Teams Per: 1 2 3
REA: 0 1 1 =2
MAN: 0 2 1 =3
REA: 9-9-0-1 = 19 (4th East Division)
MAN: 13-7-0-0 = 26 (2nd East Division)
REA: Knapp (loss) 5-5-0-0 (25/28) (58:09)
MAN: Stevens (win) 4-3-0-0 (20/22)
Manchester, NH – The Reading Royals (loss, 9-9-0-1=19) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, were defeated by the Manchester Monarchs (win, 13-7-0-0=26), affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings of the NHL, 3-2, at Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire.
In the first game in the respective team histories between two cities who were affiliated with one another as members of the Los Angeles Kings organization from 2001-08, Manchester took the opening salvo in a game where they never trailed and were able to keep Reading’s attack at bay for long stretches. The loss for the Royals dropped the team’s road losing skid to four straight (2-5-0-0) with Reading still facing six more consecutive games away from home ice.
After a scoreless and somewhat lackluster first period, the Monarchs became the first team all season to score a road power play goal against the Royals on their second chance with the man advantage 6:44 into the second frame. Reading’s penalty killers gained possession below the goal line in the defensive zone, and defenseman Maxim Lamarche set for a clear. However, it appeared that his shot from the zone hit the shin-pad of Manchester’s Joel Lowry and ricocheted towards the front of Reading’s net, where Derek Arnold settled and looked like he got two bids before finally slipping it by goaltender Connor Knapp for his fifth of the year.
Reading countered by scoring on their second power play chance of the evening 13:36 into the second. Adam Comrie set one on a tee for Kevin Young at the left point. Young, who has a team-leading seven power play assists, ripped a low rocket, which Justin Crandall deftly redirected up and over the extended right arm of goaltender Colin Stevens for his seventh of the year.
Manchester re-took the lead with 1:11 left in the second, when defenseman Alex Roach floated what appeared to be a seemingly harmless wrister from the left point that struck forward Troy Power, who was battling in front of the Reading net for position, and fluttered by Knapp for Power’s third of the year.
The Monarchs then got what proved to be the game winner in the relative early stages of the third. An aggressive and deep fore-check forced the puck to flutter from below the Royals’ goal line and bound towards the mid-slot. Zac Larazza, who was pretty much all alone between the hash-marks, showed considerable poise, settling the squirming puck and then drilling a hot rivet over the catching hand of Knapp for his ninth of the year 5:17 into the final frame.
The Royals turned up the energy from that point forward, but for the most part the team was kept on the perimeter despite getting two third period power plays. Reading did, however, draw within one with 1:24 left in regulation with the goaltender pulled and the sixth attacker on the ice, when Mike Pereira carried deep down the right side and threw a snapper across the body of Stevens that just did catch the left side of the Monarchs’ net. For Reading that was the fourth pulled goaltender sixth attacker goal in the last six games—three of which have been scored by Pereira, who is riding a four game goal scoring streak and is leading the Royals with ten goals.
But that would be it for the Royals, who pushed in a flurry down the stretch but could not find the equalizer.
The Royals and Monarchs go at it again tomorrow (Saturday, December 5 @ 7:00 pm) at Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire. Saturday’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. As with all Royals’ road games, 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.
End 15 12-04