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Royals Stumble and Fall Against Elmira, 5-4

Friday, November 20th
Royals Stumble and Fall Against Elmira, 5-4

Click Here for Box Score

Teams     Per: 1          2          3

ELM:              3          2          0 =5

REA:              2          1          1 =4


ELM: 7-7-0-0 = 14 (T-3rd East Division)

REA: 8-5-0-0 = 16 (2nd East Division)


ELM: Motte (win) 3-6-0-0 (20/24)

REA: Knapp (loss) 4-3-0-0 (12/17) (40:00)

            Vazzano (ND) (6/6) (20:00)

Power Play:

ELM: 2-6

REA: 1-3

Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (­­­­­­­­­loss, 8-5-0-0=16) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, were defeated by the Elmira Jackals (win, 7-7-0-0=14), affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres of the NHL, 5-4, at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania.

Reading scored on the team’s thirty seconds in on the second shot of the game and led 2-1 mid-way into the first, but the resilient Jackals scored on both ends of a five-on-three power play and then withstood a second period counterpunch and late game surge by Royals to snap Reading’s five game home win streak. For the second time this season, the Jackals chased the Royals’ starting goaltender, Connor Knapp, by making the most of their chances, scoring five times on just seventeen shots through the first forty minutes of the game.

The Royals scored on the team’s second shot of the game thirty seconds after the opening face-off. Elmira goaltender, C.J. Motte, actually made a brilliant right pad stop on the first shot of the game, which came off the rush directly after the game’s opening face-off. Reading’s Riley Armstrong then retrieved the puck, and fed Mike Pereira who in turn found Maxim Lamarche in the high slot. Lamarche wired a wrist shot through traffic that flew by everyone including Motte for his fourth of the year.

Undaunted, Elmira answered on their first shot of the game 2:23 into the first frame. An unfortunately misplay on the wall  in the defensive zone resulted in a steal and clean look for Allen MacPherson right side of the Royals’ net. MacPherson slipped a quick snap shot under and through Knapp from a sharp angle for his second in four games played with the Jackals.

Reading re-took the lead at 2-1 12:40 into the first on the team’s second power play chance of the night, when Armstrong, who would end up with four points on the night (1g-3a) sought to slide a cross-crease pass to a waiting Adam Comrie at the right side of the Elmira net. Armstrong’s intended pass hit goaltender Motte and fortuitously ricocheted into the net for Armstrong’s second goal of the year.

Elmira quickly bounced back by capitalizing on both ends of a five-on-three power play. Joe Rehkamp went to the penalty box for high sticking 13:20 into the first. While the Royals were seeking to kill that penalty, Adam Comrie sent the puck up and out and was hit with a delay of game penalty resulting in 1:12 of five-on-three power play for Elmira. Fifty-six seconds into that power play sequence, Spiro Goulakos uncorked a bomb from the high slot that blew by Knapp’s left shoulder for Goulakos’ third of the year.

Twelve seconds after that, the Jackals took their first lead of the game on the back-end of the five-on-three, when Justin Bernhardt was freed for a quick break down the left wing side immediately after the face-off to restart play (after Goulakos’ goal). Bernhardt beat everyone to the top of the crease and jammed the puck through Knapp for his second of the season to make it 3-2 Elmira.

Reading re-tied the game at three 9:18 into the second period, when Comrie fired a shot from the left circle that appeared to handcuff Motte and result in Comrie’s team-leading eighth goal of the year.

But, in relative short order, a careless defensive zone turnover by the Royals resulted in a wide open chance for Scott Jacklin, who was left completely unprotected out in front of Reading’s net. Knapp made a sprawling stacked-pad attempt, but Jacklin outwaited him and drilled the puck into the upper reaches of the cage to make it 4-3 12:11 into the second period.

With forty-three seconds left in the second period, Elmira got what proved to be the game winner when Bernhardt stepped up in the high slot and sent a wrist shot on goal that dipped under Knapp’s catching glove for Bernhardt’s second of the game and third of the season.

Reading’s comeback hopes were kept at bay for most of the third—during which Reading only generated six shots—but the Royals drew within one (5-4) with 1:32 left with the goaltender pulled and the sixth attacker on the ice. After an extended surge, Robbie Czarnik gained possession in the low slot and picked his spot for his seventh of the year. But that proved too little, too late as Reading lost for the second time this year to the Jackals at Santander Arena.

Reading and Elmira go at it again tomorrow (Saturday, November 21 @ 7:05 pm)—this time at First Arena in Elmira, New York. 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 6:35 pm Eastern Time. As with all Royals’ road games this season, Saturday’s game 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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