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Fawcett, Zmolek Score In Royals Series Finale Loss to Steelheads, 5-2

Sunday, January 7th
Fawcett, Zmolek Score In Royals Series Finale Loss to Steelheads, 5-2

The Reading Royals (13-15-1-1), proud ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, suffered a series finale loss to the Idaho Steelheads (23-9-0-1), 5-2, on Saturday, January 6th at Idaho Central Arena. Nolan Maier (7-8-0-1) suffered the loss in net for the Royals with 34 saves on 38 shots. Bryan Thomson (9-4-0-1) earned the win in net for the Steelheads with 31 saves on 33 shots. 


Idaho commanded play during the opening frame. 28 seconds into the first period, Maier denied the first shot he faced with a left pad save off of a cross crease feed deflection by Wade Murphy. 

With 17:48 left in the first period, Steelheads forward Willie Knierim snapped a shot past Maier for his second goal of the series. With an early lead and 10:09 left in the opening frame, Steelheads Murphy scored his first of the game with a shot from the right faceoff circle. Demetrios Koumontzis and Will Merchant earned the helpers for a Steelheads two-goal lead after 20 minutes, 2-0. 

Going into the middle frame, with 7:13 left in the second, Francesco Arcuri scoops the puck off a center ice feed from Knierim and best Maier to extend Idaho’s lead to three, 3-0. Knierim and Matt Register earned the assists on Arcuri’s ninth goal of the season. 

In the final 28 seconds of the second period, Tyson Fawcett snapped a wrist shot over the glove of Thomson for a power play and Reading’s first tally of the game. Mason Millman and Matt Brown earned the helpers on Fawcett’s second power play goal of the series and third goal of the season. 

1:24 into the third period, Will Zmolek rifled a centering pass by Millman past Thomson to draw the score within one, 3-2. Millman’s second assist of the game earned the defenseman his first multi-point game of the season. Bertuzzi earned the secondary helper on Zmolek’s third goal of the season. With 6:42 left in the period, Murphy deflected in his second goal of the game past Maier on a rebound kicked off of the netminder’s left pad. Jack Becker and Merchant earned the helpers on the goal that stood after going under review. With an empty net for Reading, Keaton Mastrodonato buried the empty net goal on a pass from Patrick Kudla to seal the Steelheads’ 5-2 win. 

The Royals return on Friday January 12th for a 7:00 pm game against the Maine Mariners at Santander Arena. The home game will feature the Royals Clothe the Community Night presented by CommunityAid. To order tickets, visit royalshockey.com/tickets


2023-24 Season Memberships

Reading Royals Season Memberships, six-game plans, ten-game plans, and group tickets are available for the 2023-24 season now 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 22nd 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.