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 Reading Royals

Gahagen Saves Career-High 51, Zmolek Scores OT Game-Winner in Series Opener Win Over Orlando, 3-2

April 12, 2024 - ECHL (ECHL)
Reading Royals News Release

Reading, PA - The Reading Royals (29-34-6-2), proud ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, defeated the Orlando Solar Bears (37-24-7-3), 3-2, in overtime, on Friday, April 12 at Santander Arena. Parker Gahagen (10-4-0-0) earned the win in net for the Royals with a career-high 51 saves on 53 shots faced. Goaltender Evan Fitzpatrick (11-7-3-1) suffered the loss for the Solar Bears with 25 saves on 28 shots faced.

The Royals struck first at 5:47 into the game when Darren Brady took a wrist shot at the top of the slot on Reading's first of two power plays. The goal from the blue line was assisted by Matt Brown and Tyler Gratton.

Yvan Mongo hit a top shelf shot at 7:17 from the bottom of the face-off circle past Fitzpatrick to extend Reading's lead, 2-0. Brown earned the second of two assists on the goal for his team-leading 13th multi-point game of the season while Brady earned an assist to earn his fifth multi-point game of the season.

In the second period, Gahagen preserved Reading's two-goal lead with 15 saves while Fitzpatrick denied 14 shots faced by Reading. For a 2-0 score after 40 minutes.

At 10:24 of the final frame, Brayden Low snuck a backhand shot between Gahagen's pads to cut Orlando's deficit in half. Aaron Luchuk and Kurt Gosselin earned the assist on Low's 23rd goal of the season. 6:10 later, at 16:34, Jesse Jacques scored Orlando's second goal and equalizer, 2-2, on a back-door pass from Luke Boka past Gahagen to force overtime.

61 seconds into the extra frame, Will Zmolek blasted a shot from the right dot past Fitzpatrick to net his fourth goal of the season and game-winner. Tag Bertuzzi earned the lone assist on the overtime goal to seal Reading's franchise-high 12th post-regulation win of the season.

The Royals conclude their 2023-2024 season in their season finale against Orlando on Saturday, April 13th at 7:00 p.m. at Santander Arena.

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