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Royals Complete Road Trip with Win in Norfolk, 6-3

Wednesday, December 16th
Royals Complete Road Trip with Win in Norfolk, 6-3

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Teams     Per: 1          2          3

REA:              2          1          3=6

NOR:              1          2          0=3


REA: 12-10-1-2 = 27 (4th East Division)

NOR: 9-17-0-1 = 19 (5th East Division)


REA: Knapp (win) 7-5-0-1 (24/27)

NOR: Courchaine (loss) 2-2-0-0 (31/36) (1 eng)

Power Play:

REA: 0-2

NOR: 0-1

Norfolk, VA – The Reading Royals (­­­­­­­­­win, 12-10-1-2=27) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, defeated the Norfolk Admirals (loss, 9-17-0-1=19), affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers of the NHL, 6-3, at The Scope in Norfolk, Virginia.

In the first game in team history at The Scope, the Royals scored first and held three different leads before scoring three third period goals to pull away from the Admirals and stretch the team’s current unbeaten streak to four  (2-0-1-1). Norfolk was able to bounce back from each of the Royals’ early leads and actually appeared to have the momentum turning in their favor after tying the game at three mid-way into the second. But a line-brawl that erupted immediately after the face-off to restart play seemed to allow the Royals an opportunity to settle the flow and ultimately turn the table in the team’s favor. The victory capped Reading’s season-long seven-game road trip with a 3-2-1-1 record.

Reading struck first 12:35 into the game when Mike Pereira set one on a tee low on the left side for Robbie Czarnik, who uncorked a one-time rocket that blew by goaltender Adam Courchaine on the short-side for Czarnik’s first of the night and eleventh of the year.

Norfolk bounced back 3:07 later, when Radoslov Illo dug the puck out the left corner and slipped a pass to the low slot, where Alexandre Ranger found a soft seam and re-directed the puck up and over the extended left arm of goaltender Connor Knapp for his eighth of the year.

Reading took the team’s second lead (2-1) with 2:01 left in the first period on a tic-tac-toe (left-right-left) passing sequence that went from Pavel Padakin to Yannick Tifu to Cam Reid, who took Tifu’s diagonal-down feed at the left side of the crease and re-directed it behind Courchaine for his first of the night and sixth of the season.

The Royals stretched the lead to two (3-1) early in the second period, when Pereira threaded through his team-leading thirteenth of the year from deep on the left side that beat Courchaine on the short-side, clanged off the left pipe, then hit the back Courchaine’s pads and trickled across the line 4:02 into the second.

Norfolk bounced back with a pair to tie the game at three. The first came 6:19 into the second frame when Mike Pelech slipped one from deep on the left side to Illo, who was cutting across the top of the crease from left to right for a quick re-direct that slipped through Knapp for his third of the year. The game-tying goal came 9:26 into the second frame when Samuel Noreau took a shot from the right point that appeared to be headed wide left until it hit the body of Scott Allen and took a fortuitous (for the Admirals) bounce to the right side of the crease, where Steven Whitney was able to swipe it home for his sixth of the year.

At the face-off to restart play after that goal, Derek Mathers engaged in a fight with Gabriel Verpaeist that evolved into a line-brawl with all five skaters for both teams going at it. The end result proved to be a power play for the Royals and an apparent shift in momentum from the charging Admirals to Reading—or at least the ensuing delay and power play allowed the Royals’ to re-group and get to the end of the second period tied at three.

The Royals got what proved to be the game winner 3:30 into the final frame when Ian Watters snapped a eighteen game goal scoring drought when Sam Windle ripped one from the right point. Scott Tanski deflected the puck just wide of the net, tracked it down behind the cage, and then slipped it to the low left slot where Watters ripped a short-side bullet behind Courchaine.

Reading added some insurance 10:46 into the final frame when Padakin carried the puck down the high slot where it was inadvertently redirected off an Admiral defender directly to Cam Reid, who snapped it off a water bottle-buster from the mid-slot for his second of the game and seventh of the year (and fourth in his last four games).

Robbie Czarnik tacked on an empty netter with 1:18 left, but that proved to be more than enough for the Royals who pushed the team’s record to 3-0-0-0 against the Admirals with six more games to be played between the two teams this year.

The Royals return home to Santander Arena in Reading Friday (December 18 @ 7:00 pm) where the team will face the Elmira Jackals. That night, the Royals will wear the Ugly Sweater Jerseys and the organization will give away a pretzel tree ornament to the first 2000 fans courtesy of Toys for Tots. 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 6:30 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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