Teams Per: 1 2 3
REA: 0 0 1 =1
SC: 1 1 0 =2
REA: 0-1-0-0 = 0
SC: 1-0-0-0 = 2
REA: Knapp (23/25) 0-1-0-0
SC: Dekanich (28/29) 1-0-0-0
North Charleston, SC – The Reading Royals (loss, 0-1-0-0) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, were defeated by the South Carolina Stingrays (win, 1-0-0-0), 2-1, at North Charleston Coliseum in North Charleston, SC, in the 2015-16 season opener for both teams..
The Royals had plenty of chances, but South Carolina goaltender Jeff Dekanich had just as many answers; and the Stingrays were able to build a 2-0 lead on a pair of goals by Brett Cameron in the first and second. In the third, it was Royals’ goaltender, Connor Knapp, who kept the team around with a sequence of brilliant stops, giving the Royals a chance to get a late game goal from Adam Comrie. But that would be it for Reading, who ended last season in a similar fashion—in a one-goal decision to the Stingrays at North Charleston Coliseum.
South Carolina started the scoring 9:46 into the first when defenseman Marcus Perrier fired a shot from the left point that that was well off the ice. Cameron reached out with his stick and deflected the puck in a downward direction. The puck then took a wicked hop off the ice and ricocheted up and over the right shoulder of Knapp for Cameron’s first of the season. Although the Royals argued that the puck was deflected with a high stick, that argument fell on deaf ears.
The Stingrays got what proved to be the game winner 8:18 into the second on Cameron’s second of the night. Wade Epp threw a shot from just inside the blue line that Knapp rejected. However, the rebound fell to the top of the crease where Cameron had the inside track for the put-back and his second of the game—and fifth ECHL goal in just four games played in the league.
Reading made a game of it 15:49 into the third when they broke up Dekanich’s shutout bid off the rush. Geoff Walker carried into the offensive zone and fed Kevin Goumas in the left circle. Goumas made a perfect behind-the-back blind pass to the mid-slot where Comrie stepped up, filled the gap and ripped a hot rivet over the extended left arm of Dekanich.
But that would be it for Reading, who pressed down the stretch; but couldn’t get the equalizer against Dekanich and the South Carolina defenders.
The Royals and Stingrays will complete the weekend two-game set tomorrow (Sunday, October 18) at 3:05 pm at North Charleston Coliseum. The game day broadcast will start at 2:35 on CBS Sports Radio 1240 am / 98.5 in Reading with the pre-game warmup show presented by Highmark Blue Shield. Sunday’s game will also be televised in Berks County, Pennsylvania on BCTV. Streaming video is available for those outside the viewing area of BCTV on ECHL.TV on a pay-per-view basis. Free internet audio is available at www.royalshockey.com.
Reading opens the home portion of the team’s schedule on Saturday, October 24, (7:00 pm) when the Elmira Jackals visit Santander Arena. The home opener will be preceded by a Block Party complete with a FREE concert by the Gin Blossoms. Season Tickets for the 2015-16 Reading Royals ECHL season are currently available. Call 610-898-7825 for more information or log onto www.royalshockey.com.
End 15 10-17