Teams Per: 1 2 3
WHL: 1 0 0 =1
REA: 1 1 0 =2
WHL: 5-5-0-0 = 10 (1st North Division)
REA: 6-3-0-0 = 12 (2nd East Division)
WHL: Foster (loss) 2-3-0-0 (22/24)
REA: Ouellette (win) 3-1-0-0 (20/21)
Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (win, 6-3-0-0=12) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, defeated the Wheeling Nailers (loss, 5-5-0-0=10), affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins of the NHL, 2-1, at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania.
The Royals extended the team’s win streak to three straight for the first time this year with a tightly fought contest in the first game of eleven to be played against the Wheeling Nailers this year. Reading struck first relatively early, and the Nailers counterpunched in quick order to knot the game at one. The Royals turned up the pressure cooker in the second, and got what proved to be the game winner late in the period on a high deflection by Robbie Czarnik. It was the Wheeling’s turn in the third, but Reading’s defense and goaltender Martin Ouellette held on for dear life to hold the opposition to one goal or less for the fifth time this year (5-0-0-0).
Reading struck 7:03 into the first directly off a face-off win in the right circle of the offensive zone. Robbie Czarnik won the face-off to the top of the circle where Mike Pereira settled and fired, threading the puck through a couple of guys out front to beat goaltender Brian Foster over the glove hand for his fourth of the year.
Wheeling counter-punched 59 seconds later, when Reading coughed one up at the offensive blue line—and the Nailers turned the miscue into a two-on-one break. Derek Army carried down the left side and slipped a perfect cross slot saucer to a charging Riley Brace, who drilled the puck home for his second of the season.
Reading cranked up in the heat in the second, outshooting the Nailers 10-4; and the team finally hit pay-dirt when an aggressive fore-check allowed Pereira to gain possession and slip the puck low to high to defenseman Adam Comrie who was at the left point. Comrie stepped up and fired a rising bullet that Robbie Czarnick deflected in a downward direction as he was floating through the mid-slot. The deflected puck skipped through Foster for Czarnik’s fourth of the year.
In the third, it was Wheeling’s turn to turn the temperature gauge to full tilt—outshooting the Royals 10-4. But this time, Ouellette and his teammates kept the Nailers at bay to the bitter end, as Reading pushed the team’s record to 4-2-0-0 on home ice.
The Royals and Nailers go at it again on Friday night (@ 7:30 pm) at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling, West Virginia. 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 7:00 pm Eastern Time. As with all road games for the Royals this season, 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.
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