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Royals Suffer Carbon Copy Loss in Elmira, 5-4

Saturday, November 21st
Royals Suffer Carbon Copy Loss in Elmira, 5-4

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Teams     Per: 1          2          3

REA:              1          0          3 =4

ELM:              0          4          1 =5


REA: 8-6-0-0 = 16 (2nd East Division)

ELM: 8-7-0-0 = 16 (T-2nd East Division)


REA: Knapp (loss) 4-4-0-0 (23/28) (58:29)

ELM: Lundstrom (win) 2-0-0-0 (31/35)

Power Play:

REA: 2-5

ELM: 0-2

Elmira, NY – The Reading Royals (­­­­­­­­­loss, 8-6-0-0=16) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, were defeated by the Elmira Jackals (win, 8-7-0-0=16), affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres of the NHL, 5-4, at First Arena in Elmira, New York.

For the second straight night, the Royals scored first, but were unable to hold off a counter punch surge by the Jackals—tonight to the tune of four straight second period goals—and then just ran out of time down the stretch while attempting to climb back in. The result was the same as last night in Reading, a 5-4 decision in favor of Elmira, as the Royals’ fell in regulation for only the second time in the last nineteen games in Elmira (14-2-3).

Reading, who had only scored one power play goal all season on the road, capitalized on the team’s first power play chance of the night 5:56 into the first period, when Jordan Heywood carried across the offensive blue line and drilled a hot rocket that blew by goaltender Niklas Lundstrom for Heywood’s first of the year.

The second period melt-down began 5:56 into the middle frame after Ian Watters appeared to get slew-footed in the offensive zone, which directly resulted in an odd man rush for the Jackals. Defenseman Jacob MacDonald sprang Scott Jacklin into the offensive zone. Jacklin carried down the left side and slid a pass toward the top of the crease, where Chris Langkow split through a couple of defenders and angled the puck up and over Knapp for his second of the season.

2:59 after that, Cason Hohman outraced everyone down the right wing side into Reading’s defensive zone. He carried deep to a spot approximately eight feet above the goal line, putting himself at an extremely sharp angle; however, he went ahead and slid the puck on goal, and it somehow slipped under the blocker and stick of goaltender Connor Knapp who sought to make the paddle down save and got a chunk of the puck, but not enough to keep it above the goal line.

13:58 into the second, Elmira took a 3-1 lead, when the Jackals’ Mark Bennett turned a turnover into his first pro goal. Reading defender Todd Perry carried the puck behind the Royals net, but as he cut across the goal line, Bennett stole the puck and walked out front where he roofed a back-hand.

1:59 after that, the Jackals added insult to injury when defenseman Nick Petrecki sprang Jacklin for a break into the offensive zone. Jacklin carried hard to the net, where Knapp made a sprawling save. However, the rebound fell to the top of the crease, where Tyler Currier beat everyone to the loose puck and back-handed it home for his fifth of the season.

1:29 into the third period, the Royals began the comeback effort, when Riley Armstrong, who had three assists on the night (and seven points over the past two games) won a face-off to defenseman Kevin Young at the right point. Young fired a perimeter shot that appeared to glance off a Jackal defender and slip through Lundstrom for his first as a Royal.

1:46 after that, however, Elmira got what proved to be the game winner after a mad scramble around the Royals’ net. The scramble began when Knapp made a spectacular save on a chance from in tight for defenseman Spiro Goulakas. The rebound fell to the low slot where Hohman settled, turned, wheeled and fired through a pile out front for his second of the night and sixth of the year.

Reading clawed within two again (5-3) on the team’s second power play goal of the night 10:32 into the third period. After a series of quality chances, Yannick Tifu settled a cross-ice feed from Armstrong at the top of the right circle and threaded through a seeing-eye snapper that caught the interior of the left pipe and angled to into the net for Tifu’s third of the year.

For the second consecutive night, Reading clawed within one with a late game sixth attacker goal. With just 1:22 left Adam Comrie drilled one from the left point. Lundstrom kicked it out with the left pad, but the rebound fell directly to Mike Pereira, who was planted in the low right slot and extended his point streak to six games, by firing the puck into the gaping net for his sixth of the season.

Reading continued to press as time ticked down and had a couple of looks to tie—including one for Cam Reid in the right circle as the clock was headed to zero; but the Royals were unable to get the equalizer, dropping the team’s record to 2-3-0-0 in one goal decisions this year.

Reading is off until Wednesday (November 25) when the team will travel to WesBanco Arena—where the Royals are winless in their last eight games (0-7-1-0)—to face the Wheeling Nailers (7:05 pm). The game night broadcast for Wednesday’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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