Teams Per: 1 2 3
MAN: 1 2 1 =4
REA: 0 1 1 =2
MAN: Imoo (Win) (3-1-0-0) (31/33)
REA: Dekanich (Loss) (10-9-1-1) (22/25) (35:46)
Fielding (ND) (10/10) (21:49)
Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (loss, 14-11-1-1=30) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, were defeated by the Manchester Monarchs (win, 18-8-1-1=38), 4-2, at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania.
Despite an early onslaught of offensive opportunity for Reading, Manchester struck first relatively early in the game and the Royals were unable to claw their way back as the Monarchs’ rookie goaltender Jonah Imoo came up with several spectacular saves to make the timely goals by his teammates stand up. Tonight’s loss, which dropped the Royals’ record to 0-5-1-0 against the Monarchs with four more regular season games to go between the two teams, served to snap a five game home winning streak for the Royals and push the team’s current overall losing streak to three.
Reading opened the game with a heavy push, but the Royals unable to find pay-dirt despite a series of quality chances. The tide turned when Manchester got the game’s first opportunity with the man advantage 4:04 into the game. The Monarchs took a penalty 1:24 into the power play to set up 36 seconds of four-on-four.
While playing four aside, the Monarchs chipped the puck into the neutral zone and Royals’ defenseman Michael Boivin moved into the center-ice circle to play the bouncing puck. Unfortunately, the puck took a bad hop and slipped behind Boivin, allowing Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman to skate onto the loose puck and into a breakaway. Reading goaltender Mark Dekanich made a great save on LaVallee-Smotherman’s bid, but the rebound fell to the right side of the crease, where Cory Ward, who had joined the rush, stepped up for an easy tap in and his seventh of the year 5:44 into the game.
Early in the second, the Royals poured another wave of heavy pressure on Imoo and the Monarchs, but were unable to break through. Instead, shortly after Imoo made one of several golden saves, Manchester charged into Reading’s end forcing the puck below the goal line where Quentin Shore gained possession. Three Reading defenders turned to face Shore below the goal line, and he slipped a pass up into the right circle where defenseman Rick Pinkston stepped in for a quick snap shot that blew by Dekanich for Pinkston’s second of the year 8:38 into the middle frame.
Reading finally solved Imoo thirteen seconds into the team’s second power play chance of the game 12:46 into the second period. Robbie Czarnik controlled off the left half-wall and set one on a tee in the mid-slot for Florian Iberer, who drilled a hot rivet into a pile of bodies. Imoo made the original save, but couldn’t stop the rebound bid from Matt Wilkins who bagged his fifth of the year—and his first power play goal as a pro.
Just over three minutes later, however, the Monarchs bagged what would prove to be the game winner when Derek Arnold fired a shot from the high slot that Dekanich kicked out with the right pad. However, the rebound went directly into the left circle where a wide-open Teddy Doherty was able to punch it back for his third of the year—due at least in part to the face that Dekanich was unable to come across to his right due to an apparent lower body injury. At that point, Dekanich came out of the game and proceeded to the locker room while goaltender Drew Fielding came on in substitution in his first appearance as a Royal.
With Fielding holding down the pipes, Reading was able to claw within one at 3-2 with 4:32 remaining in regulation when Czarnik won an offensive zone face-off to Matt Willows on the right half-wall. Willows fired a low shot towards the Manchester net that deflected off a skate and went directly to Iberer who was wide open and all alone at the top of the crease. Iberer settled and buried a snap shot up and over Imoo for his fifth of the year.
Reading pressed for the equalizer down the stretch, pulling Fielding with about two minutes left in favor of a sixth attacker; however, the Monarchs held the Royals off and iced things with an empty netter by Daniel Ciampini with 40.4 seconds left in regulation.
NEXT UP FOR THE ROYALS
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23
v ADIRONDACK THUNDER
Santander Arena – Reading, PA (7:00 pm)
Ugly Christmas Winter Hat Giveaway Courtesy of FirstEnergy
Royals Wear Special Ugly Christmas Jerseys
Available for Purchase at Royals’ Online Auction
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)
End 16 12-21