The Reading Royals, proud affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers, defeated the Maine Mariners, 3-2, Saturday, Apr. 30 at Cross Insurance Arena in game five of the Divisional Semifinal round of the 2022 Kelly Cup playoffs. Reading retakes the series lead 3-2 heading into game six of the best of seven series. Royals goaltender Logan Flodell saved 25 of 27 shots while Mariners goalie Callum Booth saved 29 of 32 shots.
Reading scored the game’s opening goal 10:25 into the first period on a dazzling behind the back pass from Trevor Gooch. Catching the puck out of the air, Gooch settled the puck and fed a cross crease feed to Patrick Bajkov crashing in on Booth’s net for a one-timer. Bajkov buried the shot past Booth for his first goal of the series to give Reading their first lead of the game.
Maine responded back late into the opening period on a tic-tac-toe play that set up Cameron Askew for his third goal of the series. Michael Kim’s one-timer in the right face off circle kicked off of Flodell’s right pad directly onto Askew’s stick who put in the rebound under the netminder’s right pad to tie the score at the end of the first period, 1-1.
Similar to the first period, each team scored in the second period and the game remained tied heading into the third. Frank DiChiara scored his second goal of the series off of a centering pass from Bajkov for Reading’s second lead of the game. Minutes later, Alex Kile scored the equalizer with his second goal in his two games in the series off of a Royals turnover in their own zone. Kile picked up the loose puck in the slot and beat Flodell high-blocker side to tie the score heading into the third period, 2-2.
In the final eight minutes of regulation, Reading took the lead for good. Thomas Ebbing redirected a centering pass from Brennan Saulnier past Booth’s right pad for his first goal of the playoffs. The game winning goal from Ebbing goes as the Troy, Michigan natives first point of the seriesl. The Royals locked down the remaining 7:26 of time in the third period to recapture the series lead 3-2.
The Royals return back home with a chance to clinch the series against the Maine Mariners in game six of the Divisional Semifinal round Monday, May 2, at 7:00 p.m. at Santander Arena.
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About the North Division and Eastern Conference Champion Royals
The 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 11 of the previous 12 seasons. They are five-time division champions and the 2021-22 Eastern Conference champion. The Berks County Convention Center Authority (BCCCA), founded in 1996, owns the Royals and oversees operations at Santander Arena.