Teams Per: 1 2 3
REA: 0 2 2=4
NOR: 1 1 0=2
REA: 23-18-4-3 = 53 (3rd East Division)
NOR: 20-27-1-1 = 42 (5th East Division)
REA: Knapp (win) 9-7-0-1 (27/29)
NOR: Rimmer (loss) 13-13-0-1 (24/28)
Norfolk, VA – The Reading Royals (win, 23-18-4-3=53) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, defeated the Norfolk Admirals (loss, 20-27-1-1=42), affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers of the NHL, 4-2, at The Scope in Norfolk, Virginia.
In Reading’s second game in team history at The Scope, the Royals rang off four straight goals beginning half-way into the second period to come back from a two goal deficit and keep the team’s perfect record against the Admirals in tack (4-0). Reading got four goals from four players, including a third period tie-breaking game winner from Brandon Alderson, to win for the fourth time in the last five games and to push the team’s record to a season-best five games over .500.
The Royals came storming out of the gate and created any number of quality chances in the early going; but it was Norfolk who struck first 15:32 into the first period when Alexis Loiseau gained possession below the goal behind the Royals net and slipped the puck back into the blue paint where it struck the skate of a Reading defender and ricocheted behind goaltender Connor Knapp for his tenth of the year.
The Admirals stretched the lead to 2-0 7:29 into the second period after penning the Royals in the defensive zone for a long sequence. The Admirals’ Scott Allen dug the puck off the end wall and found Steven Whitney along the goal line on the right wing side. Whitney in turn found Dean Ouellet who couldn’t have been more wide open and all alone in front of the Royals’ net. Ouellet outwaited Knapp as he carried right to left across the low slot and drilled it home for his sixth of the season.
Reading kicked off the come-back effort 10:26 into the second frame, when a relentless fore-check by Mike Pereira and Nikita Kashirsky forced a turnover. The puck slid out of the right corner towards the Norfolk net and appeared to deflect off goaltender Ty Rimmer into the left circle, where defenseman Jesper Pettersson stepped up and stepped into a hot rocket that blew by Rimmer high on the short side.
The Royals tied the game on the team’s first power play chance of the night 17:25 into the second period. After an extended sequence of offensive zone puck possession, Mike Marcou set Robbie Czarnik for a one-time shot from the top of the left circle. Czarnik misfired a bit on the shot, but the puck slid to the low slot where it was corralled by Justin Crandall, who cork-screwed his body into position to wheel the puck behind Rimmer for his fourteenth of the year—six of which have come on the power play.
Reading got what proved to be the game winner three seconds after the team’s second power play chance expired 7:05 into the third period. Again the Royals had an extended sequence of offensive zone puck possession. It appeared that Norfolk’s penalty killers had a chance to clear just as the power play was expiring, but Yannick Tifu made kept the play alive by keeping the puck at the right point. Tifu then sent a hard snap shot towards the net where Pereira and Alderson were creating havoc. Alderson got a chunk of the puck on the way in, deflecting it behind Rimmer for his third of the year—and his first GWG.
The Royals tacked on some insurance 11:23 into the third, when Kevin Young uncorked a bomb from the left point that Rimmer fought off; but the rebound fell to the right side of the crease, where Nikita Kashirsky, playing in his first game for the Royals since the 2013 championship season, swept in and swiped it home for his seventh of the season.
The Royals return home to Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania, tomorrow (Saturday, February 13, 2016 @ 7:00 pm) when the organization will celebrate Pink in the Rink. The first 1500 women (15 years of age and older) will receive a pair of pink winter gloves courtesy of Sweet Street Desserts. The team will wear pink inspired jerseys that will be auctioned after the game to raise funds for Breast Cancer Support Services of Berks County and the American Cancer Society. The game night broadcast for Saturday’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 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 02-12