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Royals Outraced by Swamp Rabbits, 6-3

Friday, November 27th
Royals Outraced by Swamp Rabbits, 6-3

Click Here for Box Score

Teams     Per: 1          2          3

GRN:              2          2          2 =6

REA:              2          0          1 =3


GRN: 8-9-1-0 = 17 (5th South Division)

REA: 8-8-0-0 = 16 (t-3rd East Division)


GRN: Musico (win) 3-1-0-0 (17/20)

REA: Morrison (loss) 2-4-0-0 (23/29)

Power Play:

GRN: 1-5

REA: 0-5 (2 SHGs)

Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (­­­­­­­­­loss, 8-8-0-0=16) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, were defeated by the Greenville Swamp Rabbits (win, 8-9-1-0=17), affiliate of the New York Rangers of the NHL, 6-3, at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania.

Greenville scored early—and scored within the three minute mark in each of the three periods—and, despite a bounce back effort by the Royals, were able to stretch their lead to as many as four goals in the third period before closing Reading out for their third road win of the year (3-5-0-0). For Reading, despite generating a pair of short-handed goals—and tying the game twice in the first period, the team was unable to sustain a consistent attack, generating only twenty shots in the game, and losing in regulation time for the fourth straight game.

The Swamp Rabbits struck 2:49 into the game, when they were able to dig the puck out of a scramble at the top of the crease and feed it back up to the left point where defenseman Rob Kwiet took a low, hard slap shot that was deflected by Michael Kantor up and over the left arm of goaltender Adam Morrison for Kantor’s third goal in two games.

Reading tied the game 11:29 into the first, when the team converted a turnover at the offensive blue line into a breakaway for Justin Crandall, who returned to the lineup after a three game absence due to an appendectomy. Crandall laid down a perfect back-hand, fore-hand move on goaltender P.J. Musico for his sixth of the season.

Fifty-three seconds later, the Swamp Rabbits returned the favor on an odd man rush of their own that finished when Vinny Saponari led out Jack Combs on a sweet saucer that landed in a soft seam through the mid-slot in Reading’s defensive zone. Combs skated onto the puck, cut right to left across the top of the crease and buried the first of what would be three goals in the game.

The Royals bounced back to tie for the second time (at 2-2) 2:17 after that on the first of what would be two short-handed goals in the game. Mike Pereira gained possession in the neutral zone, charged into the offensive end, walked defenseman Sean Escobido, cutting left to right through the slot and finishing with a back-hand by Musico.

Continuing their trend of scoring early in the period, Greenville struck 2:57 into the second period, when a shot from the left point by defenseman Troy Donnay deflected off a stick and slid directly to Combs who was wide open and all alone at the top of the crease for an easy slam dunk.

10:51 into the second, the Swamp Rabbits would get what proved to be the game winner when a turnover in the defensive zone resulted in a quick pounce give-and-go down the slot for Combs and Darian Dziurzynski, who was the beneficiary of Combs’ return feed, which set Dziurzynski for another relatively easy slam dunk from the top of the crease.

Greenville stretched their lead to three (5-2) with another early period goal—this one just 2:10 into the third, which came at the conclusion of a disorganized scramble in the defensive zone for the Royals. Things unraveled when defenseman Jordan Heywood had to leave the ice after losing his helmet. While the Royals tried to sort their coverages, Kwiet took a shot from the right point that was deflected wide of the net; however, the rebound ricocheted off the end wall directly back into the crease, where Bretton Cameron roofed the puck up and over a sprawled Morrison for his sixth of the year.

2:25 after that, the Swamp Rabbits pushed the lead to four when Combs capped the hattrick with a power play goal nine seconds after Reading’s Todd Perry took a five-minute cross-checking major. Combs simply took a pass along the goal line and quickly stuffed it under and through Morrison for his ninth of the year.

While trying to kill the remainder of the five minute major, Reading struck for the team’s second SHG of the night when Cam Reid set Brandon Alderson for a bullet out of the right circle. Alderson ripped an absolute rocket by Musico for his first of the season. But that would be it for Reading, who flamed down the stretch despite being handed 1:35 of five-on-three power play shortly after drawing within three.

Reading and Greenville go at it again tomorrow (Saturday, November 28 @ 7:00 pm) at Santander Arena in Reading. Tomorrow night, we’ll celebrate “Shelter Night” and “Faith and Family Night”. The team will give away the first in a series of four Fifteenth Anniversary Commemorative Pucks to the first 2000 fans in attendance courtesy of Reading Health System. The team will also wear Star Wars themed special jerseys which will be auctioned after the game with the net proceeds going to Opportunity House. The Royals will also be collecting non-perishable food items and lightly used clothing for Opportunity House, Family Promise and the Greater Berks Food Bank.

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. 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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