Teams Per: 1 2 3
KAL: 1 1 3= 5
REA: 1 1 0= 2
KAL: 29-25-2-3=63 (3rd North Division)
REA: 38-16-3-2=81 (2nd East Division)
KAL: Martin (win) 24-17-2-2 (35/37)
REA: Ouellette (loss) 14-8-1-1 (26/30) (1 eng)
Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (loss, 38-16-3-2=81) 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 Kalamazoo Wings (win, 29-25-2-3=63), 5-2, at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania.
For the third time in four games, the Royals found themselves trailing in basically the first minute of the contest—thirty-seven seconds into tonight’s game—but were able to battle back to gain a lead, only to let the two points slip through the team’s collective fingertips in a shaky third period. In this one, Reading clawed back to take a 2-1 lead on a late first period goal by Olivier Labelle and another early in the second by Sean Wiles; but the Royals allowed the K-Wings to quickly re-tie the game at two—and then watched them pull away with three in the third to hand the Royals the team’s tenth blown lead loss of the season—and third in the last four games played. Reading had their chances in the third, including 1:05 of five-on-three power play when the team was only trailing by one (3-2); but the Royals were unable to solve goaltender Joel Martin down the stretch who held strong to record his twenty-fourth win of the year.
First Period (1-1, Tie)
0:37 (1-0, Kalamazoo) Kalamazoo Goal
Blomstrand (24); Fox and Taylor (bar-down back-hand from deep in the low slot)
Kalamazoo struck on basically their first shot of the night, shortly after a long clear from the K-Wings’ defensive zone buzzed into Reading’s offensive end. The puck was retrieved off the end wall by Kalamazoo’s Dane Fox who slid a pass from below the goal line to the low slot, where Ludwig Blomstrand beat everyone to the puck, and, as he was taking a hard cross-check to the back and falling to the ice, got a quick snap back-hand off that blitz by goaltender Martin Ouellette bar-down for Blomstrand’s twenty-fourth of the year.
17:08 (1-1, Tie) Reading Goal
Labelle (22); Reid and Hughesman (tap in from the crease)
Reading tied the game at one ten seconds after the team’s first chance with the man advantage had expired—but before the K-Wings were able to settle things down after a late surge in the power play attack. Reading created a wild multi-player scrum around the net, which ended when the puck slid under the body of goaltender Joel Martin, who was down and rolling on his left side. When the puck came clear in the middle of the crease, Olivier Labelle punched it into the net for his twenty-second of the season.
Second Period (2-2, Tie)
1:26 (2-1, Reading) Reading Goal
Wiles (22); Marshall (tuck in from just above the goal line on the left side of the net)
The Royals took the team’s only lead early in the second when David Marshall fired a cross-ice pass in the neutral zone that Wiles was able to take off his skates on the fly with speed down the left wing side, as he charged into the K-Wings end of the ice. Wiles beat a Kalamazoo defender down the wall and cut directly towards the K-Wings’ net on the goal line. As Wiles, who was actually below the goal line, was busting towards the net, he reached above the end-line and quickly tucked the puck through the pads of Martin for his twenty-second of the season.
2:10 (2-2, Tie) Kalamazoo Goal
Scheidl (12); Neal (slap shot out of the left circle).
Forty-four seconds later, the K-Wings re-tied the game off the rush, when Reading misplayed a Kalamazoo entry into the Royals’ defensive zone, allowing Michael Neal to slip a cross-ice pass to the charging Luke Scheidl, who took the puck on the fly down the left wing side, carried to the top of the left circle and uncorked a rocket that beat Ouellette across the body high to the glove side for his twelfth of the year.
Third Period (5-2, Kalamazoo)
1:56 (3-2, Kalamazoo) Kalamazoo Goal
Neal (16); Wilson and Bourbeau (redirect of a slap shot from right point)
Kalamazoo got the game winner early in the third. Right off the face-off to start play in the final frame, the K-Wings established a strong and long offensive zone presence with a relentless forecheck. Jean Borbeau dug the puck out of the right wing corner and fed the puck to defenseman Ben Wilson at the right point. Wilson ripped a hard-shot that Michael Neal nicked with the blade of his stick, causing the puck to deflect in a downward direction and skip off the ice and just catch the interior of the left pipe for Neal’s sixteenth of the year.
16:52 (4-2, Kalamazoo) Kalamazoo Goal
Blomstrand 2 (25); Fox and Blaine (jam in from the top of the crease)
After thwarting the Royals’ extended power play sequence mid-way into the third period—which included 1:05 of five-on-three—the K-Wings built a little cushion into the score when Dan Fox tracked a puck to the left half wall in Reading’s defensive zone and slid it towards the top of the crease, where a hard charging Ludwig Blomstrand, who was cutting through the low slot left-to-right, was able to beat everyone to the top of the crease, where he angled the puck off his skates to his stick and then stuffed it around Ouellette for his second of the night and twenty-fifth of the season.
19:07 (5-2, Kalamazoo) Kalamazoo Goal (Empty Netter)
Nagy (13); Caria (snap shot from offensive blue line)
Reading pulled the goaltender late in a last-gasp attempt to get back in the game, but Kalamazoo jumbled up an attempted entry into the offensive zone by the Royals, gained possession of the puck, and made Reading pay with an empty-netter by Gergo Nagy in the waning moments.
- The Royals scratches tonight were Kevin Sullivan (f), Kevin Walrod (f) and Zach Davies (d) (21-day injured reserve).
- Tonight’s loss dropped the Royals record to 2-2-0-0 against the K-Wings with one more game to be played against Kalamazoo (tomorrow—Sunday, March 15).
- Tonight’s loss marked the tenth ‘blown lead’ game of the year for the Royals—and the third time in the last four games in which the team held a lead but failed to claim the two points.
- With tonight’s loss, the Royals dropped to 9-3-2-0 when tied with the opposition after two periods of play.
- Reading has been outscored in the third period by a total of 9-0 in the third period of play in the last four games.
- Oliver Labelle, who has twenty-seven points (11g-16a) in his last twenty-three games with the Royals, scored his all-time team-leading 93rd goal as a Royal in his 215th game with Reading tonight.
- Sean Wiles has scored five goals in his last six games with the Royals. His goal tonight was his forty-first as a Royal (in 113 career games with the team), which ties him for tenth all-time with Doug Christiansen and Joe Zappala.
- Cam Reid has twenty-six points (12g-14a) in his last eighteen games.
- Adam Hughesman has thirty-points (10g-20a) in his last twenty-seven games.
- David Marshall picked up his 95th point as a Royal (38g-57a) in his 105th career game with the team tonight, which places him tied twelfth all-time with Brian McCullough.
- Martin Ouellette has lost his last two starts with Reading, marking the first time since October 26 – November 8, 2014 (when he lost three in a row) that he has lost back-to-back games with the Royals.
NEXT UP FOR THE ROYALS
Reading Royals v Kalamazoo Wings
@ Santander Arena – Reading, PA
Sunday, March 15, 2015 (5:05 pm)
NEXT UP: The Royals and K-Wings go at it again for the fifth and final time of the regular season tomorrow (Sunday, March 15 @ 5:05 pm) at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania. The Royals will host the team’s first ever Autism Awareness Night in conjunction with the Autism Society of Berks County, Unending Promise and MP Butterworth & Associates. The team will wear special jerseys tomorrow, which will be auctioned off after the game with the net proceeds going to the Autism Society of Berks County and Unending Promise. Tomorrow’s game is a Super Saver Sunday, which includes FREE PARKING and the Berks Packing Dollar Day Specials ($1.00 Hot Dogs, Popcorn, Soda and Nachos).
The game night broadcast for Sunday’s matchup 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 4:35 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 03-14