Teams Per: 1 2 3
ELM: 1 2 0 =3
REA: 3 2 3 =8
ELM: 2-3-0-0 = 4
REA: 3-2-0-0 = 6
ELM: Marotta (no decision) (4/7) 11:47
Motte (loss) 0-3-0-0 (15/20) 48:11
REA: Knapp (win) 1-2-0-0 (10/13)
Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (win, 3-2-0-0=6) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, defeated the Elmira Jackals (loss, 2-3-0-0=4), affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres, 8-3, at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania.
In the third and final game of what proved to be a see-saw, three game series between the Royals and Jackals, Reading avenged a disheartening loss to Elmira in the Fifteenth Anniversary home opener by exploding for eight goals in the team’s first home win of the year. The Royals scored early and despite repeated come-back efforts of the Jackals pulled away with a three goal third to take sole possession of second place in the ECHL’s East Division. In the final frame—in addition to bagging three insurance goals—Reading held Elmira to just 3 of the thirteen shots that the Jackals were able to muster throughout the contest.
It appeared that Reading had scored 1:39 into the game on a delayed penalty and with the sixth attacker on the ice when Robbie Czarnik punched back a rebound from in tight. But it was ruled that Elmira had sufficiently played the puck prior to the goal to warrant a whistle. Nonetheless, the Royals pounced on the power play chance, when Justin Crandall dug a loose puck from the top of the crease and chipped a back-hand up and over goaltender Sam Marotta 3:27 into the opening frame.
The Royals took a two goal advantage 2:47 later when Ian Watters crashed the front of the net, turning a Mike Pereira shot into a pass off pad rebound goal for Watters’ first of the year.
The Jackals answered with the first of what would be two power play goals 8:24 into the opening frame on a beautiful tic-tac-toe passing sequence that saw defenseman Zach Tolkinen find Cason Hohmann deep in the right circle with a perfect diagonal down left to right pass. Hohmann in turn fed the puck to the top of the crease where Scott Jacklin angled it bar-down on Connor Knapp for his second of the season.
Reading re-gained the two-goal advantage 11:49 into the first when Matt Hatch out-battled the Jackals for a loose puck in the offensive end and found Adam Comrie crossing into the zone on the left wing side. Comrie stepped up into the top of the left circle and uncorked a bomb that blew by Marotta for his third of the year and served to chase Marotta from the game in favor of rookie goaltender C.J. Motte.
Elmira made a stab at clawing their way back into things 1:04 into the second when virtually everybody on the Royals got sucked below the goal line in the defensive zone, leaving a wide open and all-alone Colin Jacobs to take a feed from Hohmann directly in front of the Royals’ net. Jacobs didn’t waste the gift, going forehand-backhand-finish on Knapp for his third of the year.
1:25 later, the Royals regained the two goal advantage when the Jackals returned the favor of leaving a Reading forward wide open and all-alone in front of the Elmira net. This time it was Pereira who took a feed from below the goal line from Crandall and buried it for his first as a Royal—and what would prove to be the game winner.
11:50 into the period, Pereira got his second as a Royal from a similar spot, but this time the pass came from Cam Reid from deep in the right wing corner.
Elmira bounced back with a power play goal to make it 5-3 16:45 into the second on a perfectly placed wrist-pass by Nathan Oystrick from the left point to Mike Seidel, who was floating in front of the Reading net for a neat re-direct and his second of the year.
But that would be it for Elmira and Reading would add three in the third. The first came just 24 seconds into the period while the teams were playing four aside. A turnover by the Jackals in Reading’s end resulted in a 3-on-1 counterpunch odd-man rush for the Royals with Kevin Sundher leading the charge. Sundher took it straight to the net and forced a fluttering puck over Motte, which landed directly on the goal line. Also crashing the net was Maxim Lamarche, and he reached in and tapped it over the goal line for his second of the year.
The Royals made it 7-3 off the rush 15:44 into the final frame when Pereira dropped one to Geoff Walker who stepped deep into the right side of the slot for a one-time snap shot rocket right along the ice that bulleted by Motte for Walkers first of the year—and to extend his point streak (1g-4a) to all five games played so far by the Royals.
Reading tacked on a power play goal by Comrie with 1:44 left. That was Comrie’s second of the night—his fourth of the season—and his twenty-eighth as a Royal over three seasons with the team, tying him with Denny Urban for the most career goals scored by a Reading defender in the history of the team.
The Royals return to action on Saturday with our Haunted Hockey Halloween Night when the Orlando Solar Bears make their only trip of the year to Santander Arena. Fans—and particularly kids—are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes. There will be trick-or-treat stations on the concourse and a costume judging contest during the intermission. The organization will give away an autograph book courtesy of Prospectus Berco on Saturday, and there will be a full-team autograph session after the game. The team will wear wild and whacky Zombie-themed jerseys during the game, and the game-worn jerseys will be available for sale on-line after the game..
The game night broadcast for Saturday’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. 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. Remember, you can always listen to the game night broadcast inside Santander Arena on the Diebler Dental In-Arena broadcast system at 99.3 fm.
Season Tickets for the 2015-16 Reading Royals ECHL season are currently available. For more information about the Royals, call 610-898-7825 or log onto www.royalshockey.com.
End 15 10-28