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Royals Fall in a Shootout in Idaho, 3-2

Friday, October 28th
Royals Fall in a Shootout in Idaho, 3-2

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Teams     Per: 1          2          3          OT      SO

REA:              0          1          1          0          0=2

IDA:               1          0          1          0          1=3


REA: 3-1-0-1 = 7 (t-2, North Division)

IDH: 2-3-1-0 = 5 (4th Mountain Division)


REA: Dekanich (SOL, 1-1-0-1) (41/43) (65:00)

IDH:  Komm (Win, 1-1-0-0) (32/34) (65:00)

Power Play:

REA: 1 – 4

IDH: 1 – 4

Boise, ID – The Reading Royals (­­­­­­­­­SOL, 3-1-0-1 = 7) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, were defeated in a shootout by the Idaho Steelheads (win, 2-3-1-0 = 5), 3-2, at Century Link Arena in Boise, Idaho.

The Royals fell behind mid-way into the first period on a five-on-three power play goal against, but evened things in the second with the first goal of the year for Mike Marcou. Reading was able to take a lead with an early power play goal of their own in the third by Robbie Czarnik. But the Steelheads bounced back to re-tie things a bit later in the final frame. After a frenetic overtime in which Reading generated a boat-load of quality chances—but Steelhead goaltender Brandon Komm was nothing short of spectacular—things went to skills competition where Idaho’s Will Merchant was the only player out of the eight shooters to bag his chance, taking the two points for the Steelheads.

Reading got hit with back-to-back penalties mid-way into the first, giving Idaho 58 seconds of five-on-three. The Steelheads only need 23 seconds of the two-skater advantage to set Anthony Luciani for a bullet from the top of the right circle that buzzed by goaltender Mark Dekanich for Luciani’s second of the year 8:23 into the first.

Although the Royals were unable to capitalize on 1:31 of five-on-three of their own late in the first, Reading broke through mid-way into the second when Chris McCarthy forced a turnover in the offensive zone and fed Steven Swavely, who in turn found Mike Marcou in the high slot. Marcou’s shot appeared to deflect off of the Steelhead forward fronting him and deflect into the net for his first of the season.

Reading’s power play finally broke through on the Steelheads 1:07 into the third, when the team generated a flurry of chances around the Idaho net. The puck slipped back out to the slot, where Marcou ripped a bullet that just missed the left pipe, but Robbie Czarnik dug the puck from below the goal line and somehow slipped it through from a sharp angle deep on the left to bag his first of the year—and give Reading a 2-1 lead.

Idaho turned up the pressure at that point and pinned Reading’s ears back with an aggressive attack. The Steelheads re-tied the game at two when Kyle Jean tried a wrap-around at the left pipe, but was rejected by Dekanich. However, the puck slid back to Jean who slid it to the top of the crease where a crashing Kellan Lain beat his man and buried his second of the year at the 6:01 mark of the third.

No one was able to break through for the final 18:59—the remainder of regulation and the five minutes of overtime—but that wasn’t because there weren’t chances. Reading probably had the higher quality down the stretch—and particularly in overtime when the Royals were dominant. But Komm was equally impressive, keeping the Royals at bay not only through the actual hockey, but also in the team’s four shootout attempts (McCarthy, Kevin Sundher, Czarnik and Swavely), which he made look easy. Shooting fourth for the Steelheads, rookie Will Merchant hit pay-dirt on his first pro shootout attempt.

The Royals and Steelheads face off in the third and final game of this three game set tomorrow (Saturday, October 29 @ 9:10 pm Eastern). Saturday’s game, as with all Royals’ road games, will be televised locally in Berks County, Pennsylvania on BCTV courtesy of Boscov’s Travel and Apple Vacations. The free audio broadcast can be found at iHeartRadio on Rumba 1340 in Reading. Fans can also purchase streaming video on ECHL.TV. More information on the Royals is available at www.royalshockey.com.

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