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Strong Push by Reading Falls Short (Again) Against Toledo, 4-2

Saturday, January 9th
Strong Push by Reading Falls Short (Again) Against Toledo, 4-2

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Teams     Per: 1          2          3

TOL:              0          3          1=4

REA:              1          1          0=2


TOL: 20-10-1-3 = 44 (1st North Division)

REA: 16-14-2-3 = 37 (4th East Division)


TOL: Lerg (WIN) 15-4-0-0 (29/31)

REA: Ouellette (LOSS) 6-5-0-0 (21/25)

Power Play:

TOL: 1-3

REA: 1-4

Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (­­­­­­­­­Loss, 16-14-2-3 = 37) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, were defeated by the Toledo Walleye (Win, 20-10-1-3 = 44) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League, 4-2, at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania.

In the final regular season meeting between the Royals and Walleye, Reading held two leads at 1-0 and 2-1 but couldn’t capture the two points, as Toledo—for the second night in a row—made the most of their chances and rode the spectacular goaltending stylings of Jeff Lerg to keep the Reading attack at bay. The Walleye took a one-goal advantage to the third period, and Toledo made stand up, despite a late-game surge by the Royals that was doused with a 160 foot bank shot into an empty net with 1:35 remaining.

In a back-and-forth first period, Reading struck first when a Mike Marcou slap shot from the right point bounced off the upper body of Lerg and fell beyond the goal line 17:11 into the game. Adam Comrie fed a pass along to his fellow defensemen and Marcou seized the first period opportunity. For Marcou, this was his second goal in his tenth game with the team.

Toledo tied the game just twenty seconds into the second period when the Royals defense was sent into scramble mode after an aggressive start for the Walleye. Shane Berschbach carried from the top of the left circle, drew the attention of a Reading defender, and then slid a cross-slot pass to A.J. Jenks, who had slipped undetected into the low slot on the weak side. Jenks’ quick snap shot snuck through goaltender Martin Ouellette for his eleventh of the year.

4:38 into the second period, the Royals broke a string of thirteen consecutive power plays (over six games) without a goal, when it was the Royals’ PP attack that sent the Walleye penalty killers into scramble mode. After an extended sequence of offensive zone puck possession, Robbie Czarnik threaded a pass from the left side of the crease to a waiting Adam Comrie, who had snuck off the right point to find an open seam in the low slot. Comrie wasted no time drilling his fourteenth of the year to back of the net to give Reading the 2-1 advantage.

Toledo re-tied the game at two , 8:25 into the second period when the Berschbach-Jenks combination hit pay-dirt on the power play. This time it was Jenks who made a blind, between the legs cross-crease pass to a waiting Berschbach on the weak side for a quick, snipe snap shot and his ninth of the year.

Forty-five seconds later, the Walleye got what proved to be the game winner when the Royals over-handled the puck at the offensive blue line and paid the price when Dane Walters picked off a cross-ice pass and was off to the races. Despite heavy harassment from behind, Walters buried the breakaway chance when Ouellette went for the poke check but was unable to swipe the puck away prior to Walters lifting up and over the sprawling netminder.

Late in the game, Reading pulled the goaltender and created a point blank Grade-A chance for Yannick Tifu, but in a play that epitomized the two-game series between the Royals and Walleye, Lerg not only rejected Tifu’s bid; but also the rebound fell to Berschbach who banked a 160 footer directly into the empty net to ice the Walleye’s twentieth win of the year.

The Royals skate back into action tomorrow (January 10, 2016 @ 4 pm) and will host the South Carolina Stingrays at Santander Arena, in their third and final regular season meeting. Reading and South Carolina split the first two matchups dating back to October. Princess Night; Special Appearance by Princess Characters, including the Skating Princess; Post Game Skate with the Players presented by Body Zone Sports and Wellness Complex. The rubber-match can be heard live in-arena at 99.3 FM, 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.

For more information about the Royals, call 610-898-7825 or log onto www.royalshockey.com.

End 16 01-09