The Reading Royals, proud affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers, defeated the Newfoundland Growlers, 6-5, Wednesday, May 11 at Mary Brown’s Centre in Game 4 of the Division Final round of the 2022 Kelly Cup playoffs. The Royals improved their series lead to three games to one after their second straight win against the Growlers. Royals goaltender Logan Flodell saved 35 of 40 shots faced while Growlers goalie Rylan Parenteau saved 12 of 15 shots after coming in for relief for Keith Petruzzelli allowed three goals on five shots faced.
The Royals were doubled in shots by the Growlers (40-to-20) however two goals each from Trevor Gooch and Brennan Saulnier along with a three-point night by Frank DiChiara bolstered the Royals into a lead that Reading would sustain late.
Gooch and Saulnier scored the games opening goals six minutes into the first period. DiChiara earned assists on Gooch and Saulnier’s first of two goals in the game to give Reading an early lead, 2-0.
Newfoundland cut the Royals lead in half on Marc Johnstone’s first of two points in the game. Johnstone redirected a slapshot from Ben Finklestein past Flodell for his fourth goal of the playoffs. Reading answered back late into the period on a turnover from the Growlers in Newfoundlan’s zone. Patrick Bajkov picked up a loose puck in front of Newfoundland’s net and snapped a shot in the slot past Parenteau for a Royals lead after the first period, 3-1.
Orrin Centazzo scored 3:18 into the second period for his first of two goals in the game. The rookie beat Flodell on a rebound and cut Reading’s lead to a goal until DiChiara scored minutes later on a one-time blast past Parenteau to put the Royals back up, 5-3. While the Royals were on their fourth of eight power plays in the game, Johnstone carried the puck behind Reading’s net and centered the puck for Noel Hoefenmayer who scored the second shorthanded goal of the postseason for Newfoundland.
The Royals extended their one goal lead to three goals early into the third period. Gooch and Saulnier scored their second goals of the game to put Reading up, 6-3, with 9:01 remaining in the third period. Newfoundland was down but not out as they scored two goals in the final nine minutes of regulation to bring the game within one. Centazzo scored his second goal of the game with 6:10 remaining in regulation before Finklestein snapped a wrist shot past Flodell to bring the Growlers within a goal with 1:06 left in the game.
Reading denied the Growlers from completing the late game comeback as the Royals defense prevented any shots on Flodell in the final minute to secure the Game 4 victory and improve their series lead three games to one.
The Royals continue their 2022 Kelly Cup playoff run against the Newfoundland Growlers in Game 5 of the Divisional Final round Thursday, May 112, at 5:30 p.m. EST at the Mary Browns Centre in St.John’s, Newfoundland.
PLAYOFF GAME TICKETS ARE ON SALE FOR GAMES 6 & 7 (IF NECESSARY)
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 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.