Reading, PA – The Reading Royals season ended in a 3-0 loss to the Manchester Monarchs in Game Four of the Kelly Cup North Division Semifinals Wednesday at Santander Arena. John Muse rejected 30 shots for a playoff total of 189 saves and a .945 save percentage. Charles Williams earned the shutout for Manchester, blocking 31 attempts. Williams stopped 149 of 156 shots faced in the series.
Matt Willows led the Royals with 74 points (32g, 42a) during the regular season. Frank Hora ended the campaign with a +23 regular season rating, third among all rookies. Nolan Zajac and Willows appeared in 72 regular season games and all four playoff contests. Chris McCarthy topped the Royals with six points (2g, 4a) during the postseason.
The Monarchs tallied midway through the second period and held a 1-0 lead entering the third. Zac Lynch and Sam Kurker each added empty-net goals in the final minute.
Manchester broke the silence 7:50 into the middle frame. A scrum in front of Muse sent a loose puck to the right post and Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman connected on the bounce for a 1-0 lead.
Reading struck 23 shots on Williams in the final two periods. The Royals power play failed to score on seven chances and killed off both Monarchs opportunities.
Lynch potted an empty-net goal with 47.7 seconds remaining in regulation time. Forty seconds later, Kurker found the open cage to add the final tally for the Monarchs.