Reading, PA – Reading Royals netminder Branden Komm made 30 saves and helped the Royals get to the shootout, but Manchester Monarchs forward Gasper Kopitar netted the skills-competition winner in the second round, providing the Monarchs a 4-3 win Saturday at SNHU Arena. Kopitar registered the shootout’s only goal.
The Royals are 2-0-1-1 through the first four games and tied for first in the North Division with six points. Reading begins a three-game homestand Wednesday at Santander Arena.
Captain Nick Luukko scored with nine minutes remaining in the second, giving Reading a 3-2 edge. Luukko has scored in consecutive games and tallied on a shot from the slot. Steven Swavely (1g, 1a) assisted. Dan Milan (1g, 1a) registered his second career ECHL multi-point game.
Tony Cameranesi evened the score at three with 4:18 left in the third, running his skates into the crease at the right post and sliding it across the line while making contact with Komm.
The game marked the first matchup between the clubs since the 2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs. The teams match nine times this regular season.
Charles Williams denied 29 shots in victory and blocked Josh MacDonald in the third round to secure victory.
The Royals host Newfoundland Wed., Oct. 24 at 7:00 p.m. and start a three-game home stand.
The Royals and Monarchs exchanged goals in the first and the game was even, 2-2, after one. Milan and Swavely potted for the Royals.
At 13:03 of the first, Austin Strand bombed a right-point slap shot over Komm’s shoulder to provide Manchester with the opening goal. The Royals evened the game four minutes later; Michael Huntebrinker broke the right-wing blue line and tossed it left point for Milan. The seventh-year professional smacked it off a shin and it fumbled into the net. Milan scored a professional-best five goals last season for Wheeling. Chris McCarthy earned the secondary assist.
With 2:30 left in the first, Stepan Falkovsky scored over Komm’s glove on a shot from the right slot and Manchester led, 2-1. Swavely answered 45 seconds later; Milan shot from the left point immediately after Swavely won a face-off to him. Milan’s shot ricocheted off Swavely and in at the left post. The teams combined for three goals in the final 3:15 of the first.
Luukko jolted Reading ahead, 3-2, with 9:01 left in the second. Standing mid-slot, Swavely squirted the puck to the Royals Captain. He aimed and fired it over Williams’ glove hand. Adam Schmidt received the secondary helper and has five points this season.
Komm denied 11 shots in the third and two in overtime. He stopped two of three shots in the third. The Monarchs out shot the Royals, 34-32. Reading was 0-for-2 on the power play and Manchester was 0-for-1.Postgame autographs, pres. by Rieck’s Printing vs. Newfoundland: Oct. 24, 7:00 p.m.Two players sign postgame autographs, pres. by Rieck’s Printing | first-ever meeting between Reading and Newfoundland.
Star Wars Night vs. Wheeling: Oct. 27, 7:00 p.m.Specialty Star Wars jerseys | dress as your favorite Star Wars character | first matchup against Wheeling
Halloween Night vs. Wheeling: Oct. 28, 4:00 p.m.Specialty Halloween jerseys | concourse trick-or-treat
About the RoyalsThe Royals have been owned by serial entrepreneur Jack Gulati since 2014 and are entering their 18th ECHL season. Proudly affiliated with the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers and AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms, Reading plays in the Santander Arena, located in downtown Reading, PA at 700 Penn Street. The Royals won the Kelly Cup in 2013, have made the playoffs in nine straight seasons and are four-time division champions.
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