St.John's. NL - The Reading Royals, proud affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, defeated the Newfoundland Growlers, 6-3, on Thursday, May 11 at the Mary Brown’s Centre. The Royals captured their first win and trail the best-of-seven North Division Final series 1-3 in the 2023 Kelly Cup Playoffs. Pat Nagle (26-9-2, 5-2-2) earned the win in net for Reading with 27 saves on 30 shots faced. Luke Cavallin entered the game in the second period in relief for Dryden McKay and saved 8 of 10 shots faced. McKay (26-11-1, 7-1) suffered the loss in net for Newfoundland with 9 saves on 13 shots faced through 20:00 of play.
The Royals set the tone early with three goals in the opening five minutes of play. Alec Butcher scored his first goal of the postseason 1:09 into play for the second game-opening goal scored by the Royals in the series. Jacob Gaucher extended Reading’s early lead to three with a pair of goals scored within 1:51 of each other. Zayde Wisdom earned assists on Gaucher’s first multi-goal game of his playoff career for his second mutli-point game of the playoffs. Will MacKinnon blasted his first Kelly Cup Playoff career goal with 1:59 remaining in the first period to send Reading into the intermission in front, 4-0.
The Growlers switched netminders and cut the deficit in half with a pair of goals in the second period. Tyler Boland and Pavel Gogolev each finished off feeds from Orrin Centazzo who earned his second multi-point game of the playoffs. Boland scored his second goal in two games this postseason for the Growlers on Newfoundland's power play 35 seconds into the second period while Gogolev rifled a wrist shot past Nagle at the 11:45 mark of the middle frame.
Reading responded to Newfoundland's pair of goals in the second period with a power play goal 10:33 into the third period. Sellar redirected a shot from Mason Millman past Cavallin to net his first Kelly Cup Playoff career goal as well as the third power play goal scored by the Royals this series (3/18). The Growlers were held to one power play goal on seven man-advantage opportunities and one goal in the third period.
Brennan Kapcheck snapped a wrist shot past Nagle from the right face-off circle to bring the Royals’ lead down to two goals with 5:19 remaining in regulation. Millman restored Reading’s three-goal lead with an empty net goal with 3:10 left in the third period for his second point of the contest.
The Royals were outshot in the second and third period 22-10, but preserved their multi-goal lead established in the first period where they outshot the Growlers 13-8. Reading improved their season series record to 6-5-3 and 24-19-10 against the Growlers all-time.
The Royals seek to stave off elimination for a second-straight game in the North Division Final series in Game Five against the Growlers on Saturday, May 13 at 5:30 p.m. EDT at the Mary Brown’s Centre. A Game Five preview will be available at ~ royalshockey.com ~ on gameday! -
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.