1. Home
  2. News
  3. Royals Unable to Hold Three Leads in Game Five Loss to Stingrays, 4-3

Royals Unable to Hold Three Leads in Game Five Loss to Stingrays, 4-3

Sunday, April 26th
Royals Unable to Hold Three Leads in Game Five Loss to Stingrays, 4-3

Teams     Per: 1          2          3

SC:                  1          1          2 =4

REA:              1          2          0 =3 


SC: 3-2-0

REA: 2-2-1


SC: Jakaitis (win) 3-2-0 (24/27)

REA: Knapp (loss) 2-2-1 (36/40) (58:26)

Power Play:

SC: 0-1

REA: 1-6

Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (­­­­­­­­­loss, 2-2-1) 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, 3-2-0), 4-3, at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania, in Game Five of the East Division Semi-Final Playoff series. The Stingrays hold a three-games-to-two lead in the best of seven series with Game Six to be held at North Charleston Coliseum on Tuesday.

The Royals scored first and held three different leads in the game, including a 3-2 advantage as the two teams entered the third period. But the Stingrays capitalized on two miscues by the Royals in the final frame, including one in the waning moments of regulation time to pull out their second come-from-behind win in the playoff series. Despite getting outshot 40 to 27, the Royals had ample opportunity to put this one away, including a couple of Grade-A chances in the third period; but were unable to salt this one away on home ice and now travel to North Charleston Coliseum needing to win back-to-back games to advance to the second round.

Reading struck on the team’s second shot of the night which came 8:10 into the game. On the team’s first shot, Andrew Johnston fired a snap shot out of the left circle, which goaltender Jeff Jakaitis misplayed into a scramble around the Stingray net. David Marshall was able to gain possession and slip the puck back to the right point, where Mike Marcou ripped a bullet through heavy traffic to bag his second of the playoff season.

The Royals appeared to have scored a second goal 11:16 into the first period after another mad scramble around the South Carolina net. The puck came from below the goal line to a wide open Brandon Alderson, who buried off a clean look from the low slot, but the net was well off the moorings before he took the shot, and the officials waived the goal to the chagrin of the Royals and the home town crowd.

South Carolina tied the game 15:37 into the game on a strange play. Royals’ goaltender Connor Knapp appeared to lose site of the puck after a curving shot from the left point fluttered off Knapp’s glove and then his shoulder and then high into the air and came tumbling back to earth right out in front of the Royals’ net where South Carolina’s Wayne Simpson played coy until the last possible moment when he baseball-swung it behind Knapp for his second of the playoff season.

Reading re-took the lead early in the second on the team’s second power play chance of the game. The Royals used solid puck possession in the offensive zone to set up a whirling dervish shooting gallery which including a bullet by Pat Mullane from the slot that ricocheted to defenseman Jordan Heywood at the top of the right circle. Heywood ripped a bullet of his own that was kicked out by Jakaitis, but the rebound fell to the top of the crease, where Olivier Labelle kept the play alive long enough for Cam Reid to swoop in from the left side and bury a snap shot up and over Jakaitis for his first of the playoff season 2:37 into the second frame.

Undaunted, the Stingrays counter-punched 1:31 later to re-tie the game at two. Defenseman Frankie Simonelli carried wide down the right wing side and fed the puck back up into the mid-slot, where Joe Devin was waiting all wide open and all alone for a quick, hot snap shot that beat Knapp low blocker for his third of the playoff season.

Reading got a golden chance to retake the lead 5:03 into the second when Labelle was clipped with a high stick, and South Carolina’s Marcus Perrier was sent to the box for a double-minor high sticking penalty. Although Reading didn’t capitalize on that chance, fourteen seconds after the expiration of that extended power play sequence, defenseman Maxim Lamarche sealed off a clearing attempt at the right point and fired a low shot towards the Stingray net. Sean Wiles, who was positioned in the mid-slot, was able to nick the puck on the way in with a perfect high-deflection sending the puck sliding between the legs of Jakaitis for his first of the playoff season.

In the third, Reading had their chances to extend the lead, including what appeared to be an easy slam dunk for Labelle when he corralled a rebound at the right side of the cage with Jakaitis down and out of position. But Labelle shot the puck behind Jakaitis catching the far-side pipe and staying out.

South Carolina then turned on the come-back jets, tying the game 7:10 into the third when Simpson dug a puck from the right wing corner and was able to walk the goal line towards the Royals’ net. He then slipped the puck behind a sliding Reading defender to the top of the crease where Andrew Rowe was able to get just enough of the puck to flutter up and over the left arm of Knapp.

The Stingrays got what proved to be the game winner with just 1:21 left in regulation when a Reading defender gained possession behind the Royals’ net and appeared poised to start a breakout. However, South Carolina’s Derek DeBlois pick-pocketed the puck from behind and then circled up towards the top of the left circle where he turned, wheeled a fired a wrist shot that buzzed through traffic and slipped by Knapp for his first of the playoff season.

Reading got one last gasp chance with the goaltender pulled and a late game power play; but the team was unable to create the quantity or quality of chances as time ticked down to get this one to overtime.


Game Six 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

Tuesday, April 28, 2015 (7:05 pm Eastern Time)

NEXT UP: The Royals and Stingrays face-off in Game Six of the East Division Semi-Final on Tuesday, April 28 @ 7:05 pm at North Charleston Coliseum. The game night broadcast for Tuesday’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”30 pm Eastern Time. As with all Royals’ road games this season, Tuesday’s game will be telecast 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.

End 15 04-26