Teams Per: 1 2 3
CIN: 1 1 0 =2
REA: 2 0 2 =4
CIN: Houser (Loss) (2-4-1-0) (36/39) (1 eng) 58:43
REA: Dekanich (Win) (5-6-1-1) (32/34)
Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (win, 8-8-1-1=18) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, defeated the Cincinnati Cyclones (loss, 7-8-2-0=16), 4-2, at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania.
In the first of a two-game set between the Royals and Cyclones, Reading scored early and built a 2-0 lead before a pair of four-on-four goals by the Cylcones sent the two teams to the third tied a two. In the final frame, Cincinnati had several early chances, but it was Reading who got what proved to be the third period tie-breaking game winner on a bizarre play that included the Royals’ Zach Hall swiping the puck off the top of the net before Justin Crandall slipped it in. Reading tacked on an empty netter for a little insurance in the spirited battle that had players from both squads engaged in multiple skirmishes.
Reading struck two minutes into the first period when Olivier Labelle, playing in his 246th career game as a Royal—second most in team history—got his own rebound of a bid from in tight after a faceoff win in the left circle of the offensive zone. Labelle’s second swipe went up and over goaltender Michael Houser for his team-leading eighth of the year.
The Royals built the lead to 2-0 8:35 into the first on another battle around the net when Ryan Penny forced a puck towards the top of the crease from deep on the left side. The puck bounced off the leg of Matt Wilkins and ricocheted into the net for Wilkins’ third of the year.
Cincinnati cut the lead in half 13:57 into the first while the two teams were playing four aside. Peter LeBlanc carried just across the offensive blue line deep on the right wing side and sent a floating wrister across the body of goaltender Mark Dekanich that caught the upper left corner for LeBlanc’s first of the season.
Although the Royals pounded the pressure and created a number of quality scoring opportunities in the second period, it was the Cyclones who broke through for the game-tying goal with 1:33 remaining in the period while the two teams were playing four aside. A misplayed puck at the defensive blue line by Reading resulted in a turnover and a break for Cincinnati’s Andrew Yogan, who carried and cut across the mid-slot right to left, getting the edge on a Reading defender and outwaiting Dekanich, who appeared to lose his balance just at Yogan got to a position to slide the puck into an essentially empty net.
The Cyclones had two slam-dunk chances early in the third to take the lead; but Reading dodged those bullets and bagged the game winner 2:59 into the final frame when a puck battle behind the Cincinnati net caused the puck to flutter into the air and land on top of the Cyclones’ cage. Zach Hill reached up with his stick and swiped the puck off the net, causing it to fall to the low right slot where Justin Crandall forced a back-hand towards the Cincinnati net that appeared to go off the skate of a Cyclone defender and into the net for Crandall’s second of the year.
Cincinnati pushed hard down the stretch, but Dekanich and his teammates held strong, particularly in a late game power play awarded to the Cyclones with just 3:03 remaining in regulation. At the conclusion of that power play—with the Cincinnati net empty and the sixth attacker on the ice—Labelle stepped out of the penalty box and skated onto a loose puck in the neutral zone, charged into the offensive zone and bagged an empty netter to ice things and push the Royals current unbeaten streak to three (2-0-1-0).
NEXT UP FOR THE ROYALS
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 27 (@ 5:00 PM)
v CINCINNATI CYCLONES
@ SANTANDER ARENA – READING, PA
FIRST IN A SERIES OF THREE “UGLY” CHRISTMAS GIVEAWAYS
“Ugly” Christmas Socks Giveaway Courtesy of First Energy
AUDIO: iHeartRadio – Rumba 1340 in Reading
TELEVISION: Royals’ Road Games are televised locally in Berks County, Pennsylvania
on BCTV, which Can Found at Comcast Reading Cable Channel 15,
Service Electric Cable Channel 19, Comcast Southern Berks Channel 965
Courtesy of Boscov’s Travel and Apple Vacations
STREAMING VIDEO: ECHL.TV powered by NeuLion (Pay-Per-View)
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