Teams Per: 1 2 3 OT
REA: 1 1 0 1=3
BRM: 0 2 0 0=2
REA: 15-11-2-2 = 34 (4th East Division)
BRM: 9-15-3-1 = 22 (5th North Division)
REA: Ouellette (Win) 5-2-0-0 (26/28) (64:27)
BRM: Cann (OTL) 6-5-1-0 (14/17) (64:27)
Brampton, ON – The Reading Royals (Win, 15-11-2-2=34) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, defeated the Brampton Beast (OTL, 9-15-3-1=22), affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens of the NHL, 3-2, in overtime at Powerade Centre in Brampton, Ontario.
In the Royals’ final game on Canadian soil for the 2015-16 regular season, Reading won for the first time in team history in the new three-on-three overtime format adopted in the ECHL this season. For the seventh straight game (and the tenth time in the last eleven games), Reading scored first and built a 2-0 lead early in the second period before the Beast battled back to tie things up. After a scoreless third, the two teams headed to overtime for the second consecutive night, and this time it was the Royals who came out on top with Robbie Czarnik bagging his team leading fifteenth goal of the year with 33 seconds left to take the two points. The win extended the Royals’ current unbeaten streak to four (3-0-1-0) and the road unbeaten streak to seven (4-0-2-1).
Reading struck 10:56 into the first when Cam Reid dug a puck out of the left wing corner and fed Yannick Tifu on the left half-wall. Tifu in turn moved the puck up high to defenseman Adam Comrie at the left point. Comrie backed his way to the middle of the ice and unleashed a rocket from the high slot that buzzed by goaltender Trevor Cann for Comrie’s thirteenth of the year, which leads all defensemen in the league.
The Royals stretched the lead to 2-0 2:29 into the second when defenseman Todd Perry picked off a clearing attempt at the left point. Perry’s shot toward the net deflected off a Brampton player, took one bounce and as it was about to land again low in the low left circle, Derek Mathers turned and wheeled a one-time surprise swipe sending the puck over Cann’s extended left arm for his first of the year.
Brampton struck 1:20 later when defenseman Travis Brown stepped up and uncorked a hot rocket from the top of the left circle. Goaltender Martin Ouellette got a chunk of the puck with his left arm, but not enough to keep it out, as Brown logged his sixth of the year.
The Beast tied the game at two on their third opportunity with the man advantage 12:50 into the second frame. After getting pinned the defensive zone for the first minute of the power play chance, Reading’s penalty killers got the puck down into Brampton’s end and tried to make the long change for the full PK unit. Goaltender Trevor Cann sensed the opportunity and fired the puck to the offensive blue-line where Brandon Marino tapped it ahead to a breaking Scott Howes who charged into the offensive zone as the Royals’ changing penalty killers sought to catch him from behind. Howes carried the puck into the blue paint and was able to force it through Ouellette for his tenth of the year.
After a scoreless third, the two teams traded chances through most of the overtime until Czarnik tracked a loose puck behind the Brampton net. Czarnik forced his way to the right side of the cage and slipped a back-hand under and through Cann for the overtime game winner with just 33 seconds remaining in the extra frame for the Reading’s first win of the season in the five games that have gone beyond regulation time (1-4).
Reading close outs out the team’s most recent four game road trip as well as Calendar Year 2015 by traveling to Glens Falls, New York, for the first time in team history, where the Royals will face Adirondack Thunder (Thursday, December 31 @ 5:30 pm). The game night broadcast for Thursday’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 5:00 pm Eastern Time. As with all Royals’ road games this season, Thursday’s game will be televised locally 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. For more information about the Royals, call 610-898-7825 or log onto www.royalshockey.com.
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