Teams Per: 1 2 3
TOL: 1 1 1=3
REA: 0 0 1=1
TOL: 19-10-1-3 = 42 (1st North Division)
REA: 16-13-2-3 = 37 (4th East Division)
TOL: Lerg (WIN) 14-4-02 (48/49)
REA: Ouellette (LOSS) 6-4-0-0 (13/15)
Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (Loss, 16-13-2-3 = 37) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, were defeated by the Toledo Walleye (Win, 19-10-1-3 = 42) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League, 3-1, at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania.
In the first meeting of the season between the Royals and Walleye, Toledo grabbed the game’s opening goal and was able to maintain the lead from the point forward with more than a little bit of help from goaltender Jeff Lerg. Reading unleashed controlled chaos on the Toledo net outshooting the Walleye, 49-15. In the second period alone, Reading outshot Toledo 21-4, but Lerg stoned Reading with a performance for the ages, and the Walleye bagged what proved to be the game winner on one of those four shots. The Royals finally broke through 6:37 into the third and continued to push down the stretch, but Lerg had all the answers and a 170 foot empty netter with 1:27 left iced things.
Toledo converted 13:12 into the first period. Shane Berschbach was able to feed forward A.J. Jenks who found a seam in transition and launched a missile high to Martin Ouellette’s glove-side finding the back of the net. With that goal, Jenks notched his team-leading tenth goal of the season. Josh Shalla was given an assist and Berschbach was credited with his sixteenth assist leading the Toledo squad.
Reading’s defense kept Toledo at bay, but at the 19:01 mark of the second period Tyler Sikura was able squeeze one past the pipes with the assist coming from Michael Leone and Kyle Bushee. Toledo net minder Jeff Lerg negated the Royals second period effort that consisted of twenty-one shots with an outstanding performance in net.
6:37 into the final frame of hockey Robbie Czarnik was able to put a blemish on Jeff Lerg’s stat sheet, when Justin Crandall and Adam Comrie set him up with the scoring opportunity. For Czarnik, it was his team-leading sixteenth goal on the season. The assist from Crandall was his team-leading twenty-third and Comrie tallied his seventeenth on the season.
Trailing 2-1, Reading pulled Ouellette with 1:45 remaining in regulation. Just eighteen seconds later Toledo was able to seal the deal with a Shane Berschbach empty-netter. For Berschbach, it was his second point on the night bringing his season total to twenty-four.
The Royals will be back in action tomorrow night (January 9, 2016 @ 7 pm) as they complete their two game season series with Toledo at Santander Arena in Reading. Tomorrow night, the Royals will host the Fifteenth Anniversary Celebration. Commemorative Puck Number Two will be distributed to the first 2,000 fans in attendance. Saturday night will also be Diamond Credit Union Saturday Night Shoot for Community. Saturday over the air radio broadcast in Reading is pre-empted by NFL playoff football, but fans can still access streaming audio free of charge by following the link at www.royalshockey.com. The broadcast will also be available inside Santander Arena courtesy of Deibler Dental at 99.3 FM, starting with the pre-game warm-up show presented by Highmark Blue Shield at 6:30 pm Eastern Time. 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.
End 16 01-08