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Royals Pull Out a Point in Shootout Loss to Swamp Rabbits, 4-3

Saturday, November 28th
Royals Pull Out a Point in Shootout Loss to Swamp Rabbits, 4-3

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Teams     Per: 1          2          3          OT      SO

GRN:              1          2          0          0          0=4

REA:              1          1          1          0          0=3


GRN: 9-9-1-0 = 19 (5th South Division)

REA: 8-8-0-1 = 17 (t-3rd East Division)


GRN: Musico (win) 3-1-0-0 (41/44)

REA: Morrison (SOL) 2-4-0-1 (23/26)

Power Play:

GRN: 1-5

REA: 1-6

Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (­­­­­­­­­loss, 8-8-0-1=17) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, were defeated in a shootout by the Greenville Swamp Rabbits (win, 9-9-1-0=19), affiliate of the New York Rangers of the NHL, 4-3, at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania.

Reading held two leads and pounded the pressure throughout the entire game, but it took a late-game pulled goaltender, sixth attacker goal (from Mike Pereira) to tie the game with just 1:20 remaining to get to the team’s first three-on-three five-minute overtime and three-shooter shootout in team history, where the Swamp Rabbits took the two points. Despite the late game heroics, he SOL, however, did serve to extend the Royals winless streak to five (0-4-0-1).

Reading struck 5:16 into the game, when Joe Rehkamp charged into the offensive end down the right wing side. Rehkamp dished the puck to the top of the crease, where Matt Hatch and Adam Berkle were fighting for position and possession. While that scrum ensued, Rehkamp swung around the Greenville net and came out on the low left slot where he found the loose puck. Rehkamp quickly corralled, turned, wheeled and fired, sneaking the puck through on the short side for his third of the year.

Greenville tied the game 4:09 later on their first power play of the game. Sean Escobedo fired a hard, high pass from the defensive zone, which Reading defender Kevin Young batted out of mid-air. However the puck fell to the Royals’ defensive blue line, where Josh Nicholls cut across, skated onto the puck and broke behind the Royals’ defense for a clean look break. Nicholls finished on the fore-hand, back-hand for his first of the game and sixth of the year.

6:44 into the second period, the Royals regained the lead (2-1) on the team’s first power play chance of the night. After an extended sequence of offensive zone power play puck possession, Adam Comrie set in the mid-slot for a hot rocket that blistered the cross-bar; but the puck ricocheted back to the mid-slot where Kevin Young teed up a rocket of his own. Robbie Czarnik, who was at the top of the crease, re-directed the puck up and over goaltender P.J. Musico for his eighth of the year.

Despite getting outshot 16-6 in the second period, the Swamp Rabbits ground out a couple of goals in the second frame to take a 3-2 lead. The first came on a point blank snap shot by Nicholls 13:32 into the second frame; and the second came on a deflection of a shot from the left point from Justin DaSilva that Scott Fleming nicked just perfectly causing the puck to take a hard change of direction and elude goaltender Adam Morrison with just 1:42 left in second period.

The third period saw Reading continue to pound the pressure in search of the equalizer. Despite numerous quality scoring chances, the Royals were unable to solve the Swamp Rabbits and Musico until late in the third. Reading pulled the goaltender with 2:25 remaining. Greenville got a couple of chances to hit from long range into the empty net, but all they got were a couple of icing calls against. With just over 90 seconds left, Reading’s six skaters on the ice went to work again—particularly Comrie, who made several exceptional plays at the right point to keep the puck in the offensive zone. After his third successive quality keep, Comrie hot-rimmed one down the wall that slipped by goaltender Musico as he came out of the net and attempted to pick off the puck. Instead, the puck slid through to Justin Crandall who fed the puck back into the crease, while Musico was scrambling to get back in the net. Mike Pereira, who was cutting across the top of the crease, somehow got a chunk of the puck to punch it across the goal line for his eighth of the season with just 1:20 left in regulation.

At the conclusion of regulation, the two teams headed to the new three-on-three five minute overtime—the first time in team history for Reading. The OT session tilted in Greenville’s favor when the Royals took a bench minor for too many men on the ice 2:19 into the fourth frame. But Reading withstood the Swamp Rabbit attack and ended up in the new three-shooter shootout format, where Reading shot first (Justin Crandall), but could not hit pay dirt; while Jack Combs shooting first for the Swamp Rabbits got all Greenville would need with a nifty five-hole move. The other two Reading shooters (Pereira and Czarnik) tried to find the equalizer, but fell on barren ground to push the Royals’ home winless streak to three (0-2-0-1).

Reading finishes off the four-games-in-five-days holiday week tomorrow (Sunday, November 29 @ 4:00 pm) when the Wheeling Nailers visit Santander Arena in Reading. The Royals will host a “Touch a Truck” Interactive Display on Sunday afternoon, and hot dogs will just be $1.00 in the last home game for Reading until mid-December. The game night broadcast for Sunday’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 3:30 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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