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Royals Fall Flat in 1000th Game Against Florida, 5-1

Wednesday, March 25th
Royals Fall Flat in 1000th Game Against Florida, 5-1

Teams     Per: 1          2          3

FLA:               2          1          2= 5 

REA:              0          0          1= 1


FLA: 44-13-2-5=95 (1st East Division)

REA:  41-17-4-2=88 (2nd East Division)


FLA: Ginn (win) 3-0-0-1 (29/30)

REA: Knapp (loss) 22-9-3-1 (28/32) 1 eng

Power Play:

FLA: 0-4

REA: 0-2

Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (­­­­­­­­loss, 41-17-4-2=88) 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 Florida Everblades (loss, 44-13-2-5=95), 5-1, at Santander Arena in Reading, PA.

The 1000th game in Royals’ hockey history didn’t go quite as planned, as the Everblades struck thirty-three seconds in and built a 2-0 lead after dominating Reading in the first period. Despite giving up a goal nineteen seconds into the second, the Royals came back with a strong effort in the second period, but couldn’t find a way to solve rookie goaltender Matt Ginn, who was 2:25 away from his second shutout in four games played before Reading was able to sneak one through. By the time the Royals finally hit pay-dirt, the ‘Blades led by four—and they were able to regain the four goal advantage with an empty netter with 1:32 left in regulation. The win for Florida stretched the Everblades’ lead over the Royals for first place in the East to seven points with eight games to play.

First Period (2-0, Florida)

0:33 (1-0, Florida) Florida Goal

Kaunisto (7); Aviani and Sandlak (bank in off the goaltender’s left pad from the right side of the net)

Florida struck on their first shift. After getting the puck into the offensive zone and establishing a strong fore-check, Ray Kaunisto ended up with the puck at the right side of the Royals’ net. Although his skates were well below the goal line—and the puck and his stick blade were right on the line—Kaunisto was able to bank one off the left pad of Connor Knapp who was attempting to seal off at the right pipe, and into the net.

13:25 (2-0, Florida) Florida Goal

Deschamps (1); Whitney and Graham (punch in from scramble around the Royals’ net)

Florida, who outshot Reading 20-4 in the first period, kept up a torrid attack through most of the first—which included 1:21 of five-on-three late in the period—and but for some spectacular saves by Knapp, the score could have been way worse. Nonetheless, the Everblades did build a 2-0 lead in the latter stages of the period after one of several multi-shot scrambles around the Reading net ended when Nicolas Deschamps was able to slip one under and through Knapp, who had made several saves in the sequence; but was down and out by the time the puck slid across the goal line.

Second Period (3-0, Florida)

0:19.9 (3-0, Tie) Florida Goal

Preece (2); Sandlak and Kaunisto (deflected snap shot from left point)

Reading actually had the better of the second frame, which was reflected in the shot count which favored the Royals 15-7. But before the team was able to get things going in a positive direction, Florida stretched their lead to three with a seemingly harmless snap shot from the left point by defenseman Bobby Preece that appeared to deflect twice as it was headed in on the Royals’ goal, causing it to elude Knapp who was moving towards the right side of the net, as the puck fluttered by him into the left side of the cage.

Third Period (5-1, Florida)

4:21 (4-0, Florida) Florida Goal

Aviani (10); Pommels (pass off pad—finish off the rebound)

Down 3-0 Reading was forced to push hard in the final frame and got caught in the relative early portion of the period with everyone pinching down in the offensive zone. Florida took advantage with a strong rush out of their end. Spencer Pommels carried hard down the right wing side and drilled a bullet from deep in the circle. Knapp rejected that bid with his right pad, but the rebound kicked right back up the gut, where a hard-charging Mike Aviani punched it home for his tenth of the year.

17:35 (4-1, Florida) Reading Goal

Flemming (6); Marcou and Marshall (snap shot from left point)

Reading finally broke through on goaltender Matt Ginn, who over the course of the game made several brilliant (and critical) saves of his own—particularly in the second period when the Royals had taken over the momentum of the game—with just 2:25 left in regulation when defenseman Brett Flemming slipped a seeing-eye snap shot through from the high slot for his sixth of the year.

18:28 (5-1, Florida) Florida Goal (Empty Net)

Marquardt (14); Brace and Little (shot from low slot)

The Royals pulled the goaltender in a last gasp effort to get back into the game; but the Everblades turned the table when Mike Little gained possession deep in the defensive zone and fired a high chip the length of the ice. Adam Brace was able to out-race everyone for the puck, nullifying the icing and gaining possession. Brace then slipped the puck back into the low slot where Matt Marquardt, who was trailing the play, drilled it into the empty net to close this one out.


  • The scratches for the Royals tonight were: Matt Hatch (f) and Ryan Misiak (d).
  • Tonight’s loss snapped a four game unbeaten streak (3-0-1-0) for Reading.
  • Tonight’s game marked the fourth time in a span of nine games that the Royals have given up a goal essentially in the first minute of the game: (i) on March 7, Toledo scored 1:15 into the contest; (ii) on March 13, Elmira scored 0:18 in; and (iii) on March 14, Kalamazoo scored 0:37 in.
  • This was the first loss of the year for Reading in four games against the Everblades (3-1-0-0). Reading and Florida will match up twice more—both at Germain Arena in Estero, Florida on Wednesday (April 2) and Friday (April 4).
  • Brett Flemming is riding a three game point streak (2g-2a). He has had at least a point in nine of his last twelve games (3g-9a=12pts).
  • David Marshall’s assist on Flemming’s goal was Marshall’s 100th point (40g-60a) as a Royal in his 110th game with the team. Marshall is the eleventh player in team history to reach the century mark in points for Reading.
  • Tonight’s loss snapped an eight game unbeaten (5-0-2-1) streak for goaltender Connor Knapp.
  • The Royals’ penalty killers knocked off 1:21 of five-on-three against in the first period of tonight’s game. This marked the third consecutive game in which Reading had faced a lengthy two-skater disadvantage; but he PK has been successful on each of these sequences.


Reading Royals @ Indy Fuel

@ Farmers Coliseum – Indianapolis, IN

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 (7:30 pm)

NEXT UP: The Royals head on the road for a five game road trip starting Friday (March 27 @ 7:30) at Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis, Indiana. As with all road games for the Royals, Wednesday’s game will be televised live locally in Berks County, Pennsylvania on BCTV courtesy of Boscov’s Travel and Apple Vacations. Wednesday’s game day broadcast can be heard live in the Reading area on CBS SportsRadio (1240 am and 98.5 fm) beginning with the pre-game warm-up show presented by Highmark Blue Shield at 7:00 pm. Streaming internet audio is also available free of charge and can be accessed by following the ‘headset’ icon on the Royals’ website. 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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