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Royals Knock Off Kalamazoo for Twentieth Win on Home Ice, 6-1

Sunday, March 15th
Royals Knock Off Kalamazoo for Twentieth Win on Home Ice, 6-1

Teams     Per: 1          2          3

KAL:              0          0          1= 1 

REA:              2          3          1= 6


KAL: 29-26-2-3=63 (3rd North Division)

REA:  39-16-3-2=83 (2nd East Division)


KAL: Martin (loss) 24-18-2-2 (26:58) (14/20)

            Bartus (ND) 33:02 (21/23)

REA: Knapp (win) 21-8-2-1 (32/33)

Power Play:

KAL: 0-2

REA: 1-3

Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (­­­­­­­­win, 39-16-3-2=83) 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 Kalamazoo Wings (loss, 29-26-2-3=63), 6-1, at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania.

In stark contrast to the last several games—and certainly last night when the K-Wings scored on their first shot thirty-seven seconds into the game—the Royals struck on their first shot 1:07 into the contest and never looked back, getting six goals from six different players, including Cam Reid who scored his team leading twenty-fifth goal of the season late in the first period, which also proved to be the game winner. The only blemish for Reading and goaltender Connor Knapp (who stretched his personal unbeaten streak to six: 4-0-2-0) was a goal early in the third that cut Reading’s lead to 5-1. The victory, which pushed the Royals to twenty home wins (20-10-0-2) for the fifth time in the last six games and the ninth time in team history, came in the team’s 500th game on home ice (285-169-46) in the fourteenth season in team history.

First Period (2-0, Reading)

1:07 (1-0, Reading) Reading Goal

Heywood (8); Cruthers and Wiles (shot from the high slot)

Reading kicked off the game with an high energy aggressive forecheck by the starting line of Kevin Walrod, Ian Watters and David Marshall, which set the tone for the game. In the second shift, the line of Ryan Cruthers, Sean Wiles, and Andrew Johnston converted that energy into the first goal of the game, when Wiles found Cruthers deep on the left side. Cruthers fed the puck back up into the high slot, where defenseman Jordan Heywood settled for a high, hard snap shot that blew by everyone including goaltender Joel Martin for Heywood’s eighth of the year—which leads all defensemen on the team.

17:11 (2-0, Reading) Reading Goal

Reid (25); Heywood and Labelle (rebound punch back from low slot)

Another high, hard shot by Heywood also proved to be instrumental in the game winner by Cam Reid. Martin got a chunk of Heywood’s shot with his right shoulder, but the rebound fell out in front of Kalamazoo goal where Reid quickly corralled the puck and slipped it back through the heavy traffic out in front for his team-leading twenty-fifth of the year.

Second Period (5-0, Reading)

1:04 (3-0, Reading) Reading Goal (Power Play)

Labelle (23); Hughesman (snap shot from the left circle)

Reading stretched the lead to three on the team’s second power play chance of the night. It appeared that a K-Wings’ defender had clean possession and an opportunity to clear up the left wing wall; but Adam Hughesman stepped up and thwarted the clearing attempt and forced the puck off to Olivier Labelle who carried left to right through the high slot. Labelle found an open window to the net and fired a dipping knuckler towards the net that slipped under the left pad of Martin for Labelle’s twenty-third of the year.

6:58 (4-0, Reading) Reading Goal

Mullane (21); Cruthers and Flemming (stuff in from left side of the crease)

The Royals chased Kalamazoo’s starting goaltender (Joel Martin) relatively early in the second period after an extended period of offensive zone puck possession. Again, the K-Wings had an opportunity to clear, but this time defenseman Brett Flemming did an exceptional job to keep the puck at the right point. Flemming then battled through a check to snap the puck towards the Kalamazoo net. The puck was knocked down in front, but Ryan Cruthers—whose stick was completely tied up—used his skate to kick the puck across the top of the crease, where Pat Mullane quickly swept the puck behind Martin to snap a nine-game goal scoring drought and notch his twenty-first of the season.

12:53 (5-0, Reading) Reading Goal

Flemming (4); Walrod and Labelle (snap shot from deep in the right circle)

The Royals pushed the lead to five after one the longest and most productive continuous shifts of offensive zone puck possession and corresponding scoring chances of the entire season. Virtually every player on the ice for Reading in the extended sequence not only touched the puck, but also had a scoring chance of his own and/or set up a teammate with a Grade-A chance. Kalamazoo goaltender, Garrett Bartus, who had come on in substitution of Martin, answered with series of big saves. However, the shift (and the Royals) persisted until finally Brett Flemming forced a snap shot from deep on the right wing side that slipped under the right arm of Bartus for Flemming’s fourth of the year.

Third Period (6-1, Reading)

2:04 (5-1, Reading) Kalamazoo Goal

Fox (24); Blain (snap shot from left circle)

Kalamazoo broke up goaltender Connor Knapp’s shutout bid early in the third, when Dane Fox carried deep down the left wing side and fired a hard snap shot out of the left circle that slipped between the Knapp’s pads and into the net for his twenty-fourth of the season.

3:06 (6-1, Reading) Reading Goal

Walrod (6); Johnston and Wiles (snap shot from the mid-slot)

Reading rebuilt the five goal advantage 1:02 later off the rush, when Kevin Walrod, who proved to be a spark-plug all game long for Reading, bagged his sixth of the season when he fired a snap shot from point blank range. Bartus got a chunk of the puck with his blocker, but it fluttered into the upper reaches of the net to give Walrod his second multi-point game of the season (1g-1a).


  • The Royals scratches tonight were Kevin Sullivan (f), Matt Hatch (f) and Zach Davies (d) (21-day injured reserve).
  • Tonight’s victory snapped a two-game winless streak (0-1-1-0) for the Royals.
  • This was the fifth and final matchup of the year between the Royals and Kalamazoo Wings. The Royals completed the season series with a 3-2-0-0 record against the K-Wings.
  • The Royals pushed the team’s record back to the season high-water mark at twenty-three games over .500 (39-16-3-2=83) with tonight’s win.
  • Tonight’s win pushed the Royals home record to 20-10-0-2, marking the fifth time in the last six seasons—and the ninth time in the fourteen year history of the team—that Reading has won twenty or more games on home ice.
  • Tonight’s matchup with the K-Wings was the 500th regular season game on home ice in the fourteen year history of the team. The team has compiled a record of 285-169-46 on home ice over the past fourteen seasons, which translates into a .616 historic win percentage.
  • This marked the seventeenth time this year that Reading has held the opposition to one goal or less (17-0-0-0).
  • This game also marked the eighth time that Reading has scored six or more goals in a single game (7-1-0-0). The five goal margin of victory tied the team season high, which the team has accomplished three times this year.
  • Reading has compiled a record of 26-4-0-2 when scoring the game’s first goal—and the team has gone 15-1-0-2 when scoring first on home ice.
  • Six different Royals recorded multi-point performances tonight: Olivier Labelle (1g-2a), Jordan Heywood (1g-1a), Kevin Walrod (1g-1a), Brett Flemming (1g-1a), Ryan Cruthers (0g-2a) and Sean Wiles (0g-2a).
  • Jordan Heywood (1g-1a) scored his eighth goal of the year tonight, which leads all defensemen on the Royals.
  • Cam Reid scored his team leading twenty-fifth goal of the year tonight, which also proved to be his seventh game winner of the season, which is tied with David Marshall for the team lead in that category.
  • Tonight’s game marked the thirteenth multi-point game of the year for Olivier Labelle (1g-2a) and the sixth time that he has recorded three points in a single game. Labelle now leads the Royals with 58 points (23g-35a) in sixty games with the team.
  • Kevin Walrod (1g-1a) recorded his second multi-point game of the year tonight.
  • Brett Flemming (1g-1a) registered his third multi-point performance of the season tonight.
  • Sean Wiles (0g-2a), who is riding a three game point streak (2g-2a), registered his ninth multi-point game of the year tonight.
  • Ryan Cruthers (0g-2a) has nine multi-point games. He is the team’s all-time leading scorer with 266 points (84g-182a) in 266 games with Reading.
  • Connor Knapp extended his personal unbeaten streak to six games with tonight’s win (4-0-2-0). Knapp has gone 12-1-2-1 in his last sixteen games with Reading.
  • The Royals power play (1-3) has gone 13 for 49 (26.5%) over the past fifteen games.
  • Reading’s penalty kill blanked the K-Wings’ power play in both games played between the two teams this weekend. The Royals have gone 27-5-1-2 when holding opposition’s power play off the board.


Reading Royals @ Brampton Beast

@ PowerAde Centre – Brampton, ON Canada

Thursday, March 19, 2015 (7:00 pm)

NEXT UP: The Royals travel to Canada for the first time in team history for three in a row against the Brampton Beast starting Thursday night (March 19 @ 7:00 pm) at PowerAde Centre in Brampton, Ontario. The game night broadcast for Thursday’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 6:30 pm Eastern Time. As with all Royals’ road games, Thursday’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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