Royals Slip Down the Stretch in Shootout Loss, 4-3January 21, 2011 - ECHL (ECHL) Reading Royals
Goaltender Michael Hutchinson (sol, 3-2-1-2, 33/36; 4/5 in shootout) made a number of big stops at big moments to help the Royals pull a point out of this one-particularly in the third period, when Florida outshot the Royals 20-7. Florida's Bobby Goepfert (win, 17-8-0-2, 22/25; 5/5 in shootout) stopped all five Royals' shooters in the shootout to pull out his third win of the year over Reading. The Royals bagged a pair of goals on the power play (2-5) including a five-on-three PPG with 11.9 seconds left in the second period to give the team a two goal lead going in the third. The Royals PK blanked the Florida power play (0-4), marking the sixteenth time they've held the opponent's PP off the board.
The Royals jumped out to an early lead 2:29 into the game when Chris Blight fired a shot off the left half-wall that Goepfert steered directly to a waiting Eric Castonguay, who was set up at the right side of the net and slammed it home for his seventh of the season. Reading extended the lead to 2-0 with a power play goal at the 14:33 mark of the first. Rob Kwiet stepped up in the high slot and fired a hard snap shot that Casey Haines re-directed on the way in for his eighth of the year.
The Everblades finally broke through at the 18:20 mark of the second period, when Mike McKenzie dumped one of the end wall that ricocheted back up into the right circle. It appeared that a Reading defender over skated the puck, allowing Ross Carlson to step up in stepped into the void and fire from the right circle. His hard snap shot hit the right pipe and then the cross-bar and then ended up in the net for his seventh of the year. Shortly thereafter, back-to-back penalties were assessed against the Everblades, the first a holding minor on Francis Lemieux and the second an interference penalty called on Kyle Lawson when he shot the blade of a broken stick towards a Royal player stick-handling the puck. That gave the Royals 54 seconds of five-on-three, and twelve seconds into that opportunity, Kwiet slid a diagonal-down pass off the top of the left circle to a waiting Yannick Riendeau low on the right side. Riendeau buried a one-timer for his ninth of the year with just 11.9 seconds left in the second period to give the Royals a 3-1 lead.
Florida started their comeback 7:38 into the third, shortly after Hutchinson made a brilliant stop on Jared Staal who slid behind the Reading defense for a golden chance. However after that stop, play continued until David Fisher stepped into the right circle and fired a bullet short-side high and in for his second of the year. The Everblades tied the game at three with 5:01 remaining when Carlson got a one-timer off from just above the hash-marks that deflected off a stick, changed direction and pace, and fluttered off the cuff of Hutchinson's glove and into the net. Neither team could resolve it in regulation or over-time, so it went to the shootout, where only one player could break through. For the Royals, Riendeau, Blight, Ben Gordon, Castonguay and Haines were all stopped. And for Florida, only Tony Mosey could find pay-dirt-but that was all it took to take the two points.
The Royals and Everblades meet for the final time of the regular season on Saturday (January 22 @ 7:30 pm). The Royals game day broadcast will kick off with the pre-game warm-up show presented by The Works at Wyomissing on the Royals Broadcast Network (WRAW 1340 am in Reading, www.1340wraw.com) at 7:00 pm. You can also catch all of the Royals away games this season on Royals TV exclusively on BCTV courtesy of Boscov's Travel, and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Season tickets for the Royals' 2010-11 season are currently available. To become a part of Royals hockey, call 610-898-PUCK or log onto www.royalshockey.com .
ECHL Stories from January 21, 2011
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