Cuddemi Scores Winner, Royals Take Another Wild One, 6-4, over Wheeling
Reading, PA - The Reading Royals stretched their home win streak to five games, sending the Wheeling Nailers packing, 6-4, Saturday at Santander Arena for the team's 101st all-time victory against the Nailers.
Tied at four entering the third, Ralph Cuddemi (2g, 2a) tallied his second goal of the game seven minutes into the third period to put Reading ahead for good. Eric Knodel's shot rebounded off Jordan Ruby's pads and Cuddemi slotted home the rebound. The four points were a single-game high for Cuddemi, a fourth-year professional from Concord, ON. He also tallied the game's first goal fewer than two minutes into the first, tapping home a rebound from Steven Swavely's tip at the right doorstep.
Cuddemi leads the team in goals with eight (15 pts.). Reading has opened scoring in five consecutive home games.
The Royals are 7-4-1-0 (15 pts.) and in first place in the North Division. Trevor Gorsuch (20 saves, 24 shots) recorded his first win as a member of the Royals and his first ECHL victory since his 27-save shutout over Brampton as a member of the Toledo Walleye on Apr. 7. Jordan Ruby took the loss (35 saves, 41 shots).
Matthew Gaudreau scored twice three minutes apart in the second period. Gaudreau's first tally came 4:30 into the second. He wristed the puck from the top of the left circle through traffic and snuck it by Ruby's left shoulder. Three minutes later he put the puck past the stick of Ruby on a breakaway, tying the game at three.
Garret Cockerill snuck a pass through traffic to Corey Mackin twelve minutes into the second period, who backhanded the puck over the glove-hand of Ruby to tie the game, 4-4.
Brayden Low notched an insurance goal with two minutes remaining in the third period, sending a rocket from beneath the blue line past Ruby to finish the game at 6-4.
Setting the Pace
Reading doubled Wheeling in shots, leading 14-7 at the end of the first frame, but trailed after allowing the last two goals of the period. Despite that, Eric Knodel, Brayden Low, and Ralph Cuddemi generated nine of the 14 shots on goal in the period. Cuddemi scored at 1:52 of the first.
Stove Left on High
In a power-packed second period, Reading and Wheeling collectively scored five goals in fewer than seven minutes. The scoring-frenzy began with Matthew Gaudreau's first goal four and a half minutes into the frame. The teams alternated scoring, ending locked at a 4-4 tie. Corey Mackin tallied the final goal of the period, 6:58 after Gaudreau's goal.
The shortest amount of time between two goals in a Royals game this season is ten seconds when Brayden Low and Pascal Laberge scored midway through the third period against Newfoundland in the season-opener Oct. 11. The record was nearly broken when Blake Siebenaler tallied Wheeling's third goal thirteen seconds following Gaudreau's.
Linemates like lamp-lighting
Linemates Matthew Gaudreau (two goals, one assist), Ralph Cuddemi (two goals, two assists) and Steven Swavely (three assists) lit up the scoresheet with a combined 10 points. The five other point-scorers for the Royals - Brayden Low (one goal), Eric Knodel (one assist), Garret Cockerill (two assists), Garrett Mitchell (one assist) and Corey Mackin (one goal) - combined for six points.
Before Saturday, Frank DiChiara had recorded the last three-point performance for the Royals in a 5-4 victory over the Newfoundland Growlers Oct. 31. Cuddemi became the first Royals player with four points in a game since Josh MacDonald did it with two goals and two assists in a 4-1 victory over Maine Apr. 3.
The Royals play four games in four arenas in the upcoming seven days, starting with a 7 p.m. matchup against the Maine Mariners at the Cross Insurance Arena. The 2019-20 season is presented by Tower Health UPMC Health Plan.
The next Royals home game is Sat., Nov. 16 vs. Wheeling at 7:00 p.m., where the Royals will honor veterans on their Vet's Day contest.
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