Teams Per: 1 2 3
ADK: 1 1 2 =4
REA: 1 1 0 =2
ADK: Anderson (Win) (6-2-1-0) (21/23)
REA: Ouellette (Loss) (4-3-0-0) (36/39)
Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (Loss, 18-12-1-1=38) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, were defeated by the Adirondack Thunder (win, 16-9-2-3=37), 4-2, at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania.
In the first game of Calendar Year 2017, Reading started things off with a bang, scoring nineteen seconds into the game. But the Royals were unable to hold that lead—and another at 2-1—as the Adirondack Thunder battled back twice and finally took a lead on a seeing-eye slapper 6:51 into the third period. Reading had a couple of bids at re-tying the game, but the Thunder held on to snap their three-game losing streak and, in turn, put an end to the Royals’ four game win streak.
Nineteen seconds into the game, Steven Swavely, who was loaned earlier in the week to Reading from Lehigh Valley in the American Hockey League, made a rather auspicious splash in his return to the Royals. Matt Willows carried with speed down the left wing side into the offensive end and slipped a beautiful saucer that landed flat in the mid-slot for the hard-charging Swavely who buried a hot bar-down bullet over the left shoulder of goaltender J.P. Anderson for his seventh of the season.
Adirondack took over the first period from there, pinning the Royals on their collective heels and outshooting Reading 19-5 in the opening frame; but goaltender Martin Ouellette was spectacular in keeping his team on top. However, late in period, a miscue by defenseman Jesper Pettersson at the offensive blue line allowed Nick Bligh, playing in his first game for the Thunder to take off on a long break into Reading’s end. Bligh didn’t waste the gift, ripping a snapper up and over the left shoulder of Ouellette for his first as a pro with 1:12 remaining in the period.
Reading took the team’s second lead 7:45 into the second period, when Chris McCarthy picked off a breakout effort of the Thunder just inside the Royals’ offensive blue line. McCarthy then threaded a pass to the left circle, where Justin Crandall was set for a hot one-timer. Anderson made the original save on that shot, but it caused him to fall off balance, while the puck fell to the goal line where McCarthy had stepped up to punch the it home for his team leading fifteenth of the year.
Once again, however, Adirondack bounced back to tie—this time with 2:35 left in the second period when the Thunder charged up ice with numbers. Dennis Kravchenko carried in on the right wing side and sent a perfect diagonal-down pass to defenseman Alex Wall who was hustling down the weak side. Wall redirected the puck up and towards the left side of the cage, but Ouellette came across with a big power push for a spectacular save. The rebound, however, fell back to the top of the crease, where Ty Loney had the inside track for a quick put-back and his fourteenth of the year.
The Thunder bagged what proved to be the tie-breaking game winner 6:51 into the third, when Wall blasted a seeing-eye rocket from just inside the offensive blue line deep on the left wing side that buzzed across the body of Ouellette and caught the upper right corner of the cage for his third of the year.
From there, Reading was chasing, and the team had a couple of chances to tie, including back-to-back scoring bids for Kevin Sundher and Oliver Labelle while the Royals were on a sequence of back-to-back power plays late in the game. However, the Royals were never able to notch the equalizer, and Adirondack bagged an empty netter to ice the come-from-behind win with 1:26 left.
NEXT UP FOR THE ROYALS
SATURDAY, JANUARY 7
v ADIRONDACK THUNDER
Santander Arena – Reading, PA (7:00 pm)
“Purple Goes Green” Agriculture and Environmental Awareness Night
Royals Will Donate and Plant One Tree with Berks County Conservancy
for Every 750 Fans in Attendance
Broadcast Begins 30 Minutes Prior to Opening Face-Off
With Pre-Game Warm-Up Show
Digital Stream on iHeartRadio Rumba 1340 - Reading
Road Games Only: BCTV Telecast in Berks County, PA
(Comcast Reading Cable Channel 15, Service Electric Cable Channel 19,
Comcast Southern Berks Channel 965)
Pay-Per-View Streaming Video at ECHL.TV
End 17 01-06