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Royals Fall in Final Regular Season Road Game, 5-4 in Orlando

Saturday, April 4th
Royals Fall in Final Regular Season Road Game, 5-4 in Orlando

Teams     Per: 1          2          3

REA:              2          1          1= 4 

FLA:               3          0          2= 5


REA: 44-19-4-2=94 (3rd East Division)

ORL:  36-23-3-2=82 (4th North Division)


REA: Ouellette (loss) 17-9-3-1 (17/22)

ORL:  Sparks (win) 20-7-2-1 (42/46)

Power Play:

REA: 0-3

ORL: 1-3

Orlando, FL – The Reading Royals (­­­­­­­­­loss, 44-19-4-2=94) 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 Orlando Solar Bears (win, 36-23-6-4=82), 5-5, at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida.

In the only matchup of the year between the Royals and Solar Bears, the Royals closed out a record-setting season on the road by coughing up a pair of leads—including a two-goal advantage in the first period and a third period one-goal lead—and dropping a one-goal decision in the only game of the year against the Solar Bears, who inched closer to claiming the fourth and final playoff spot in the East Division, while Reading’s hopes to win the East Division were extinguished.

The Royals, who peppered the Orlando net (and goaltender Garret Sparks) with forty-six total shots, scored a pair early on—both by Adam Hughesman—to take a 2-0 lead 3:49 into the game. The first game on the team’s real scoring chance: a snap shot from deep in the slot that slipped under and through Sparks 1:54 after the opening face-off; and the second on a rebound coughed up by Sparks just 1:55 later.

The resilient Solar Bears cut the lead in half after a turnover in the offensive zone by Reading led to a 120 foot breakaway for Orlando’s Brett Findlay, who carried deep into the offensive zone, went fore-hand / back-hand and slipped the puck through the legs of goaltender Martin Ouellette for his sixteenth of the year.

After Hughesman’s bid on a penalty shot was rejected by Sparks 9:15 into the first, the Solar Bears rang off a pair from Marshall Everson to take a 3-2 lead to the locker-room after one. Everson’s first came on a power play put-back, after Ouellette juggled a shot from the point and Everson batted the puck out of mid-air, causing it to flutter over the Royals’ netminder and land behind him just below the goal line. Everson’s second came on a deft deflection of a blast from the left point by Bryce Aneloski with just 18 seconds left in the first.

Reading dominated the second—outshooting the Solar Bears 13-1, but only hitting pay-dirt once on the hattrick goal by Adam Hughesman with 4:08 remaining in the period. Hughesman took a sharp angle shot from deep on the left wing side that snuck through for his twenty-third of the season to send the two teams to the third tied at two.

The Royals broke the third period tie 7:49 into the period with the twenty-ninth of the year for Olivier Labelle, who was freed into the offensive zone on a feed from Pat Mullane. Labelle used Hughesman, who was charging in on the right wing as a decoy and fired a shot that slipped through Sparks’ five-hole for Labelle’s 100th goal as a member of the Royals in his 225th career game with the team.

Undeterred the Solar Bears tied the game on a brilliant give-and-go passing sequence at the offensive zone blue line between Jacob Cepis and Findlay that sent Cepis charging behind the Royals’ defense with a point blank look at Ouellette, who rejected the original bid, but the rebound kicked directly back into the low slot, where Findlay, who was trailing the play had an easy punch back at the 11:16 mark of the third.

Orlando then got the third-period come-from-behind tie-breaking game winner on a snap shot from defenseman Carl Nielson, who carried just inside the offensive blue line, used a Reading defender as a screen, and fired a shot that eluded Ouellette for Nielson’s third of the year.

Reading pushed down the stretch, but couldn’t find the equalizer as the team fell for the first time in this late-season three game swing through Florida (2-1-0-0), dropping the team’s record to 6-2-2-0 in the team’s last ten road games of the regular season.


Reading Royals v Wheeling Nailers

@ Santander Arena – Reading, PA

Wednesday, April 9, 2015 (7:30 pm Eastern Time)

NEXT UP: The Royals return home to Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania, where the team will close out the regular season with three in a row, starting Wednesday (April 9 @ 7:30 pm) when the Wheeling Nailers will travel to Reading. Fans can take advantage of the Steak-umm Meal & Ticket Deal, where $25.00 gets you a Purple Zone Ticket, a hamburger, fries and a large soda. There will also be beer specials on Wednesday night. The game night broadcast for Wednesday’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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