The Reading Royals (­­­­­­­­­win, 27-14-1-1=56) 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, 14-22-4-3=35), 3-2, at Indiana Farmers Coliseum on the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, Indiana.

In a matchup of a pair of teams riding extended streaks without a loss, the Royals stretched their current win streak to a season-high six games in a one-goal squeaker over the red-hot Indy Fuel, who had not lost in nine consecutive coming into tonight’s contest. For the fourth straight game, Reading struck first and built a 3-0 lead in the second period before the Fuel started chipping away. The Royals were put to a severe test with four straight minutes of power play against—which included two full minutes of five-on-three against—during a span from late in the second through the early stages of the third. The penalty killers knocked that sequence down, but Indy finally broke through for a PPG mid-way into the third, to set the stage for another test down the stretch. The Royals passed that one, as well, despite having to do it without Head Coach Larry Courville on the bench, as he was ejected from the game for the first time in a 440 game span over the past seven seasons.

First Period (2-0, Reading)

(1-0, Reading) Reading Goal

Davies (4); Heywood and Hughesman (snap shot from high slot)

For the fourth game in a row—all on the team’s current road trip the Royals scored the game’s first goal. This one came relatively early in the game, when Jordan Heywood set Zach Davies for a snap shot from just inside the offensive blue line. Davies shot eluded goaltender Shane Owen high to the glove side—thanks in large part to a particularly effective screen by Olivier Labelle—for Davies’ fourth of the year.

(2-0, Reading) Reading Goal (Power Play Goal)

Reid (16); Lamarche and  Heywood (snap shot from top of the left circle)

The Royals took a 2-0 lead sixteen seconds into the first power play chance of the night. Again, this was another perimeter snapper that blew by Owen high to the glove side. On this one, it was Cam Reid who settled high in the left circle for the snap shot that proved to be his sixteenth of the season.

Second Period (3-1, Reading)

9:36 (3-0, Reading) Reading Goal

Reid 2 (17); Labelle and Caruso (chip shot from left side of the crease)

Reading stretched the lead to three with the second of night for Reid. Michael Caruso took a hard shot from the left point that deflected off an Indy player on the way in and ricocheted off end wall, where Olivier Labelle stepped in below the goal line and punched a quick back-hand towards the left side of the net. Reid gained possession and quickly zipped the puck up and over Owen and into the upper reaches of the net for his team-leading seventeenth of the year—and what would prove to be his second consecutive game winner.

14:00 (3-1, Reading) Indy Goal

Arsenault (5); Jones and Bembridge (baseball-style swat on a rebound in the low slot)

Indy got on the board late in the second period when defenseman Nick Jones took a shot from the right point that hit a body in front of the Royals’ net and fluttered up into the air. Vincent Arsenault, who was battling for position in front of the net, batted the tumbling puck out of mid-air baseball-style behind goaltender Connor Knapp for his fifth of the year.

Third Period (3-2, Reading)

9:18 (3-2, Reading) Indy Goal (Power Play)

Stroh (14); Jones and Massar (low bullet off the top of the left circle low glove side)

Although the Royals were able to kill a span of four consecutive minutes of overlapping power play chances—which included a full two minutes of five-on-three against within that span—beginning with 51 seconds left in the second period and continuing to the 3:09 mark of the third, the Fuel did break through for a power play goal later in the third period when Kyle Stroh stepped to the top of the left circle and ripped a bullet across the body of Knapp low to the glove side for his fourteenth of the year—and seventh with the Fuel in twelve games with Indy.

From there, the Fuel pulled out all the stops and would get another power play chance with less than four minutes remaining; but the Royals were able to hold off the high intensity attack and notch the team’s sixth consecutive win.


  • The scratches for the Royals tonight were David Marshall (f) (healthy); Gentry Zollars (d) (healthy) (ECHL Reserve); Kevin Sullivan (f) (healthy) and Kenny Reiter (g) (healthy) (ECHL Reserve).
  • Tonight’s win pushed the Royals current win streak to a season-long six games, dating to a 4-3 shootout win in Elmira on January 17.
  • Reading has won seven of the team’s last eight games, ten of the last thirteen, fifteen of the last nineteen, and eighteen of the last twenty-two.
  • Tonight’s victory runs Reading’s record to 27-13-1-1=56, fourteen games over .500, which establishes a new team season high-water mark with respect to games over .500.
  • Reading remains in second place of the East Division four points behind Division-leading Florida, who have three games in hand with respect the Royals.
  • Tonight’s victory also stretched Reading’s road win streak to five consecutive victories in the opponents’ respective rinks (also dating to January 17). The team season-long for consecutive road victories is six (12/17/14 – 01/03/15). The Royals’ 15-5-1-0 record on the road translates into a .738 win percentage.
  • The win over the Fuel pushed the Royals record to 5-0-0-0 against Indy (and 3-0-0-0 at Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis). Three games remain in the eight-game regular season series between Reading and Indy.
  • Head Coach Larry Courville, who is in his sixth full season with the team and won his 250th game as the Royals’ head coach on Wednesday, was thrown out of tonight’s game in between the second and third periods, marking the first time he’s been tossed out of a game as the team’s head coach—it came in his 440th game as the team’s head coach.
  • Reading scored the game’s first goal tonight for the fourth consecutive game. The Royals have compiled a record of 19-4-0-1 when scoring first this season (and 10-3-0-0 on the road).
  • Cam Reid (2g-0a) bagged his third consecutive multi-point game tonight (5g-3a=8pts). Reid, who leads the Royals with seventeen goals, has eleven multi-point games this season six of which have come in the month of January.
  • Reid’s second goal tonight was his second consecutive game winner. He is currently second on the team (to David Marshall) with five GWGs.
  • Defenseman Zach Davies scored the game’s first goal tonight—his first ‘first goal’ of the year. That goal broke a nineteen game goal scoring drought for Davies.
  • Olivier Labelle (0g-1a) extended his personal point streak to three games (2g-4a=6pts). Labelle has ten points (5g-5a=10pts) in his last six games.
  • Maxim Lamarche (0g-1a) extended his personal point streak to six straight (2g-6a=8pts) and his assist streak to five games.
  • Defenseman Jordan Heywood (0g-2a) is riding a three game point (and assist) streak (1g-5a=6pts). Heywood has had two multi-point games in his last three played.
  • Goaltender Connor Knapp pushed his personal win streak to a season-best five straight games with the twenty-nine save win tonight. Knapp has won nine of his last eleven games.
  • Reading’s power play (1 for 4) has scored at least one power play goal in nine of the last twelve games, going 14 for 53 in that time span (26.4%).
  • Although Reading’s penalty killers got touched up for a power play goal against tonight, the team also had several huge (and long) kill sequences. Reading’s PK has knocked off 29 of the last 31 chances the opposition has had with the man advantage (93.5% kill ratio).


Reading Royals v Cincinnati Cyclones

@ US Bank Arena – Cincinnati, OH

Saturday, January 31, 2015 (7:35 pm Eastern Time)

NEXT UP: The Royals complete the team’s late-January five-game road trip with the first visit of the season to U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio, tomorrow (Saturday, January 31 @ 7:35 pm Eastern) where the Royals will face the Cincinnati Cyclones. The game night broadcast for Saturday’s matchup with the Cyclones 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 7:05 pm Eastern Time. As with all road games this season, Saturday’s game will be televised live locally 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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