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Royals Fall in Double-OT in Game One Against South Carolina, 2-1

Friday, April 17th
Royals Fall in Double-OT in Game One Against South Carolina, 2-1

Teams     Per: 1          2          3          OT      2OT

REA:              0          1          0          0          0 =1 

SC:                  0          1          0          0          1 =2


REA: 0-0-1

SC: 1-0-0


REA: Knapp (OTL) 0-0-1 (37/39) (87:21)

SC: Jakaitis (win) 1-0-0 (34/35) (87:21)

Power Play:

REA: 0-3

SC: 2-6

North Charleston, SC – The Reading Royals (­­­­­­­­­OTL, 0-0-1) 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 South Carolina Stingrays (win, 1-0-0), 2-1, in double-overtime at North Charleston Coliseum in North Charleston, South Carolina, to take Game One of the best-of-seven East Division Semi-Final season.

The first playoff game in the respective histories of the Royals and Stingrays was decided 87:21 after the opening face-off on the second power play goal of the game for South Carolina. In a tightly fought contest that featured a solid and consistent commitment to the defensive side of the puck—and several exceptional stops at both ends of the ice from Reading’s Connor Knapp and South Carolina’s Jeff Jakaitis, the Stingrays struck first on their third power play chance of the night 1:47 into the second period. Reading responded with an even strength goal late in the same period; and the two teams basically played a solid, tight-to-the-vest contest through the third period and first overtime. It was more of the same to start the second OT, but a disputed holding penalty on Brett Flemming 6:58 in opened the door for the Stingrays, who took advantage of the opportunity to close things out twenty-three seconds later.

Despite generating only four first period shots, the Royals did get a couple of quality looks in the opening frame, which included defenseman Adam Comrie clanging one off the cross-bar early on and Ian Watters catching the left pipe with a point blank look a bit later.

Although the Royals killed the first two power play chances for South Carolina in the first period, a roughing minor 0:37 into the second on Andrew Johnston gave the Stingrays a third bite at the PP apple—and they didn’t waste this one. Andrew Rowe carried strong down the left side and threw a cross-ice pass to the top of the crease where a hard-charging Joe Devin angled the puck up and over a sprawling Knapp for his first of the playoff season.

Reading responded late in the first, when Maxim Lamarche started a rush from the defensive zone refusing to give up on the puck after his original clearing attempt struck the referee. On his second effort, Lamarche got the puck to Ian Watters, who in turn sprang David Marshall down the right side. Marshall then stopped up short, settled the puck and fed it off to Lamarche, who had joined the rush with speed. Lamarche carried deep into the right circle and fired a snap shot that slipped under and through Jakaitis for his first pro playoff goal.

From that point forward it was a chess match of simple, solid and smart hockey with the occasional flurry of offensive opportunity, but if the shot-blockers didn’t thwart those chances, the respective goaltenders did. That was until the holding penalty against Flemming 6:58 into the second over-time. Twenty-three seconds later, defenseman Drew MacKenzie set one on a tee at the top of the left circle for Frankie Simonelli, who got all of his one timer sneaking it through on the short-side on Knapp, who got a chunk of the puck but not enough to keep it above the goal line.


Game Two of First Round East Division Best-of-Seven Semi-Final Playoff Series

Reading Royals v South Carolina Stingrays

@ North Charleston Coliseum – North Charleston, South Carolina

Saturday, April 18, 2015 (7:05 pm Eastern Time)

NEXT UP: The Royals and Stingrays face-off in Game Two of the East Division Semi-Final tomorrow (Saturday, April 18 at North Charleston Coliseum (@7:05 pm). The game night broadcast for next Friday’s playoff 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. As with all Royals road games this season, next Friday’s playoff matchup 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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