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Royals Close Out Western Portion of Roadie with Win in Rapid City, 5-3

Saturday, November 5th
Royals Close Out Western Portion of Roadie with Win in Rapid City, 5-3

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Teams     Per: 1          2          3

REA:              2          1          2=5

RPC:              0          1          2=3


REA: 6-2-0-1 = 13 (1, North Division)

RPC: 2-8-1-0 = 5 (7, Mountain Division)


REA: Dekanich (Win, 3-1-0-1) (31/34) (59:40)

RPC:  Grant (Loss, 0-2-0-0) (24/29) (58:56)

Power Play:

REA: 0 – 4

RPC: 0 – 5

Rapid City, SD – The Reading Royals (­­­­­­­­­win, 6-2-0-1 = 13) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, defeated the Rapid City Rush (loss, 2-8-1-0 = 10), 5-3, at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City, South Dakota.

In the final game of a six game jaunt west of the Mississippi, the Royals scored first, built a two-goal advantage, and then were able to answer every punch by the Rush with a counter to hold on for the victory and stretch the team’s win streak to three for the first time this season. With the win, the Royals now head back east of Mighty Mississippi having gone 4-1-0-1 on this portion of the team’s season long eight game win streak.

For the second consecutive night in Rapid City, the Royals struck first when Kevin Sundher bagged his first goal of the year 9:21 into the opening frame. Robbie Czarnik cleanly won an offensive draw to the interior of the left circle, where Sundher quickly swiped a perfectly placed bullet that caught the upper right corner of the net.

Sundher followed that up with his second of the year 16:44 into the first while the two teams were playing four aside. Nick Luukko carried into the offensive zone and found Sundher waiting in a soft spot in the slot for a quick snapper. Sundher didn’t get it all, but the fluttering puck dove over the catching glove of goaltender Charlie Grant to give Reading the first of what would be four two-goal leads.

Rapid City did not go quietly into the night. The Rush virtually controlled the entire second period, outshooting the Royals 16-6 and bagging the first goal of the frame 12:39 into the period, when Reading goaltender Mark Dekanich rejected a bid by Josh MacDonald with his blocker but the rebound fell directly out in front where Lindsay Sparks stepped in a drilled it home for his league-leading eighth of the year.

Despite only generating six shots in the second, the Royals made the most of one of those, when Steven Swavely and Mike Pelech forced deep on a forecheck, grabbed a loose puck and then fed it back up into the gut of the slot to a waiting Ryan Penny, who snapped a frozen rope off the bottom of the cross-bar and in for his third of the year 17:15 into the second.

Rapid City clawed back within one 4:52 into the third on a beautiful high deflection by Anthony Collins of a shot from the left point by Ryan Misiak to make it 3-2.

But Reading re-took the two-goal advantage for the third time 9:21 into the third, when all five skaters for the Rush got caught below the tops of the circles and a diving poke check by Miles Liberati sent the Royals on a long three-on-none. Olivier Labelle and Chris McCarthy played catch out in front of the net and the fed a trailing Mike Pereira who bagged his third of the year—all three of which have proven to be game winners.

But, once again, the undaunted Rush drew within one when Josh MacDonald carried deep down the right wing side and ripped a short-side laser over the left shoulder of Dekanich for his fifth of the year 13:17 into the final frame.

Things got interesting with just over five minutes left when defenseman Derik Johnson picked up a slashing minor that gave the Rush a late power play chance against a team—the Royals—who had given up at least one power play goal against in each of the previous eight games played. But Reading didn’t fall into that trap tonight. Instead, defenseman Todd Perry picked off a puck at the defensive blueline and took off on a long breakaway, burying the short-handed fore-hand back-hand bid for his first of the year to regain a two goal advantage that the Royals would not relinquish.

The Royals still have two left on this eight game road trip, but both of those are east of the Mississippi, beginning with a matchup against the Cincinnati Cyclones at US Bank Arena on Wednesday (November 9 @ 7:30 pm). As with all Royals’ road games this season, Wednesday’s 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.

End 16 11-05