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Royals Close Out Home Stand with Win Over Norfolk, 3-2

Sunday, March 6th
Royals Close Out Home Stand with Win Over Norfolk, 3-2

Click Here for Box Score

Prepared with Assistance From

Anthony Marchetto (Kutztown University Intern)

Teams     Per: 1          2          3

NOR:              0         1          1=2

REA:              0         1          2=3


NOR: 24-30-3-1 = 52 (5th Place East Division)

REA: ­­­­­­­­­28-23-5-3 = 64 (3rd Place East Division)


NOR: Riopel (LOSS) 7-11-1-0 (33/36)

REA: Ouellette (WIN) 14-9-3-0 (13/15)

Power Play

NOR: 0-6

REA: 0-5

Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (­­­­­­­­­Win, 28-23-5-3 = 64) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, defeated the Norfolk Admirals (Loss, 24-30-3-1 = 52) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers of the National Hockey League, 3-2, at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania.

In the third and final game of a weekend home stand, the Royals battled back from a deficit to snap a three-game losing streak and a five game winless streak at home. In what proved to be the organization’s 299th victory on home ice in the fifteen year history of the Royals, the team fell behind despite heavily outshooting and out-chancing the Admirals who were idle on Saturday, while Reading was playing on limited rest after suffering back-to-back difficult and draining losses to the Wheeling Nailers on Friday and Saturday. Nonetheless, the Royals dug deep and came up with three straight goals—including a pair early in the third period—to claim the team’s fifth win in five tries against Norfolk—four of which have come in come-from-behind fashion.

Prior to the Royals’ game, the organization hosted the Eleventh Annual Battle of the Badges Charitable Hockey Game presented by FirstStates Financial Services, pitting the respective hockey teams for the Reading Police and Fire Departments with the police claiming their third win in the last four years, 6-2. In that game, the first half of action featured a natural hat-trick from Police Officer Pete Karpovich, who ended up with five goals in the game. The Fire Department pushed hard down the stretch, but a comeback just wasn’t in the cards.

In the Royals game, the two teams played to a scoreless tie in the first, despite a heavy attack from the Royals, who outshot the Admirals 15-3 in the opening frame. However, it was readily apparent that Norfolk goaltender Nic Riopel was feeling it this afternoon, as he gave his team more than an ample opportunity to get their road skates underneath them.

3:20 into the second period—on just their fifth shot of the game—Norfolk broke the scoreless tie when Ryan Salkeld passed it along to Davis Vandane, who threw a shot on net from the blue-line. The Vandane shot made its way through a maze of players in front of Reading goaltender Martin Ouellette and sailed into the back of the net to give the Admirals a 1-0 lead.

14:45 into the second, Royals defenseman Jesper Pettersson was called for a tripping minor. As Pettersson’s penalty expired, he stepped out of the penalty box and directly into a perfectly placed blue-to-blue line pass from Robbie Czarnik that sprang Pettersson for a clean breakaway. He didn’t waste the chance. Instead, he broke hard to the top of the crease, laid down a brilliant forehand-backhand move, and roofed the puck over a sprawling Riopel for his third of the year 16:52 into the middle frame.

Reading grabbed the lead at 2-1 early in the third when Nikita Kashirsky won an offensive zone face-off to the left point where defenseman Kevin Young settled off and cut to the middle of the ice. Suddenly the Red Sea parted for Young, who uncorked a water-bottle busting blast that blew by Riopel high on the glove side for his fourth of the year 1:54 into the final period.

1:39 later, Reading would get what would prove to be the game winner when Young got another long-range look—this time from the right point. On this one, however, the Norfolk defense did not bail. Instead, the shot was blocked, but ricocheted directly to forward Joey Sides, who was wide open and all alone just above the right hash mark. Sides followed the earlier trail blazed by Young—with a hot laser high to the glove side for his tenth of the year, eight of which have been scored for Reading since coming over from the Wichita Thunder twenty-five games ago.

The Admirals pulled within one at 3-2—and quickened the collective pulse of the Reading faithful with 8:55 remaining—when Greg Chase squeaked one through on a snapper from the right circle that trickled by Oullette, who got a heavy chunk of the shot, but not enough to keep it above the goal line. But the Royals kept Norfolk at bay from that point forward to push the team’s record back to five games over .500 with thirteen regular season games to go.

The Royals hit the road for five games and begin it on Friday (March 11 @ 7:00 pm) when the team travels to Manchester, New Hampshire, to face the top team in the East Division, the Manchester Monarchs. Friday night’s matchup can be heard live 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 this season, Friday’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 (follow the ‘headset’ icon); and streaming video is available on a pay-per-view basis through ECHL.TV or on bctv.org.

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

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