Teams Per: 1 2 3
NOR: 0 2 0 =2
REA: 0 1 2 =3
NOR: 5-7-0-0 = 10 (T-3rd East Division)
REA: 7-4-0-0 = 14 (2nd East Division)
NOR: Rimmer (loss) 4-6-0-0 (43/46) (59:05)
REA: Knapp (win) (4-2-0-0) (23/25) (59:44)
Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (win, 7-4-0-0=14) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, defeated the Norfolk Admirals (loss, 5-7-0-0=10), affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers of the NHL, 3-2, at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania.
In the first game ever between the Royals and Admirals, Reading pulled out the team’s first come-from-behind win of the season by racking up two third period goals, including a late-third-period tie-breaking game-winner while playing on a five-on-three power play.
Despite peppering the Norfolk net with shots throughout the night, the Royals trailed for large chunks in this one, as the Admirals struck on their first power play chance of the game mid-way into the second frame, and, after the Royals tied the game less than three minutes later, Norfolk converted a defensive zone turnover into a 2-1 lead late in the second. Nonetheless, the Royals, who had two goals waived off—and vigorously disputed the validity of the Admirals’ first goal, kept the relentless attack going, which finally paid off with a pair down the stretch to extend the team’s home win streak to four.
The Royals opened the game with a blistering attack, but despite raining twenty shots in the first twenty minutes of play, Reading had nothing to show for it after a scoreless first frame. Mid-way into the first, the Reading faithful did think that the team had broken through, but the apparent goal was waived off for goaltender interference.
Reading kept the push coming in the second but it was the Admirals who struck first on their first chance with the man advantage 9:42 into the period. Defenseman Gabriel Verpaeist fired a rising shot from the right point that was deflected by Alexandre Ranger, who was planted in front of the Royals’ net, with a raised stick in a downward direction. Reading argued that the puck was deflected with a high stick, but, as with the Royals’ first argument about the waived off goal, that contention fell on deaf ears.
2: 50 later, the Royals tied the game at one, when Mike Pereira, a left shot, charged deep down the right wing side and drilled a laser from a sharp angle across the body of goaltender Ty Rimmer, who was spectacular all night long, just catching the upper left corner of the net for Pereira’s fifth of the year.
With just 2:05 left in the second frame, Norfolk re-took the lead (at 2-1) when Marcus Hinds stepped up with a strong-forecheck on Reading defender Kevin Young, who was trying to start a defensive zone breakout for the Royals. The puck was knocked off Young’s stick and directly to Josh Currie, who was below the forecheck and in front of the Royals’ net. Currie settled, faked and drilled a snap shot over the extended right arm of Knapp for his sixth of the season.
Reading did not go quietly into the night—instead, the Royals came storming again in the third period and finally hit pay-dirt 12:53 into the final frame, when Maxim Lamarche deftly slipped a low wrist shot from the left point that pinballed off Cam Reid who was battling for position in front of the Admirals’ net. The puck slipped to the low right slot, where Justin Crandall stepped back, gained possession, and drilled the puck bar-down while Rimmer was dealing with the heavy traffic in front.
The come-back door opened wide for the Royals at the 15:55 mark of the third, when simultaneous minor penalties were assessed against Norfolk, giving Reading a five-on-three skater advantage. Admiral forward Mike Pelech upended a Reading defender and was about to be hit with a tripping minor. However, when teammate Steven Whitney gained possession of the puck and drew the whistle on the delayed penalty, he shot the puck into the Royals’ net. That drew the ire of all six Royals on the ice—including goaltender Knapp—and the ensuing showdown resulted in an extra minor for roughing to Whitney.
The Royals thought they had made the Admirals pay for the undisciplined penalty 13 seconds into the five-on-three, when Adam Comrie somewhat misfired on a one-timer from the right circle but got enough of the puck to force it on net, where it went off the skate of Riley Armstrong and across the goal line. Despite the Royals’ protestations, the officials waived off the goal, ruling that Armstrong kicked the puck into the net.
Undaunted, Reading set Comrie for a second one-timer out of the right circle twenty-nine seconds later. This one didn’t need the extra kick, as it blew by everyone for Comrie’s sixth of the year—and his first game winner of the season.
The Royals and Admirals go at it again tomorrow (Sunday, November 15 @ 5:00 pm) at Santander Arena in Reading, PA, when the team will host the “Go Green – America Recycle Day” game. In honor of the Go Green theme, all tickets will be reduced to Green Zone pricing ($12.00). The game day 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 4:30 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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