Prepared by Anthony Marchetto,
Kutztown University Intern
Teams Per: 1 2 3
TOL: 1 1 1=3
REA: 0 1 0=1
TOL: 2-2-0-0 = 4
REA: 2-2-0-0 = 4
TOL: Paterson (WIN) 2-0-0-0 (25/26)
REA: Morrison (LOSS) 0-2-0-0 (22/24)
Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (Loss, 2-2-0-0 = 4) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, were defeated by the Toledo Walleye (Win, 2-2-0-0 = 4) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League, 3-1, at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania.
In the second consecutive playoff game from Santander Arena, the Walleye turned the tide on the Royals and opened up with an early goal that would set the tone. With a second to spare on a power play that carried over from the first period, Toledo’s A.J. Jenks notched his second of the contest and the one that would be credited as the game-winner. Reading’s first goal did not come until the later stages of the second period and they were unable to mount a complete comeback, being hampered by penalties and power play defenses (seven in total) all game. A late empty netter from Shane Berschbach put a clamp on the wire-to-wire Game Four Walleye win, evening the series, 2-2, as it heads back to Toledo for Game Five.
Toledo set a hot pace to begin the contest which created havoc in the Royals defensive zone. The Reading defense initially held off the Walleye attack, but a Shane Berschbach slap-shot from the right point was given a fortunate redirection off the blade of A.J. Jenks, 2:39 into regulation. Jenks’ second of the series quickly put Toledo on top, 1-0, and left the Royals with an early deficit to overcome.
As most extended series do, they see their fair share of disagreements and the Royals and Walleye were no different. In one first period instance, five minor penalties were dished out (TOL: 2-Slashing, 12-Roughing; REA: 8-Roughing, 18-Slashing, 19-Roughing) with 1:21 remaining in the opening frame. The sequence put the Walleye on the power play, but Reading stood tall; thwarting the ensuing onslaught that would close out the first period.
Toledo opened the second period with thirty-nine seconds of the remaining power play and used every second they could. In a late push, the Walleye began a series of tic-tac-toe passing that culminated Scott Czarnowszan finding A.J. Jenks standing in the backdoor to Adam Morrison’s glove-side; Jenks stashed home his second goal of the game as the power play expired putting Toledo up, 2-0.
Throughout the remainder of the second period the Royals were fighting to make up ground; despite a waved off goal and an unsuccessful power play push, Reading kept their nose to the grind. Toledo scooped a puck behind their net and the ensuing outlet pass was intercepted by Brandon Alderson. The big forward turned, loaded, and fired a forehander on net, beating Jake Paterson for the first time of the evening. Alderson’s third of the series cut the Walleye lead in half (2-1), giving the Royals the final twenty minutes to square up the contest.
The Royals and Walleye battled back-and-forth for much of the third period, remaining engaged in a scoreless frame Reading pulled Adam Morrison from net with just over a minute remaining to add a sixth-attacker. Toledo’s Evan Rankin swiped the puck shortly after a face-off in the Walleye zone, pushing it on to Shane Berschbach who had a step on the defense. The Royals sent Berschbach tumbling to the ice in a desperation effort to hold off the goal, but the heady forward stayed with the puck and knocked it into the empty net; Berschbach’s first of the postseason series sealed the Walleye victory, 3-1.
The Royals and Walleye will continue their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series with Game Five in Toledo, Ohio, from the Huntington Center, Friday evening (April 22 @ 7:35 pm). The two teams split the first two games from 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 7:05 pm Eastern Time. Streaming audio is available free of charge on the Royals’ website (follow the ‘headset’ icon) and video streaming also free of charge through bctv.org; 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 04-20