1. Home
  2. News
  3. Royals Close Out Holiday Week with Win Over Wheeling, 3-2

Royals Close Out Holiday Week with Win Over Wheeling, 3-2

Sunday, November 29th
Royals Close Out Holiday Week with Win Over Wheeling, 3-2

Click Here for Box Score

Teams     Per: 1          2          3

WHL:             1          0          1=2

REA:              0          3          0=3


WHL: 10-8-1-0 = 21 (2nd North Division)

REA: 9-8-0-1 = 19 (4th East Division)


WHL: Palazzese (loss) 7-3-0-0 (36/39)

REA: Knapp (win) 5-4-0-0 (42/44)

Power Play:

WHL: 0-2

REA: 1-2

Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (­­­­­­­­­win, 9-8-0-1=19) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, defeated the Wheeling Nailers (loss, 10-8-1-0=21), affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins of the NHL, 3-2, at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania.

Despite falling behind in the first period in the team’s fourth game in five days, Reading kept their collective poise, pushed their foot to the gas pedal and generated twenty second period shots, scoring three times on goaltender Franky Palazzese who shut the Royals out last Wednesday and was good again, to build a two-goal advantage as the team’s headed into the third period. Reading then withstood a heavy counter-punch from the Nailers in the final frame—thanks in no small part to the play of goaltender Connor Knapp—to register pick up the team’s first win since November 15, a span of five games.

Reading created several quality scoring chances in the early going, but had nothing to show for it—again—by the time that Wheeling struck pay-dirt. The Nailers used a fast-paced, turnover-transition rush, which originated in their defensive zone to take the 1-0 lead. Matia Marcantuoni carried deep down the left side, came to a sharp stop and hit the second wave in the form of big power forward Adam Krause, who fired a catch-and-release snapper coming hard down the gut, which beat Knapp high to the blocker side for his fifth of the year.

The Royals tied the game 6:52 into the second with five seconds remaining in the team’s first power play chance of the night. After winning an offensive zone face-off, Robbie Czarnik settled in the left circle for a hard one-time rocket. Palazzese got a healthy chunk of the shot, but it trickled down and through his gear, ending up loose and behind him, where Mike Pereira attacked, reached in, and stuffed the puck home for his team-leading ninth of the year.

Reading took the team’s first lead of the game 9:02 into the second frame after an extended sequence of offensive zone puck possession, replete with scoring chances—several of them for Yannick Tifu, each of which was rejected by Palazzese. However, as everyone else went for a change, Tifu refused to be denied. He went to the left wing wall, dislodged a Nailer of the puck and then cut hard to the middle, skating left-to-right across the top of the crease, where he got two bites at the apple, and he chomped down on the second one, sliding a back-hand behind Palazzese for his fourth of the season—third as a Royal this year—and his 69th career goal with the team in 195 games.

The Royals got what proved to be the game winner with 1:31 left in the second frame, after a face-off win by Joe Rehkamp set defenseman Kevin Young for a hot blast from the right point. Palazzese rejected that bid, but the rebound fell to the low right slot, where Matt Hatch—who was a force all day long and had been rejected on numerous scoring opportunities—was not to be denied on this one. He gained possession, cut across the crease right-to-left and stuffed the puck behind Palazzese for is fifth of the year.

Wheeling did not go away lightly. To the contrary, they pounded twenty-one third period shots on net, which included opening up a veritable shooting gallery worth of shots in the latter stages of the period on an extended power play sequence that went from a four-on-three to a long five-on-three. But Knapp was Reading’s best penalty killer—and the other guys weren’t too bad either—as the Royals successfully killed the crazy sequence. But almost as soon as they did, defenseman Brett Stern uncorked a wicked blast from the left point that just caught the upper right corner of the net with just 2:57 left to make it a one-goal game.

From that point forward, it was a madhouse; but the Royals and Knapp kept their poise and got back in the win column with the team’s seventh home win of the season (7-4-0-1).

The Royals next head off on a season long seven game road trip, which will start in Manchester, New Hampshire, where the team will face the Manchester Monarchs for the first time in team history on Friday (December 4 @ 7:00 pm). The game night broadcast for Friday’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. As with all Royals’ road games, Friday’s matchup will be televised live 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.

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 11-29