Teams Per: 1 2 3
REA: 1 2 1=4
MAN: 1 0 2=3
REA: 25-20-5-3 = 58 (3rd Place East Division)
MAN: 32-15-1-4 = 69 (1st Place East Division)
REA: Ouellette (Win) 12-9-3-0 (28/31)
MAN: Carr (Loss) 7-4-0-4 (24/28)
Manchester, NH – The Reading Royals (Loss, 25-20-5-3 = 58) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, defeated the Manchester Monarchs (Win, 32-15-1-4 = 69) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League, 4-3, at Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire.
In the third consecutive matchup between Reading and Manchester, the Monarchs struck first, but the Royals bounced back to gain two separate two-goal advantages and—in contrast to Wednesday in Reading, when Manchester came back from a two-goal third period deficit to win in overtime—were able to hold on down the stretch and snap a three game winless streak.
The Royals found themselves in an early hole, when back-to-back penalties provided fifty-two seconds of five-on-three advantage for the Monarchs 4:35 into the first. Twenty-one seconds later, a partially deflected shot by Maxim Kitsyn out of the left circle slid cross-crease where a waiting Matt Leitner took the puck out of his skates and slammed it home for his twelfth of the year.
Reading bounced back to tie the game at one 16:36 into the first when Derik Johnson fired a shot from the left point into a pile of players in front of the Manchester net. In the ensuing scrum, Justin Crandall poked the puck free for Nikita Kashirsky, who stuffed it home for his ninth of the year—and third in five games with Reading.
The Royals built the two goal advantage with a pair of goals in the second period, the first of which resulted from a ferocious fore-check and flurry, which ended with a wrap-around goal by Joey Sides 8:33 into the second frame.
Later in the period, Reading made it 3-1 when Mike Periera carried into the offensive zone and dropped a pass to the trailing Robbie Czarnik, who carried deep into the right circle where he ripped a perfectly placed low-blocker snapper for his team-leading twenty-third of the year.
As with last Wednesday’s game, things got interesting in the third. It started 4:02 into the period when Joey Diamond sprang Maxim Kitsyn on a full-on breakaway, which ended with a perfect forehand – backhand stuff for his twenty-first of the year to make it 3-2.
Reading got a critical—and what turned out to be game-winning—power play goal 9:38 into the final frame when Robbie Czarnik won a puck battle on the left wing wall and slipped the puck to Mike Marcou who settled in the high slot, took one step towards the net, and fired a low, hot bullet that beat goaltender Doug Carr for his third of the year—and what proved to be his first GWG of the season.
Manchester drew back within one at 4-3 with 4:45 left in regulation when Zac Leslie sniped a bar-down snapper up that eluded Martin Ouellette on the short-side from right along the goal line for his first as a pro. But that turned out to be it for the Monarchs, who didn’t give up down the stretch and actually did get another puck over the goal line—on a snapper by Joey Diamond from between the hash-marks—but by that time, the clock had hit triple zeros (0:00) and the Royals were able to skate off with the team’s second regulation win in four tries at Verizon Wireless Arena.
The Royals return to action next Friday (February 26 @ 7:05 pm) when the team travels to First Arena in Elmira, New York, to face the Elmira Jackals. That game can be heard on CBS SportsRadio 1240 AM and 98.5 FM in Reading, Pennsylvania, starting with the pre-game warm-up show presented by Highmark Blue Shield at 6:30 pm Eastern Time. As with all Royals’ road games, next Friday’s game in Elmira 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.
End 16 02-20