Teams Per: 1 2 3
ADK: 1 0 1 =2
REA: 1 2 2 =5
ADK: McDonald (Loss) (9-5-1-2) (34/38) (58:31) (1 eng)
REA: Fielding (Win) (1-0-0-0) (33/35)
Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (win, 15-11-1-1=32) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, defeated the Adirondack Thunder (loss, 15-7-2-3=35), 5-2, at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania.
In the first matchup of the season between the Royals and Thunder, Reading struck first on the power play and then withstood a quick counter-punch from Adirondack to pull away with a pair from Justin Crandall in the second period and an early goal in the third from Tyrell Goulbourne. Crandall capped his first pro hattrick—and four point night—with a long range empty-netter with 47.6 seconds left. Goaltender Drew Fielding—who played last season for Adirondack—was the star at the other end, making 33 saves in his first start as a Royal to help the team snap a three game losing streak.
Reading hit pay-dirt on the team’s second power play chance of the night 17:19 into the first period. Matt Willows fired a shot from deep at the right point that Adirondack goaltender Mason McDonald kicked out with his right pad; however the rebound slid to the low left slot and directly to Chris McCarthy who punched back his team leading twelfth of the year.
Thirty-three second later, the Thunder tied the game when defenseman Alex Wall pinched off the right point to take a feed from behind the net from Greg Wolfe. Wall took a close range sharp-angle shot from deep on the right wing side that Fielding rejected. However, the rebound fell to the top of the crease where Brett Pollock corralled and chipped it up and over Fielding for his fifth of the year.
Reading retook the lead 11:50 into the second period when Ryan Penny stepped up at the left wall just inside the offensive blue line to free a puck for Ian Watters, who in turn fired a perfectly placed diagonal down pass towards the top of the crease, where Crandall, who was slicing off the weak side, came charging through for a beautiful re-direct up and over McDonald for his first of the night and sixth of the season.
Crandall notched what proved to be the game winner 17:35 into the second when an Adirondack defender misplayed a puck at the offensive blue line, allowing Crandall to take off on a footrace where he beat everyone to the Thunder net, piercing through a pair of back-checkers with a highlight reel fore-hand, back-hand stuff around and behind the poke-check attempt by McDonald.
Reading made it a 4-1 game twenty-four seconds into the third, when Penny hit a slashing Tyrell Goulbourne with a well-placed lead-out pass that allowed Goulbourne to skate onto the puck in a seam down right side of the slot firing a back-hand as he got close to the net. McDonald got a piece of the puck, but not enough to keep it out as Goulbourne went crashing into the end wall.
Adirondack drew back within two with 4:47 left in regulation when James Henry found a soft-spot directly in front of the Royals net for a feed from below the goal-line by Gunnar Hughes. Henry didn’t waste the chance from the top of the crease for his fifth of the year.
But that would be it for the Thunder, and Reading would tack on an empty netter in the waning moments, when Justin Crandall would step onto the ice and into a loose puck that he was able to control and fire 110 feet into the empty cage, cuing the festive holiday crowd to gift a bunch of hats onto the ice—much to the chagrin of Adirondack, who felt that the Royals had too many men on the ice in the sequence. But that argument fell on deaf ears, as Reading took off for the holiday break with the team’s fifteenth win of the year.
NEXT UP FOR THE ROYALS
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 28
v ELMIRA JACKALS
Santander Arena – Reading, PA (7:00 pm)
Pucks n’ Paws
Riley Gill Bobblehead Giveaway
Courtesy of Reading Health System
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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