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Royals Can't Hold Off Swamp Rabbits in Greenville, 5-4

Friday, December 16th
Royals Can't Hold Off Swamp Rabbits in Greenville, 5-4

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Teams     Per: 1          2          3

REA:              2          2          0=4

GRN:              1          3          1=5


REA: 14-10-1-1 = 30 (3, North Division)

GRN: 14-9-2-0 = 30 (3, South Division)


REA: Dekanich (Loss, 10-8-1-1) (26/31) (58:45)

GRN:  Skapski (Win, 6-2-0-0) (27/31)

Power Play:

REA: 1 – 1

GRN: 0 – 2

Greenville, SC – The Reading Royals (­­­­­­­­­Loss, 14-10-1-1 = 30) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, were defeated by the Greenville Swamp Rabbits (Win, 14-9-2-0 = 30), 5-4, at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, South Carolina.

In the back-end of a two-game set in Greenville, the Royals held six different leads—including two by two goals—but couldn’t hold off the resilient Swamp Rabbits, who got a third-period tie-breaking game winner half way into the final frame on a slap shot from the right point by defenseman Spiro Goulakos. Tonight’s game marked the seventh “blown lead loss”—games where the team has held an in-game lead but failed to pick up the two points—this season for Reading.

The Royals struck on the team’s first power play opportunity 6:33 into the game, when Matt Wilkins carried into the offensive zone down the right wing side and slipped a cross-ice saucer to Robbie Czarnik, who teed up a one-time rocket that buzzed by goaltender Mackenzie Skapski for his sixth of the season.

Right off the face-off to restart play—seventeen seconds later—the Royals took their first two-goal lead, when Ryan Penny dug the puck off the end wall, freeing it to Ian Watters at the left side of the net. Watters in turn slipped the puck across the top of the crease where Tyrell Goulbourne punched it home for his third of the year.

Greenville cut the lead in half 11:56 into the first when Garrett Noonen fired a blast from the left point that goaltender Mark Dekanich rejected with his stick. The rebound, however, slid into the low slot where Brandon Alderson quickly fired a snapper up and in for his sixth of the year.

5:43 into the second, the Royals took the team’s second two-goal lead at 3-1 when Florian Iberer ripped a blast from the left point that Czarnik re-directed in a downward direction, causing the puck to clang off the left pipe. However, the puck ricocheted across the goal mouth behind Skapski coming out in the low right slot where Matt Willows stuffed it back for his sixth of the year—and second in three games with the Royals.

Greenville then battled back to tie the game at three with back-to-back goals separated by only 1:22. The first came when defenseman Matt Prapavessis stuffed a loose puck under Dekanich 11:56 into the second; and the second came when Trevor Gerling found a soft spot in the slot where Justin DaSilva hit him with a pass from below the goal line. Gerling ripped a bullet behind Dekanich for his third of the season.

Reading re-took the lead 16:16 into the second on a beautiful goal, which was set up when Ryan Penny carried into the offensive end and dished the puck to Goulbourne who was breaking down the right wing side. Goulbourne slid a perfect diagonal-down pass to the left side of the crease, where Ian Watters came busting off the left wing side for a perfect re-direct behind Skapski and his second of the year.

But, once again, the Swamp Rabbits bounced back and re-tied the game at four. The game-tying goal came on another scramble around the Royals crease when Paul Zanette, who was well-tied up by Ryan Penny, was able to fight through the check, find the loose puck in the crease, and slide it under and through Dekanich for his seventh of the year.

Greenville took their first lead with what turned out to be the third-period tie-breaking game winner when Zanette won a face-off back to Goulakos at the right point. He teed up a slapper that just caught the upper left corner for his seventh of the year.

Once again, the Royals found themselves chasing the Swamp Rabbits down the stretch, but were left holding an empty bag in the two-game set down south.






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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