Please note Web Photo Courtesy of Al Larson
Teams Per: 1 2 3 OT SO
REA: 0 2 0 0 0=2
FLA: 0 0 2 0 1=3
REA: 10-10-0-2 = 22 (4th East Division)
FLA: 17-8-0-0 = 34 (1st South Division)
REA: Knapp (SOL) 5-5-0-1 (34/22) (5/6 so) (64:48)
FLA: Altshuller (win) 10-2-0-0 (26/28) (6/6 so) (64:51)
Estero, FL – The Reading Royals (SOL, 10-10-0-2=22) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, were defeated in a shootout by the Florida Everblades (win, 17-8-0-0=34), affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes of the NHL, 3-2, at Germain Arena in Estero, Florida.
In the first of a three game set between Reading and Florida, the Royals built a two-goal lead early in the second period, but were unable to hold off a furious charge from the Everblades, who got two third period goals from their captain and former Royal, Matt Marquardt, to get to overtime and ultimately to a shootout, which went six rounds—with only one player scoring, Ryan Martindale, to claim the two points for Florida. The goaltending was spectacular at both ends of the ice, with Connor Knapp rejecting repeated attacks from the Everblades and Daniel Altshuller robbing Reading on any number of occasions—including on the final shot in regulation from Cam Reid.
After a scoreless first in which Reading was only credited four shots, but seemed to have the better of the chances, the Royals struck 2:26 into the second frame, when Justin Crandall dug a puck out of the left corner and fed Cam Reid in the left circle for a hot rocket across the body of Altshuller that hit the interior of the right pipe and then pay-dirt for Reid’s fourth of the year and first in fifteen games. Defenseman Derik Johnson picked up an assist on this goal--as well as Reading's second goal--to record his first pro point and multi-point performance.
2:48 after that, Reading extended the lead to two when Yannick Tifu, playing in his 199th game as a Royal, fired a wrist shot from the top of the right circle that handcuffed Altshuller As the puck fell through the Florida goalie and landed just above the goal line, Scott Tanski stepped in and forced it home for his first of the season—and first as a Royal in his fourth game with the team.
1:48 after the Royals took the 2-0 lead, a hit behind the play and away from the puck by Corey Cowick of Florida sent Reading’s Riley Armstrong to the ice. Armstrong, playing in his 599th game, lay motionless on the ice for several moments before being attended to by the Royals’ athletic trainer, Brian Grogesky. After what seemed to be an unusually long span, the emergency medical professionals at Germain Arena came out to attend to Armstrong and ultimately take him from the ice on a stabilization board and stretcher. There was no immediate official statement on Armstrong’s condition, although informal word was that he was taken to a local hospital and was moving his extremities. Cowick received a five-minute major for interference and a game misconduct.
Florida finally broke through on Knapp 1:37 into the third period, when the Everblades’ Evan Bloodoff was able to move the puck quickly behind the Reading net from right to left, where Kevin Lynch tapped it above the goal line to a waiting Marquardt, who was planted at a sharp angle low on the left side. As Knapp tried to push hard from the right to left side of the net, Marquardt took a quick snap shot that appeared to strike the right side of Knapp’s back, sneaking through as Knapp attempted to corkscrew himself into a position to make a save.
Marquardt tied the game at the other end of the third—with just 3:21 remaining—when he got off a hot high shot from deep on the right side. Knapp made a nice save on the sharp angle attempt with his left arm, but the rebound fell to the right side of net, where Marquardt, who followed his shot, was able to punch it through for his second of the game and seventh of the year.
Reading had a golden chance to end it in regulation, but Altshuller made a brilliant save on the buzzer on Cam Reid to send it to overtime—where there were ample opportunities for both sides; but no one broke through, so it went to the skills competition for resolution. It took six rounds of the shootout before someone finally solved either goaltender, and it proved to be Ryan Martindale who beat Knapp with a quick snap shot. None of the Royals’ six shooters (Yannick Tifu, Justin Crandall, Mike Pereira, Cam Reid, Robbie Czarnik, and Adam Comrie) could break through on Altshuller.
The Royals and Everblades face off in round two of the three-game set on Friday (December 11 @ 7:30 pm) at Germain Arena in Estero, Florida. Friday’s game night broadcast 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 2:30 pm Eastern Time. As with all Royals’ road games, Friday’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.
End 15 12-09