Teams Per: 1 2 3 ot so
REA: 1 2 1 0 1=5
ADK: 1 2 1 0 0=4
REA: 27-20-5-3 = 62 (3rd Place East Division)
ADK: 30-17-2-4 = 66 (2nd Place East Division)
REA: Knapp (Win) 10-8-0-1 (20/24) (5/6 in SO) (64:10)
ADK: Fielding (SOL) 7-3-1-3 (40/44) (4/6 in SO) (65:00)
Glens Falls, NY – The Reading Royals (Win, 27-20-5-3=62) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, defeated the Adirondack Thunder (SOL, 30-17-2-4=66) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Calgary Flames, 5-4, in a shootout at Glens Falls Civic Center.
In a back-and-forth, give-and-take battle with the Thunder, Reading scored first and held two leads, but needed a late pulled-goaltender, sixth attacker goal from Pavel Padakin to secure a tie in regulation time and ultimately get to a shootout, where the Royals hit pay-dirt for the first time this season. The win stretched Reading’s current road win streak to five games and pushed the team’s record to a season-best seven games over .500.
Reading struck first for the thirty-second time this year (21-6-3-2) when the team capitalized on the front end of an early double-minor assessed for high sticking against Adirondack. Nikita Kashirsky, who racked up a three point night (1g-2a), carried hard down the right side, cut to the top of the crease and created his own point blank look only to be rejected by goaltender Drew Fielding; however the rebound fell right back out in front and Cam Reid was right there for the put back and his twelfth of the year 2:59 into the contest.
In relative short-order, the Thunder tied the game at one when Gunnar Hughes took a snap shot from the left circle that appeared to bound off the cuff of goaltender Connor Knapp’s glove and into the far side of the net for his ninth of the year 6:38 into the first.
The Royals re-took the lead at 2-1 2:20 into the second period while the two teams were playing four aside. Nick Luukko sprang Kashirsky down the right wing side into the offensive zone. Kashirsky carried deep into the circle before uncorking a short-side bar-down bullet for his eleventh of the year—and fifth for the Royals in only seven games with the team.
Forty-eight seconds later, however, the Thunder re-tied the game at two with a four-on-four goal of their own that resulted when a careless turnover at the defensive blue-line turned into a point blank chance for Louick Marcotte from the mid-slot. Marcotte didn’t waste the gift, drilling the puck behind Knapp for his fourteenth of the season, while extending his goal scoring streak to four games.
Adirondack then took their first lead of the game at 3-2 on their second power play chance of the night. Michael Kirkpatrick was allowed to roam free in the left circle and he took that space—and some—when he carried to perfect spot in the middle of the ice and ripped a hot rocket behind Knapp for his twenty-second of the year 13:20 into the second.
But this time it was the Royals’ turn to bounce back quickly and they did so in relative short-order—fifty-four seconds to be exact—when a brilliant tic-tac-toe passing sequence: Yannick Tifu to Cam Reid to Brandon Alderson ended when Alderson, cutting down the center of the ice, took a hard ice-level snapper that beat Fielding to the stick side for his sixth of the season—five of which have come in his last nine games.
The Thunder, however, re-took the lead at 4-3 with a potentially devastating short-handed goal early in the third. Reading had the puck in Adirondack’s end of the ice with the man advantage; but got a bit too cute—and way too soft on the back check—all of which resulted in a short-handed breakaway for Luke Curadi, who carried to the top of the crease, pulled the puck to his back-hand and chipped it up and over Knapp’s catching glove for his second goal of the year.
Reading pressed hard down the stretch and finally broke through with the game-tying goal with just 1:27 left in regulation after a wild flurry around the Thunder net, which ended when Pavel Padakin was able to corral a bouncing puck at the top of the crease and force it up and over a sprawling Fielding for his eighth goal of the year—and to extend his goal scoring streak to four games.
The Royals got the better of the overtime session at least in part due to a power play awarded late in the extra session; but neither team could break through in OT. So Reading, who was 0-3 in the shootout coming into this games—and whose shooters had been stopped on all eleven prior attempts in the shootout this season—went to the skills completion. After Adirondack’s original shooter (Peter MacArthur) was rejected by Knapp, Yannick Tifu, playing in his 699th career pro game, became the first player this year to score for Reading in the shootout. Adirondack’s Michael Kirkpatrick answered in short order. However, the next four shooters for both teams (READING: Kashirsky, Reid, Robbie Czarnik, and Mike Pereira) (ADIRONDACK: Greg Wolfe, Marcotte, Curadi, and Dana Fraser) were all stopped; but Brandon Alderson, shooting sixth for Reading, came through with a low-blocker bullet to give the Royals the team’s first SOW of the year.
Reading takes on the Thunder again tomorrow (Sunday, February 28 @ 3:00 pm) at Glens Falls Civic Center. Sunday’s game day broadcast on CBS Sports Radio 1240 am and 98.5 fm will kick off with the pre-game warm-up show presented by Highmark Blue Shield at 2:30 pm. As with all Royals’ road games this season, Sunday’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; 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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