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Bakich Scores First Pro Goal in Shootout Loss to Lions

Monday, April 3rd
Bakich Scores First Pro Goal in Shootout Loss to Lions

Reading, PA - The Reading Royals (38-23-5-1), proud affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, fell to the Trois-Rivières Lions (27-37-3-0) in a shootout, 3-2, on Sunday, April 2 at Santander Arena. The Royals hold a three-point lead over Maine for second place in the North Division after the Mariners defeated the Tulsa Oilers, 5-2. Matt Vernon (0-1-0-1) stopped 28 of 30 shots in regulation, six shots in overtime, and one of three shootout attempts by the Lions in his second professional career start. Étienne Montpetit (2-1-0) stopped 30 of 32 shots in regulation, 11 shots in overtime, and two of three shootout attempts by the Royals for his second professional career win in net for Trois-Rivières.


Reading captured the game’s opening goal 1:28 into regulation on Solag Bakich’s first professional career goal. Charlie Gerard fed a saucer pass to Bakich in the slot and earned his team-leading 70th point of the season when Bakich laced the puck past Montpetit’s left mit. The Royals carried the one-goal lead through the first period while Reading’s defense held Trois-Rivières to two shots on goal. The two shots registered by Trois-Rivières was the least amount of shots allowed on goal in an opening period of play by the Royals this season. 

Trois-Rivières broke out of the shooting slump in the second period and evened the 12:28 into the middle frame on James Phelan’s fifth goal of the season. James Phelan raced into Reading’s zone with a clean lane down the left wing side and beat Vernon to tie the game, 1-1. 

The Lions took their first lead of the game 5:36 into the third period on Cole Gallant’s second goal of the series, in addition to his second goal of his professional career. Gallant positioned himself at the right post and redirected a cross-crease pass from Phelan into the back of Reading’s net to go up, 2-1.

After Bakich scored Reading’s goal 88 seconds into the game, the Royals were held scoreless on 30 shots and nearly 47 minutes of play. With 11:05 remaining in regulation, Millman blasted his eighth goal of the season past Montpetit to put the Royals back on the board and tie the game, 2-2. 

Both Vernon and Montpetit turned aside the final two shots they each faced through the remainder of regulation and stopped all shots faced in overtime to send both clubs to shootouts for the first time in each of their respective seasons. 

Max Newton led off for the Royals and was held off the board on a wrist shot that caught Montpetit in the butterfly position. Brett Stapley went in the first round of shootouts for Trois-Rivières and lost the puck on a dangle in front of Vernon. After Mason Millman shot for Reading and had his shot pinned down by Montpetit’s right pad, Anthony Beauregard put the Lions ahead on a backhand shot split in between Vernon’s left pad and the post. Gerard shot third and kept Reading in contention with a wrist shot snapped past Montpetit glove side. Connor Welsh shot in the third round for the Lions and delivered the game-winning shootout goal with a backhand shot, like Beauregard, lifted around Vernon’s left pad and into the back of Reading’s net.

The Royals outshot the Lions with 35 shots to Trois-Rivières’ 27 in the game. Reading fell to the Lions for the fourth time this season (6-3-0-1) and hold an all-time record against Trois-Rivières of 11-6-3-2.

The Royals travel to Norfolk, Virginia to open a three-game series against the Norfolk Admirals on Friday, April 7 at 7:05 p.m. at Norfolk Scope Arena. GThe Royals play game two of the series in Norfolk on Saturday, April 8, at 6:05 p.m. before returning home on Wednesday, April 12 to host the Admirals at 7:00 p.m. at Santander Arena. The home game features a Wild Wednesday promotional game featuring deals on tickets, concessions, and the final Post-Game Party of the regular season at the Cheers American Bistro Restaurant at the DoubleTree Hotel. Order tickets and see the full ~ promotional schedule ~ now!-Upcoming Games:

  • Wild Wednesdays - Apr. 12 vs. Norfolk
    • $6.10 for Green Zone tickets
    • College students buy one ticket, get one free
    • $1 beers at select locations
    • Post-game party at Cheers American Bistro at the DoubleTree
  • Wall of Honor Night - Apr. 14 vs. Newfoundland 
    • Wall of Honor ceremony featuring Olivier Labelle, presented by V&M Towing
    • Goalie mask giveaway (first 1500)
    • $2 off domestic drafts from 6-7:00 PM
    • 4 for $60 deal including 4 tickets, hot dogs, drinks, and thundersticks. Presented by Deibler Dental
  • Fandemonium Night - Apr. 15 vs. Newfoundland 
    • Team photo giveaway (first 1500 people)
    • $2 off craft draft beers 6-7:00 PM
    • Give-a-ways galore: prizes after each whistle
    • Helping Harvest food drive
    • Post-game skate
    • Slapshot Saturdays: pre-game photo on ice with Slapshot from 6:00-6:15 below section 109
    • Season Ticket Holder Jersey Off Our Backs Raffle

2022-23 & 2023-24 Season Memberships

Reading Royals season tickets, flex memberships and group tickets are available for the 2022-23 & now 2023-24 season by visiting the Royals’ box office at Santander Arena or by calling 610-898-7825. 

About the Royals

The Reading Royals, proud affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, are in their 21st season in the ECHL. They won their first Kelly Cup championship in 2013 and have clinched playoff berths in 12 of the previous 13 seasons. They are five-time division champions and were 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.