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Royals Stretch Road Win Streak to Four in Elmira, 5-3

Friday, February 26th
Royals Stretch Road Win Streak to Four in Elmira, 5-3

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Teams     Per: 1          2          3

REA:              3          2          0=5

ELM:              0          2          1=3


REA: 26-20-5-3 = 60 (3rd East Division)

ELM: 26-25-3-1 = 56 (4th East Division)


REA: Ouelette (win) 13-9-3-0 (40/43)

ELM: Motte (loss) 14-20-1-1 (16/20) (22:47)

            Valiquette (nd) (22/23) (35:51)

Power Play:

REA: 0-2

ELM: 0-2

Elmira, NY – The Reading Royals (­­­­­­­­­win, 26-20-5-3=60) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, defeated the Elmira Jackals (loss, 26-25-2-1=56), affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres of the NHL, 5-3, at First Arena in Elmira, New York.

In the team’s final game of the regular season at First Arena, the Royals got several great saves in the early going from goaltender Martin Ouellette and then proceeded to ring off three straight first period goals to build what proved to be an insurmountable lead in the team’s fourth straight win on the road. The win pushed the Royals record this season to 5-1-0-0 at First Arena this season—and 18-2-2-1 in the team’s last twenty-three games in Elmira. The victory also served to push Reading’s record to the season-high-water mark of six games over .500 for the second time this year.

Right off the face-off to start the game, the Jackals created a series of golden back-door chances that were rejected by Ouellette, who is 5-1-1-0 in his last seven games with Reading. The Royals then got their collective skates underneath them and bagged the game’s first goal for the thirty-first time this year (20-6-3-2) when Joey Sides set Nikita Kashirsky, who had just taken a heavy hit on the side-wall, for a bullet out of the left circle. Kashirsky’s hot snapper beat goaltender C.J. Motte across the body in the upper reaches of the right side of the cage for his tenth of the season—and fourth in six games for Reading—7:44 into the first period.

Almost four minutes later, the Royals took a 2-0 lead on the twelfth of the season for Yannick Tifu during a delayed penalty against Elmira. Tifu, who was playing in his 229th game as a Royal (second most all-time), bagged his seventy-seventh goal as a Royal when he ripped a hot snapper across the body of Motte into the left side of the net 11:43 into the first.

Reading hit for the trifecta in the first with 1:47 remaining in the period with the team’s sixth short-handed goal of the year. An Elmira defender misplayed a puck at the left point into a two-on-one break for the Royals, with Scott Tanski leading the way. Tanski carried deep into the left circle where he unloaded a heavy snap shot across the body of Motte for his ninth of the year—and second SHG.

As with the first period, Elmira came out storming at the start of the second; and, despite a great save right off the hop by Ouellette, the Jackals hit pay-dirt fifty-seconds into the second frame, when Cason Hohman slid a perfect pass from deep on the left side across and through the crease to a waiting Chris Langkow, who redirected the puck off his skates by Ouellette for his first of the night and seventh of the season.

Undaunted, about two minutes later, Reading would get what would prove to be the game winner after a neutral zone face-off, when Yannick Tifu led out Brandon Alderson for a hard-charge down the right side. Alderson carried right-to-left behind and around the Elmira net for a quick wrap-around stuff that served to chase Motte in favor of goaltender Alain Valiquette, who had just joined the Jackals today. For Alderson, it was his fifth of the year—two of which have proved to be game winners.

Reading stretched the lead back to three at 5-2 with a late period goal by Pavel Padakin. Scott Tanski carried deep down the right wing side, slipped a perfect pass to the mid-slot where Yannick Tifu had filled the gap. Tifu took control, cut towards his left, drew the attention of Valiquette, and then slid the puck back to the trailing Pavel Padakin, who had a wide open slam dunk to stretch his goal scoring streak to three with his seventh of the season with 26.7 seconds left in the period.

The Royals played a steady, defense-first third period; but Elmira made the collective pulse of the team race just a bit when Langkow hit for his second of the night with just 4:10 remaining in regulation. Again it was Hohman who set Langkow up with a pass from below the goal line and behind the Royals’ net for a quick snapper up and over Ouellette from the low left slot.

But that would be it for the Jackals as the Royals faced down a late game power play and a pulled goaltender, sixth attacker flurry late by circling the wagons and protecting the middle of the ice to push the team’s record to 30-9-3 in the last forty-two games against the Jackals.

Reading next travels to the Glens Falls Civic Center for a pair against the Adirondack Thunder starting tomorrow (Saturday, February 27 @ 7:00 pm). Saturday’s game night 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 6:30 pm. As with all Royals’ road games this season, Saturday’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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