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Royals Win Wild West Battle in Colorado, 4-3

Wednesday, November 2nd
Royals Win Wild West Battle in Colorado, 4-3

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Teams     Per: 1          2          3

REA:              0          1          3=4

COL:              1          1          1=3


REA: 4-2-0-1 = 9 (3, North Division)

COL: 4-2-1-1 = 10 (t-1, Mountain Division)


REA: Dekanich (Win, 2-1-0-1) (22/24) (1 eng)

COL:  Saunders (ND) (25/28) (45:19)

            Maris (Loss, 0-1-0-0) (4/5) (13:50)

Power Play:

REA: 3 – 10

COL: 1 – 2

Loveland, CO – The Reading Royals (­­­­­­­­­win, 4-2-0-1 = 9) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, defeated the Colorado Eagles (loss, 4-2-1-1 = 10), 4-2, at Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, Colorado.

In the first game in team history against the Eagles—and at Budweiser Events Center—the Royals came back from a two-goal deficit for the third time this season—all on the road—to take the two points. In this one, the Royals rang off four straight—three of which came on the power play—and then held off the Eagles down the stretch in a wild melee-filled affair in front of a big and energized crowd on Military Appreciation night in Loveland.

The Eagles struck 8:36 into the first period when Colorado forced a defensive zone turnover by a Reading defender, allowing Luke Salazar to steal and swipe a fluttering puck behind goaltender Mark Dekanich for his fifth of the year.

Colorado stretched their lead to 2-0 5:29 into the second period while the teams were playing four aside. Defenseman Matt Register charged into Reading’s end and got the edge on a Royals’ defender. Register cut towards the front of the net and took a quick snap shot that was rejected by Dekanich. But the rebound fell directly to Casey Pierro-Zabotel at the top of the crease, and Pierro-Zabotel punched it home for his fourth of the season.

Reading finally broke through on goaltender Clarke Saunders on the team’s second power play chance of the night when Florian Iberer fired a shot from the left point that hit an Eagle defender in the middle of the ice, redirecting the puck into the left circle where Robbie Czarnik fired a quick snap shot that snuck by Saunders for his second of the season.

The Royals tied the game early in the third when Steven Swavely gained possession in the high slot and wheeled a low, hot snapper that snuck between Saunders’ legs for his third of the year 3:10 into the third.

Reading took a 3-2 lead on the sixth power play chance of the night after a sustained sequence of offensive zone puck possession when Mike Pelech found Chris McCarthy pretty much wide open on the weak side of the ice. Pelech’s cross-ice pass set McCarthy for the one-timer out of the left circle, and McCarthy drilled it home for his third of the year 5:19 into the final frame. It appeared that goaltender Saunders sustained an injury at some point in that sequence, and the emergency back-up goaltender Tate Maris was brought into the game at that point.

Maris got a rude welcome forty-nine seconds later when Mike Pereira ripped a bullet out of the right circle that beat Maris to the high short-side. That was Pereira’s second of the year—both of which have proven to be game winners.

That goal also ignited an already fuming edge to this game, during which the two teams combined for 131 penalty minutes. Clearly, Colorado didn’t go quietly into the night and made a one-goal game of it with 3:55 remaining when Darryl Bootland found a soft spot in the right circle for a pass from below the goal line by Sean Zimmerman for a power play goal to make it 4-3. That goal stretched the Royals streak of giving up at least one power play goal to all seven games so far played by the team.

Colorado’s late goal only served to take the nasty feel to this game even a step higher; but the Royals were able to hold off a late charge from the Eagles to run the team’s record to 2-1-0-1 through four games on the current eight game road trip.

Next up, the Royals’ hit the road again, heading to Rapid City, South Dakota, where team will face the Rapid City Rush for the first time ever at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center this Friday (November 4 @ 9:05 pm). As with all Royals’ road games this season, Friday’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 11-02