The Reading Royals, proud affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers, defeated the Newfoundland Growlers, 7-3, Saturday, May 7 at Santander Arena in Game 1 of the Division Final round of the 2022 Kelly Cup playoffs. Reading captured the series lead with their most goals scored in their Kelly Cup playoff run so far this postseason. Royals goaltender Pat Nagle saved 28 of 31 shots faced while Growlers goalie Rylan Parenteau saved 16 of 18 after coming in relief for Keith Petruzzelli who allowed four goals on 12 shots and was pulled 16 minutes into the first period.
Frank Dichiara and Trevor Gooch each scored two goals before Gooch sealed the game with an empty net goal for his third hat trick of the season.
DiChiara opened the scoring with two goals in the first six minutes of the first period. Garrett Cecere and Patrick Bajkov earned the primary assists on DiChara’s third and fourth goals of the Kelly Cup playoffs while Gooch earned the secondary assists for his two of five points in the game. Kevin Conley’s first career Kelly Cup playoff goal off of a backhand pass from Jackson Cressey along with Dominic Cormier’s wrist shot over Petruzelli gave Reading a commanding lead after the first period, 4-0.
Reading extended their lead to five-goals just 30 seconds into the second period. Bajkov received a pass from DiChiara behind the Growlers’ net and centered the puck for Gooch positioned right in front of Parenteau’s crease. Gooch finished off the tic-tac-toe feed with his first goal of three goals in the game.
The Growlers scored their first goal 13:21 into the second period after a rebound off of Pat Nagle’s right pad kicked out to Gordie Green crashing in on Raeding’s net. Green buried the second chance opportunity for his fourth goal of the Kelly Cup playoffs to cut the deficit to four goals. Gooch reestablished Reading’s five-goal lead with a wrist shot snapped over Parenteau’s left shoulder to put Reading ahead heading into the third period, 6-1.
Newfoundland held their best offensive showing in the third period with two goals on 17 shots. However, goals from Isaac Johsnon and Marc Johnstone weren’t enough late as the Royals’ lead was plenty of cushion for Reading to capture the 1-0 series lead. Gooch sealed the game with an empty net goal for his third hat trick of the season as well as an ECHL single-game career high fifth point in the game. This is the seventh hat trick of the season for the Royals as Gooch jumps ahead of Bajkov who has two for the most hat tricks from a Royals skater this season.
The Royals continue their 2022 Kelly Cup playoff run against the Newfoundland Growlers in Game 2 of the Divisional Final round Sunday, May 8, at 7:00 p.m. at Santander Arena.
PLAYOFF GAME TICKETS ARE ON SALE FOR GAME 2 TOMORROW NIGHT!
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.