Teams Per: 1 2 3
REA: 2 0 1 1=4
WHL: 2 1 0 0=3
REA: 28-14-1-2 = 59 (2, North Division)
WHL: 24-15-5-0= 53 (t-3, North Division)
REA: Ouellette (Win, 11-5-0-1) (26/29) (62:11)
WHL: Maguire (OTL, 0-1-0-0) (26/30) (62:11)
REA: 3 – 5
WHL: 1 – 7
Wheeling, WV – The Reading Royals (win, 28-14-1-2 = 59) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, defeated the Wheeling Nailers (OTL, 24-15-4-0 =53), 4-3, in overtime at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling, West Virginia.
In the final game of a three-game roadie, the Royals fell behind the Wheeling Nailers by two in the early going, but battled back on the strength of three power play goal goals, including one in the latter stages of the third period—all by Matt Willows who hit for the power play trifecta—to get to overtime, where Jesper Pettersson bagged his second OT GWG of the season. The win, which pushed Reading’s current win streak to six and unbeaten streak to seven (6-0-0-1), served to push the Royals’ record to a season-best fourteen games over .500.
Wheeling struck early after a failed clear for Reading from the defensive zone resulted in a turn over and steal by Wheeling’s Cody Wydo, who sent the puck to the mid-slot where Jarrett Burton slid a back-hand to the left side of the crease. Darryl Lloyd, who had the inside track at the top of the crease, redirected the puck up and over goaltender Martin Ouellette for his fourth of the year.
4:11 into the first, Wheeling went up 2-0 on their first power play chance of the night when a chip into Reading’s zone rimmed behind the Royals and Ouellette went out to play it behind the net. Unfortunately, the puck slid by Ouellette and up into the right circle where the Nailers’ Jordan Kwas quickly attacked and snapped the puck into the unguarded net for his seventeenth of the year.
The Royals answered on their first power play chance of the night when the puck slide into the right wing corner of Wheeling’s defensive zone and virtually all of the players on ice congregated in that corner—except Matt Willows. Olivier Labelle won the puck battle in the corner and slid it behind the cage to the waiting Willows at the left side of the Nailers net. Willows had a wide-open walk out in front where he roofed a tight in shot 7:42 into the first to make it 2-1.
Reading tied the game at two on the second power play chance of the night when Max Lamarche fired a hot wrist pass off the top of the right circle to a waiting Willows at the left side of the net for a back-door slam-dunk and his second of the night and fourteenth of the season 17:49 into the first.
The Nailers re-took the lead 1:39 into the second, while Labelle and Lloyd were tussling away from the puck in front of the Wheeling bench, when Danny Fick snapped one from the high slot that eluded the catching glove of Ouellette for his second of the year.
Reading re-tied the game with the team’s third power play goal of the game with only 7:44 remaining in regulation. Chris McCarthy fired a snap shot out of the left circle that hit Labelle who was battling for position in front of the net. The puck trickled across the crease where Willows got just enough of the puck to trickle it over the goal line for his hattrick goal and fifteenth of the season.
From there the two teams traded chances through the remaining time in regulation with Wheeling getting a couple of late game power plays—one of which bled over into overtime for twenty-three seconds. After killing off the power play chance in OT, the Royals finished things when Willows stopped up short in the left circle and dropped a pass to Pettersson in the mid slot for a bullet up and over the blocker of goaltender Sean Maguire for the OT GWG.
NEXT UP FOR THE ROYALS
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2017
v South Carolina Stingrays
Santander Arena – Reading, PA (7:00 pm)
$2.00 Off Select Beers from 6 – 7 pm
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
STREAMING VIDEO: ECHL.TV powered by NeuLion (Pay-Per-View)
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