All For One...
At the risk of climbing precariously out on the proverbial limb, I would contend that very few pieces of human artistic expression have plumbed the depths of human misery and dark detachment as fully and completely as the award winning single from Metallica, "One". The hard, driving thrash metal epic (which was the centerpiece of what has to be considered the lead record of that beloved genre, .... And Justice For All), captures the very essence of complete and utter isolation as the lyrics seek to provide a glimpse inside the thoughts and feelings of a victim of war whose senses and motor skills have been completely obliterated by a land mine. Suffice it to say it's not a pretty picture. In addition to raising the hairs on the back of your neck, the lyrics of "One" at least in part serve as a reminder of how fortunate we are to be able to undertake the most simple of human inter-actions: to communicate, smile and play with those around us. It's a theme that I believe resonates to the very foundation of why many of us our drawn to this great sport of hockey. Ultimately, success in this game derives not so much from isolated individual skills as it does the commitment to connecting and growing as a band of brothers. Now, admittedly that's not always an easy concept to sell-whether to the players themselves or to some of the good people who pay their hard earned money to watch this game. From the players perspective, it's somewhat understandable since the way they often gain the recognition necessary to advance their individual careers is through their "stats". And, with respect to the fans, it's probably the reason that the marketing geniuses feel compelled to create 'skills competitions' where the 'stars' go through all sorts of contrived machinations trying to create some spectacular 'move' that makes the first cut on SportsCenter. (Personally, along these lines, I don't need much more than Rick Nash's magical move made in a real game-but that's a discussion better left for a different day.) All of that being recognized, the most important statistic for the Royals this past weekend (and for the past four road games) has been 'one'. The precise number of goals the TEAM has allowed the opposition in each of those games. Now, to be sure, one player (goaltender Jon Quick) loomed large in each of those games, but I think he'd be the first to tell you that the win in each of those games was the result of the defensive commitment of everyone. In the same vein, there were certainly a number of critical and spectacular individual efforts on the offensive side of the puck that contributed to the outcome in each those games. But, I have to believe what makes all of these efforts really count to those who executed them is precisely what Metallica's trapped and tragic literary casualty of war would be forever denied, the capacity to see, hear, feel, smile and share with his band of brothers.....
TOP TEN NOTES OF THE WEEK
1. The Royals won back-to-back road games on Saturday and Sunday to extend the team's road win streak to a season high four games. (The team record for consecutive road wins is 9: 11/26/05 - 01/06/06.) Reading has won five of the last six games played by the team (01/13 - 01/27/08).
2. Reading's two wins this past weekend were both by identical 3-1 scores. In fact, the Royals have won the last three road games played by a score of 3-1 and have only allowed a total of four goals against in the last four road games. Over the course of the season, Reading has held the opposition to one goal (or less) during the sixtyminutes of regulation hockey nine different times, and the team has compiled a record of 7-0-2 in those games. Goaltender Jon Quick has been in net for eight of those games (6-0-2). Reading's current team goals against average is 3.12, which is thirteenth in the league.
3. Goaltender Jon Quick has started sixteen of the last seventeen games for the Royals, and he has started 29 of the 31 games in which he's dressed for the Royals this year. Quick has played a total of 1704 minutes in the ECHL this season, which is second in the league (and leads all first year goaltenders). Quick's sixteen wins on the season ranks fourth in the league.
4. Kevin Saurette registered back-to-back two-goal games for the Royals this past weekend. Saurette scored the game's first goal (while the team was on the power play) and his third empty netter of the year in Reading's 3-1 win in Trenton on Saturday. He also scored the Royals' first goal (while the team was playing shorthanded) and what proved to be the game winner (his first GWG of the season) in Sunday's 3-1 win in Johnstown.
5. Chris Blight scored his team leading 16th goal of the season-and what proved to be his fourth game winner of the season-to break a 1-1 tie with just 3:41 remaining in regulation time in Saturday's win in Trenton. That marked the third time this year that the Royals have broken a third period tie with the Devils and won in Trenton. Blight is currently tied with Brock Hooton for the team lead in GWGs (with four).
6. Joe Zappala registered two assists, including one on the game winner by Chris Blight, in Saturday's win in Trenton, which was Zappala's first game back in the lineup after missing seventeen consecutive games due to injury. That marked Zappala's fifth multi-point game of the season (in his nineteenth game of the year). Zappala also picked up an assist on the Royals' third goal (by Rob LaLonde) on Sunday in Johnstown.
7. P.J. Atherton picked up a pair of assists in Saturday's win in Trenton. That marked Atherton's ninth multi-point game of the season. Atherton is currently tied for the team lead (with Brock Hooton) with twenty-one assists and is fourth in scoring amongst defensemen in the ECHL with thirty-one points (10g-21a=31).
8. Brock Hooton assisted on two goals in Reading's 3-1 win in Johnstown on Sunday, including one on Kevin Saurette's short-handed goal, as well as Saurette's game winner. That marked Hooton's ninth multi-point game of the year. Hooton currently leads the Royals with thirty-five points (15g-21a=36pts).
9. Matt Herneisen engaged in his team leading eighth fight of the season when he and Mike Knight of the Chiefs went at it with 56 seconds left in Sunday's game. Brian Boulay also received a fighting major in that game for his tilt with Rob Drummond of Johnstown. Rob LaLonde leads the Royals with 113 penalty minutes in thirty-one games this season, during which he has registered seven fighting majors. Mike Salekin has also topped 100 penalty minutes for the season (102 in 24 games), which includes six fighting majors.
10. The Royals penalty kill was perfect in the two games this past weekend, killing all eleven power play chances for the opposition. Reading's PK has now killed twenty-three consecutive power play chances for the opponents dating back four games and has only allowed one PPGA in the last 32 power plays they've faced over the past six games the team has played. In the forty-three games played this season, the Royals have allowed forty-nine power play goals against in 255 chances for the opposition with the man advantage, which translates into a 80.8% kill ratio, which is fifteenth in the league.
1. Kevin Saurette's short-handed goal on Sunday in Johnstown was his second SHG of the year, tying him for the team lead in that category with Brock Hooton, Chris Blight, and P.J. Atherton. The Royals have scored a total of 10 goals while playing short-handed this season, which is third in the league behind South Carolina and Bakersfield each of whom has eleven SHGs this year.
2. Kevin Saurette scored the game's first goal in Trenton on Saturday, marking the nineteenth time this year that Reading has scored the game's 'FG'. The Royals have compiled a record of 15-2-2 in those games.
3. In Saturday's game in Trenton, the two teams entered the third period tied at one. The Royals broke the tie with what proved to be the game winner with just 3:41 remaining in regulation time. On December 12 in Trenton the Royals entered the third period tied (at two) with the Devils, and Charlie Kronschnabel scored what proved to be the game winner with just 1:39 remaining in regulation. The Royals this season have compiled a record of 5-3-1 when entering the third period tied with the opposition. (In a similar circumstance, on January 18 in Trenton, the Royals entered the third leading 1-0; but the Devils tied things early in that period. Reading bounced right back, however, to win that game with a third period goal by Brock Hooton.)
4. With the win on Sunday, the Royals have compiled a 3-0-0 record at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena in Johnstown this year. Reading has two more games this season at the CCMA this season, next visiting Johnstown on Wednesday, February 27.
5. The Royals took a 3-1 lead into the third period on Sunday in Johnstown. Reading has held a lead at the beginning of the third period seventeen times this season and have compiled a record of 16-0-1 in those games.
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ECHL Stories from January 28, 2008
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