Reading, PA- Reading Royals goaltender Mark Dekanich denied 28 shots and earned his third shutout of the season to bottle the Worcester Railers, 3-0, Saturday at Santander Arena. Reading played in front of its biggest crowd of the season, 5,797 fans, and moved eight points ahead of the Railers for third in the North Division. Worcester is the first team out of North Division playoff contention.
Jack Riley recorded his first professional point and Mark Bennett (1g, 1a) earned his 10th career multi-point game. Matt Willows skated in his 200th professional game.
After a scoreless first period, the Royals opened the second session with a breakaway goal from Brian Morgan. Bennett added a second strike in the closing minutes of the middle stanza. Michael Huntebrinker scored the lone third-period goal.
Both teams were 3-for-3 on the penalty kill. Dekanich's last two wins have been shutouts. Mitch Gillam stopped 25 shots in defeat.
Riley chipped a pass to Morgan for a second-period breakaway during a delayed penalty on Worcester. Morgan beat Gillam over the right shoulder to take a 1-0 lead 5:07 into the second. Riley has played in a pair of games for Reading since completing his senior season at Mercyhurst.
Later in the frame, Matias Cleland sent the puck soaring along the boards causing Gillam to leave the crease and hunt the puck. Bennett took advantage of the open net on a hard-angle shot from the right circle to take a 2-0 edge with fewer than three minutes remaining in the middle session.
Bennett added his second point of the contest in the third, sending the puck across the crease to Michael Huntebrinker who solved Gillam over the blocker. Reading lead 3-0 at 5:36 in the final frame.
Dekanich made ten saves in the first, ten in the second and eight in the third.