Teams Per: 1 2 3
GRN: 0 0 0 =0
REA: 2 0 3 =5
GRN: 3-7-0-0 = 6 (5th South Division)
REA: 5-3-0-0 = 10 (2nd East Division)
GRN: Skapski (loss) 0-2-0-0 (23/28) (59:16)
REA: Knapp (win) 3-2-0-0 (30/30)
Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (win, 5-3-0-0=10) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, defeated the Greenville Swamp Rabbits (loss, 3-7-0-0=6), affiliate of the New York Rangers of the NHL, 5-0, at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania.
For the first time this season, the Royals captured their second consecutive win on home ice—both against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits and both behind the stellar netminding of former Greenville goaltender, Connor Knapp, who completed a busy weekend with his third shutout as a pro. The performance of the special teams was instrumental in both games, as well, as the Royals bagged a couple first period power play goals in Sunday’s win—while the penalty killers knocked off all six power play chances for the Swamp Rabbits including a critical 1:40 of five-on-three in the opening frame. The Royals, who for the second straight game got five goals from five different players, pulled away with three in the third to push the team’s record to two games over .500 for the first time this year.
Reading opened the scoring on the team’s first power play chance of the night 5:24 into the first period. Jordan Heywood started the power play breakout, feeding Yannick Tifu in the neutral zone. Tifu deftly dangled his way down the right wing side, eluding several Swamp Rabbits, before carrying below the goal line, where he slipped a pass back up into the low slot, where Justin Crandall found a soft seam and stepped up and into a one-time rocket for his fourth of the year—and what proved to be first game winner of the season.
8:05 into the first, the Royals faced the daunting task of having to kill 1:40 of five-on-three power play for Greenville; however, Reading—and particularly killers Ian Watters, Todd Perry and Maxim Lamarche (and Knapp)—arose to the occasion to withstand the seven-shot Swamp Rabbit power play attack.
13:42 into the first, the Royals were the beneficiary of back-to-back penalties assessed against the Swamp Rabbits resulting in 0:34 of five-on-three. Although Reading did not capitalize on the front end of the two-skater advantage, the team hit pay-dirt on the back-end when Cam Reid and Justin Crandall attacked the net with a perfectly executed give-and-go down the left side of the slot. After drawing the defensive pressure to him, Reid slipped the puck across the crease to a waiting Yannick Tifu, who got two bites at the apple before swiping home his first goal for Reading since being acquired from the Brampton Beast on October 27.
After a scoreless second, the Royals struck for three in the third in fairly quick succession. The first came when Watters dug a puck from behind the Greenville net and fed it to a spot in the low slot where a completely surrounded Matt Hatch found just enough time and space to rip a bullet behind Mackenzie Skapski 5:27 into the period.
Joe Rehkamp made it 4-0 8:16 into the third, when defenseman Kevin Young sprang him on a break into the offensive end after a slippery breakout move from the Reading defensive end. Rehkamp did not waste the chance, driving to the Swamp Rabbit net and ripping a bar-down bullet over the left shoulder of Skapski for his second of the season.
Lamarche capped the scoring 10:48 into the final frame when he uncorked a low rocket from the top of the right circle that whizzed by Skapski on the stick side. From there it was pretty much all about protecting the shutout for Knapp, who put the second donut of the year on the board for Reading.
The Royals kick off a heavy span of four games in five days on Wednesday, November 11 (@ 7:00 pm), when the team faces the Wheeling Nailers for the first time this year at Santander Arena in Reading. That night the Royals will celebrate our Wednesday Night Rivalry game with our T-Shirt Fired-Up Frenzy, when the organization will fire some 250 t-shirts into the crowd.
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 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 11-08