Teams Per: 1 2 3
ELM: 0 0 0=0
REA: 1 0 1=2
ELM: 18-10-0-0 = 36 (2nd East Division)
REA: 13-11-1-2 = 29 (4th East Division)
ELM: Motte (loss) 7-8-0-0 (34/35) (1 eng)
REA: Morrison (win) 4-5-1-1 (33/33)
Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (win, 13-11-1-2=29) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, defeated the Elmira Jackals (loss, 18-10-0-0=36), affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres of the NHL, 2-0, at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania.
In the Royals’ last home game of Calendar Year 2015, Reading struck on the team’s first power play chance of the night and then held off the hottest team in the ECHL—the Elmira Jackals, who had won seven in a row coming into tonight’s contest, pounded the pressure, and had ample opportunity to break through, but ran into an even hotter force, goaltender Adam Morrison, who made all thirty-three saves he was called upon to make—many in spectacular fashion—to register the fourth shutout victory of the year for Reading. The Royals tacked on an empty netter, but that proved more than was needed with Morrison anchoring the back end, as the Royals headed to the holiday break on a decided upbeat.
Reading struck on the team’s first opportunity with the man advantage 6:36 into the first period, when Adam Comrie bolted end-to-end, carrying deep below the goal line on the left wing side before sliding a pass back up towards the top of the crease, where Ian Watters had fought his way for the inside track. Watters settled the feed and moved the puck to his back-hand stuffing the puck around and behind Elmira goaltender C.J. Motte for his fourth goal of the year—and what would prove to be his second game winner in a three-game span. Watters’ heroics ignited the stuffed animals which rained from on high on this ‘Teddy Bear Toss’ night.
From that point forward things settled into an epic goaltender’s duel with Motte and Morrison trading highlight reel stops at either end of the ice. Several were noteworthy, but the glove save made by Morrison on Elmira forward Mark Bennett on a two-on-one break with just 4:19 left in regulation well…it wasn’t quite a Christmas miracle…but it was as good as we’ve seen all season long.
The Royals iced things with an empty netter when Robbie Czarnik battled his way through multiple Jackals in the neutral zone, got the puck above the center red line and hit dead-center pay-dirt with 80 footer for his thirteenth of the year—which is tied for the team lead with Mike Pereira and sent the big crowd at Santander Arena into much holiday merriment.
After the week-long holiday break, the Royals and Jackals meet up for the third time in a row—this time at First Arena in Elmira, New York on Saturday (December 26 @ 7:05 pm). The game night broadcast for next Saturday’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, next 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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