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Royals Extend Home Unbeaten Streak to Nine with 5-1 Win Over Elmira

Monday, March 2nd
Royals Extend Home Unbeaten Streak to Nine with 5-1 Win Over Elmira

Teams     Per: 1          2          3

ELM:              0          1          0=1

REA:              2          1          2=5


ELM:  28-22-0-6=62 (5th East Division)

REA: 37-14-2-2=78 (1st East Division)


ELM: Marotta (loss) 9-15-0-1 (32/37)

REA: Knapp (win) 19-8-1-1 (21/22)

Power Play:

ELM: 1-3

REA: 2-3

Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (­­­­­­­­­win, 37-14-2-2=78) 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 Elmira Jackals (loss, 28-22-0-6=62), 5-1, at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania.

In stark contrast to Sunday’s game against the Jackals when Reading opened somewhat lethargically, the Royals came out of the gates with considerable jump, struck on the team’s initial power play chance mid-way into the first, and hit pay-dirt for a second time with less than a minute remaining in the opening stanza—with what would prove to be the game winner. The Jackals did bounce back with a power play goal of their own early in the second; but the Royals held strong, bagged the first short-handed goal against the Jackals all season long late in the second, and added two in the third to push the team’s record to a season best twenty-three games over .500. Goaltender Connor Knapp did not quite have the work load that he had in Sunday’s win; but he was equally good in recording his nineteenth win of the season

First Period (2-0, Reading)

11:52 (1-0, Reading) Reading Goal (Power Play)

Cruthers (11); Marcou and Mullane (slap shot from the top of the left circle)

The Royals struck on the team’s first chance with the man advantage when Ryan Cruthers set at the top of the left circle and ripped a water-bottle blast that blew by goaltender Sam Marotta as David Marshall set up a perfect screen at the top of the crease, precluding Marotta from getting a clean look at the shot—much less making the save. For Cruthers, who had been out of the lineup for four games due to an emergency appendectomy, that was his eleventh goal of the season—and his third scored on the power play.

19:13 (2-0, Reading) Reading Goal

Wiles (19); Johnston and Walrod (snap shot from right circle)

Reading got what would prove to be the game winner off the rush with less than a minute to play in the first period. Kevin Walrod slipped back-hand pass at the offensive blue line to spring Andrew Johnston into the offensive zone. Johnston carried into to the right circle, where he appeared to be running out of space, so he stopped up short, turned a full 180 degrees to protect the puck, and dropped a short pass to the Sean Wiles who was driving into the right circle as the second layer. Wiles wasted no time drilling a bullet high short side for his nineteenth of the year—and what would prove to be his second consecutive game winner (and fifth GWG of the season).

Second Period (3-1, Reading)

0:30 (2-1, Reading) Elmira Goal (Power Play)

Reid (22) (snap shot from the right hash-mark)

Elmira broke through on the team’s second power play chance of the night, which carried over from late in the first to the early stages of the second. Kevin Sundher gained possession in the right wing corner and cut to the low slot where he gained a Grade-A spot inside the dot in the right circle. Sundher turned towards the net and fired a hard snap shot across the body of goaltender Connor Knapp for his first goal of the year.

17:33 (3-1, Reading) Reading Goal

Wiles (20); (breakaway finish with snap shot from low slot)

Reading turned a too-many-men on the ice bench minor against into the team’s tenth short-handed goal of the year when Sean Wiles blocked a shot in the high slot and forced the puck into the neutral zone where he gained possession and out-raced everyone coast-to-coast, burying a hot bullet from the low slot for his twentieth goal of the season and his third short-handed goal of the year—and the first short-handed goal of the season against Elmira.

Third Period (5-1, Reading)

11:19 (4-1, Reading) Reading Goal

Labelle (21); Hughesman and Reid (punch in from the top of the crease)

Reading took the starch out of a hearty third-period attack from the Jackals after an extended puck battle in and around the Elmira net. Olivier Labelle, who was fending off several Elmira defenders draped all over him at the top of the crease, was somehow able to corral the loose puck and jam it under and through Marotta for his twenty-first of the year.

19:01 (5-1, Reading) Reading Goal (Power Play)

Cruthers (12); Wiles and Flemming (shot from low slot)

Reading tacked on a late game power play goal from Ryan Cruthers who was able to force one through from the low slot for his second of the night—and twelfth of the year.


  • The Royals scratches tonight included: Ian Watters (f), Matt Hatch (f) (ECHL Reserve), Zach Davies (d) (21-Day Injured Reserve), Kenny Reiter (g) (ECHL Reserve) and Kevin Sullivan (f).
  • Reading has compiled a record of 16-1-1-1 in the team’s last nineteen games; and 28-6-1-1 over the last thirty-six.
  • The Royals record currently stands at a season-best twenty-three games over .500 (37-14-2-2=78).
  • Tonight’s win pushed the Royals current home unbeaten streak to nine (8-0-0-1).
  • The win this evening pushed Reading’s record to 9-3-1-1 against Elmira with one more game to be played between the two teams—on Friday, March 13 at First Arena in Elmira New York.
  • Reading has held the opposition to one goal or less sixteen times this year (16-0-0-0).
  • This was the thirtieth game of the year in which Reading scored the first goal of the game. The Royals have compiled a record of 24-4-0-2 when scoring first—and 13-1-0-1 when scoring the game’s first goal at home.
  • Ryan Cruthers (2g-0a), who scored a pair of power play goals tonight, leads the Royals with eighteen power play points (4g-14a). This was Cruthers’ seventh multi-point game.
  • Sean Wiles (2g-1a) became the fourth Royal to reach the twenty goal plateau tonight. His three short-handed goals ties him with Pat Mullane for the team lead in that category. Tonight’s game marked Wiles’ eighth multi-point game of the year—and first three point performance.
  • Wiles’ short-handed goal was the tenth of the year for Reading, which is tied for second most in the league.
  • Olivier Labelle (1g-0a) has twenty-five points (10g-15a) in his last nineteen games.
  • Adam Hughesman (0g-1a) has twenty-seven points (10g-17a) in his last twenty-three games.
  • Cam Reid (0g-1a) is riding a six game point streak (4g-7a=11pts). He has twenty-four points (10g-14a) in his last seventeen games.
  • Mike Marcou (0g-1a) registered his fourteenth power play assist tonight, which is tied for the league lead amongst defensemen.
  • Tonight’s game marked the ninth time that goaltender Connor Knapp has held the opposition to one goal or less.


Reading Royals v Toledo Walleye

@ Santander Arena – Reading, PA

Saturday, March 7, 2015 (7:05 pm Eastern Time)

NEXT UP: The Royals take on the Toledo Walleye this Saturday (March 7 @ 7:05 pm) at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania. It’s Slapshot’s birthday, so you can expect Mascot Mania to get things pretty much ramped up that night. The first 5000 fans on Saturday will also get a Royals’ carabiner courtesy of Deibler Dental. The game night broadcast for Saturday’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 6:35 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 03-02