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Royals Go '0 for WesBanco' After 5-2 Loss to Nailers

Saturday, March 28th
Royals Go '0 for WesBanco' After 5-2 Loss to Nailers

Teams     Per: 1          2          3

REA:              0          1          1= 2 

WHL:             1          1          3= 5


REA: 42-18-4-2=90 (2nd East Division)

WHL: 32-30-1-1=66 (4th North Division)


REA:  Knapp (loss) 22-10-3-1 (24/28) 1 eng

WHL: Hartzell (win) 15-12-1-0 (29/30) (59:30) 1 eng

            Whitney (ND) (1/1) (0:25)

Power Play:

REA: 0-4

WHL: 1-3

Wheeling, WV – The Reading Royals (­­­­­­­­­loss, 42-18-4-2=90) 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 Wheeling Nailers (win, 32-30-1-1=66), 5-2, at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling, WV.

In the final shot for regular season glory at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling, West Virginia, the Royals were never able to muster the quantity or quality of scoring chances to finally earn a win in the Nailers’ home building, falling to 0-5-1-0 on the season at WesBanco Arena after a less than pristine game, which ended with a pointless fracas with twenty-five seconds left. The Royals had considerable difficulty creating scoring opportunities, but tied the game at one mid-way into the second period on—of all things—an empty netter during a delayed penalty. However, the Nailers bounced back from that miscue and were able to build a two-goal advantage by the early stages of the third period. The Royals did grab the momentum for a moment (but only a moment) mid-way into the third when the team finally solved goaltender Eric Hartzell on a shot by Brett Flemming; but that only lasted for a minute and a half before Wheeling re-gained the two goal advantage. Late in the game, after Wheeling built a three-goal advantage on an empty-netter, for some inexplicable reason, the Nailers sent out a lineup intent on sparking things up; and, not surprisingly, things devolved from there in a finish that was pretty much an embarrassment for all involved.

First Period (0-1, Wheeling)

5:18 (0-1, Wheeling) Wheeling Goal

Burton (11); Army and Brace (one time snap shot from low in left slot)

Twelve seconds into the game a charging major was assessed against the Royals’ Ian Watters. The first two minutes of that major power play was nullified by an instigator penalty assessed against Wheeling’s Shane Bakker in the same sequence. After the two minutes of four-on-four expired, Wheeling had three minutes of power play; but the Royals’ penalty killers did a solid job of keeping the Nailers’ PP at bay. However, six seconds after the power play expired, before Reading could get the fifth skater into the defensive zone, Derek Army fed one from below the goal line to Jarret Burton, who was waiting in the low slot for a quick one timer that blew across the body of goaltender Connor Knapp and into the right side of the net for Burton’s eleventh of the season—five of which have come against Reading.

Second Period (1-2, Tie)

8:02 (1-1, Tie) Reading Goal (Empty Net)

Marshall (22) (back-pass to empty net on delayed penalty)

Reading tied the game on an empty netter while goaltender Eric Hartzell was pulled in favor of a sixth attacker on a delayed penalty. The Nailers simply misplayed the puck from their offensive zone into the empty net to give the Royals a gift and tie the game at one.

13:56 (1-2, Wheeling) Wheeling Goal

Johnson (15); Fernandez and Seymour (failed puck battle on the wall turns into wide open chance in front of net)

Wheeling regained the lead when a failed puck battle on the defensive half-wall, resulted in a weak turnover at the defensive blue line. Clark Seymour gained possession of the puck and quickly slipped a pass to Chaz Johnson who was wide open and all alone deep in the offensive end. Johnson settled and cut from left to right through the low slot, out-waiting Knapp until the upper part of the net opened up. When it did, Johnson ripped the puck upstairs for his fifteenth of the season.

Third Period (5-2, Wheeling)

2:47 (1-3, Wheeling) Wheeling Goal

Army (26); Wydo and Gill (backhand from the low slot)

Wheeling took a two goal advantage early in the third period, when Wheeling won an offensive zone face-off, causing the puck to slide to the low slot where Derek Army was able to win a puck battle and slide a back-hand that had just enough sauce on it to slide under the left pad of Knapp and into the net.

8:44 (2-3, Wheeling) Reading Goal

Flemming (8); Hughesman and Marcou (snap shot from the high slot)

Reading drew back within one when Mike Marcou sprang Adam Hughesman into the offensive zone. Hughesman dropped the puck to Brett Flemming, who was trailing the play into the offensive zone, charging down the middle of the ice. Flemming settled the puck and ripped a low bullet to the stick side of Hartzell for his fifth goal in his last seven games—and his eighth of the season.

10:18 (2-4, Wheeling) Wheeling Goal

Torquato (16); Brace and Burton (pass off pad on odd-man rush)

1:34 after Reading had grabbed the momentum, Wheeling took it right back, when the Royals got caught pinching, and Riley Brace and Zach Torquato took off on an odd-man rush. Brace carried hard down the left wing side and ripped a low, hot rivet across the body of Knapp who responded with the left pad; but the rebound kicked right back up the gut, where a crashing Torquato forced the puck up and over Knapp for his sixteenth of the year.

19:19 (2-5, Wheeling) Wheeling Goal (Power Play) (Empty Net)

Torquato 2 (17);  (shot from neutral zone)

With time ticking down, the Royals pulled the goaltender with over two minutes left in regulation in a last gasp effort; but Reading picked up a penalty with just 1:27 left. Regardless of being a man down, the Royals pulled Knapp a second time, and on this one, the Nailers took advantage of a turnover in the neutral zone and converted it into an empty netter by Zach Torquato. After the empty netter, the Nailers made the dubious decision to load the ice with a line-up heavy in their top penalty minute accumulators—and they lived up to their reputation, causing a pointless, messy and embarrassing end that harkened back to an era that pre-dated the common sense concern for player safety.


  • The Royals scratches for tonight’s game were Zach Davies (d) 21-day injured reserve, Matt Hatch (f), and Sean Wiles
  • Earlier today, defenseman Maxim Lamarche was recalled to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Prior to the game, Reading signed forward Zac Frischmon to an ECHL SPC.
  • The loss dropped the Royals record back to twenty-four games over .500 (42-18-4-2=90), which places Reading in second place in the East Division nine points behind the first place Florida Everblades.
  • Reading has compiled a record of 5-4-2-0 in the team’s last eleven games.
  • The loss to the Nailers tonight dropped the Royals record to 0-5-1-0 against Wheeling at WesBanco Arena this season. Reading and Wheeling play one more time this year—on Wednesday, April 8—at Santander Arena, where the Royals have compiled a record of 5-0-0-0 so far this season.
  • Tonight’s game was marred by a season high 147 penalty minutes between the two teams (53 for Reading and 94 for the Nailers).
  • Brett Flemming stretched his point streak to five games (4g-1a) with his eighth goal of the season. Flemming has scored five goals in his last seven games and has had a least a point in eleven of his last fourteen games (5g-9a=14pts).


Reading Royals @ Florida Everblades

@ Germain Arena – Estero, FL

Wednesday, April 1, 2015 (7:05 pm Eastern Time)

NEXT UP: The Royals continue the team’s current five game road trip on Wednesday, April 1 (@ 7:30 pm) at Germain Arena in Estero, Florida, where Reading will face the Florida Everblades. As with all Royals’ road games this season, Wednesday’s game will be televised live locally in Berks County, Pennsylvania, on BCTV courtesy of Boscov’s Travel and Apple Vacations. The game night broadcast for Wendesday’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 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.

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