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Norfolk Edges Reading in 5-4 Overtime Loss, Nagle Saves 40

October 22, 2021 - ECHL (ECHL) - Reading Royals News Release

The Reading Royals, proud affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers, opened the 2021-22 regular season by dropping their first game, 5-4, in overtime to the Norfolk Admirals Friday, Oct. 22 at the Norfolk Scope. Royals goaltender Pat Nagle saved 40 of 45 shots, while Admirals goalie Beck Warm saved 30 of 34.

Patrick Bajkov got the Royals on the board early with a wrist shot ripped top-shelf past Warm 2:56 into the first period. Josh Winquist carried the puck into the Admirals' zone and fed Bajkov in the slot who fired across the goaltender's body to make it 1-0.

Three minutes into the second period, the Royals added some cushion to their lead when Grant Cooper crashed the net and picked up Patrick McNally's centering pass to beat Warm who was caught out of his crease. McNally was just stopped on a breakaway attempt.

Halfway through the second period, Norfolk responded to the two-goal deficit. Karl El-Mir and Alex Tonge both found the back of the net, scoring on the Royals' double-minor penalty with two goals in a span of 32 seconds to tie the game, 2-2, after 40 minutes of play.

The Royals jumped on the man-advantage to start the third period after a two-minute high sticking penalty was charged to Norfolk's Eric Williams. 23 seconds into the power play, the Royals converted courtesy of a one-timer off the stick of Matthew Strome.

Strome sniped the top-right corner of Warm's net, beating the Admirals' goaltender high-glove side to put Reading back ahead, 3-2.

Jacob Pritchard put the Royals up by two goals after tapping in a centered puck past Warm as the net was forced off its moorings. The goal was reviewed and credited after a brief check to put Reading ahead, 4-2, in the third period.

Norfolk, like the period prior, responded with two goals. After Chase Lang's shot squeaked under the left pad of Nagle to draw the deficit to one, Tonge deflected a wrist shot from Williams along the boards to tie the game, 4-4. The tying goal was Tonge's second goal and third point of the game, and it sent the regular season opener to overtime.

With 32 seconds remaining in overtime, Norfolk completed the comeback. Cody Milan held the puck across the ice in the slot, and after a fake shot and toe drag around Nagle, Milan buried the puck from an angle to give the Admirals a 5-4 overtime victory.

The Royals play in their home opener against the Admirals Saturday, Oct. 23 at 7:00 p.m. at Santander Arena.

Reading Royals season, flex memberships and group tickets are available for the 2021-22 season by visiting the Royals' box office at Santander Arena or by calling 610-898-7825.

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