The Reading Royals, proud affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers, defeated the Worcester Railers in overtime, 3-2, Friday, Jan. 7th at Santander Arena. Royals goaltender Kirill Ustimenko saved 21 of 23, while Railers goalie Colten Ellis saved 45 of 48.
After a scoreless first period, the Royals came out in the second period with a quick pair of shots, and the third found twine. Patrick Bajkov crossed the blue line behind Brad Morrison who carried the puck into the right circle and dished it back to Bajkov for a wrist shot sent past Ellis’ blocker, lighting the lamp and giving Reading the lead, 1-0.
Later in the period, the Railers came back with a pair of goals by Jordan Smotherman and took the lead. Smotherman scored on a loose puck in Ustimenko’s crease which stood as a good goal after being reviewed for goalie interference. Minutes later, Smotherman tallied his second goal of the night after he intercepted a clearing attempt from Mason Millman, drove towards the Royals net, and followed up his own rebound with a backhand shot that squeaked through Ustimenko’s pads to give Worcester the lead, 2-1.
With under 2:30 remaining in the game, the Royals evened the score. Garrett Cecere used an open lane on the left side of the Railer’s cage to step up and deliver a pin-point shot past Ellis’ glove and under the crossbar to send the game to overtime.
16 seconds into post-regulation play, Trevor Gooch took matters into his own hands and sent the home crowd home happy. From the Royals’ blue line, Gooch carried the puck through center ice, entered the Railers zone, skated between three Worcester skaters, and with a stick lift to the defenseman on his left and a dangle around the defenseman positioned in front of him, Gooch delivered a wrist shot across Ellis’ body and into the back of the net. Gooch’s fourth goal of the season completed the comeback win for the Royals, their second win in overtime this season.
The Royals host the Railers for their fourth-straight face off Saturday night on Jan. 8th at 7:00 p.m. at Santander Arena.
- Saturday, Jan. 8 at 7:00 p.m. against Worcester – Celebrate Wizards and Wands Night at the Royals’ game! The first 2,000 fans will receive a Slapshot Wizard bobblehead presented by Savage Auto Group. Fans can purchase $1 Butter Beer at select stations along the concourse, and the Royals will wear a specialty jersey. Attend the Postgame Party presented by DoubleTree by Hilton Reading following the game. Cam Strong and Jared Brandt will attend.
Buy tickets HERE: www.royalshockey.com/promotions
Reading Royals season, flex memberships and group tickets are available for the 2021-22 season by visiting the Royals’ box office at Santander Arena or by calling 610-898-7825.
About the RoyalsThe Reading Royals, proud affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, are entering their 20th season in the ECHL. They won their first Kelly Cup championship in 2013 and have clinched playoff berths in 10 of the previous 11 seasons. They are four-time division champions. The Berks County Convention Center Authority (BCCCA), founded in 1996, owns the Royals and oversees operations at Santander Arena.