Royals Dominate Third But Drop vs. Maine, 6-4
Reading, PA - The Reading Royals outshot the Maine Mariners, 17-1, in the third period but could not overcome a four-goal deficit in the final frame, falling, 6-4, Wednesday at Santander Arena. The Royals scored back-to-back goals in the final 2:09, including Adam Schmidt's 15th of the season and Joe Houk's man-up marker with 18 seconds to go. The Royals also received goals from Tyler Brown and Garret Cockerill, who bagged his first with the Royals.
Reading surrendered the first five goals before Cockerill and Brown netted two goals in a span of 1:54 span during the second period
Andrew D'Agostini made 10 saves (3 GA) and was lifted in favor of Devin Buffalo at 15:11 of the first. Buffalo blocked seven shots in his Royals debut (loss, 3 GA). Connor LaCouvee won his first-ever game against Reading (31 saves, 4 GA).
Reading visits Manchester Fri., Feb. 20 at 7:00 p.m. and kicks off a stretch of three straight days with games. Following a Saturday showdown at Cool Insuring Arena vs. Adirondack at 7:00 p.m., the Royals conclude a home-and-home vs. Adirondack Sun., Feb. 24 at 4:00 p.m. with the annual Battle of the Badges for the FirstStates Cup. In the undercard game at 12:30 p.m., Reading's fire and police departments oppose Allentown's fire and police squads. One ticket earns fans access to both games to benefit the Battle of the Badges Scholarship Fund.
The Royals allowed three goals in the opening frame and Blake Kessel factored in on all three. First, Kessel slammed a slap shot from the right point on the power play that Terrance Wallin quickly scooped to shove underneath D'Agostini at 3:25. Seven minutes later, Kessel walked into a one-timed crank off Taylor Cammarata from the deep slot and it went in at the top shelf, left post. To complete the period, Kessel directed it to Cammarata, who fed Greg Chase up the middle for a breakaway strike at 15:11 of the first. The third goal forced D'Agostini from the game for Buffalo.
Johnny McInnis (1:38, 2nd) and Dwyer Tschantz (3:12) ripped quick goals to open the second frame for Maine and make it 5-0. Buffalo made six saves on nine shots in the second.
Reading had two quick goals in the next five minutes, cutting Maine's lead to 5-2. First, Cockerill (5:21) danced around a defender to the left circle and banged a backhanded goal in at the left post. Cockerill has five goals this season and Wednesday's strike was his first in nine games with the Royals. Fewer than two minutes later, Brown broke the Mariners line over the right-wing side and lowered his shoulder to net front, sliding it by LaCouvee at the left post. Brown has five goals this season, matching his production from last campaign.
Dillan Fox scored for Maine at 8:45 of the second, curling to the left doorstep and slinging it through Buffalo.
The Royals kicked it into high gear in the game's final stages. First, Schmidt redirected a shot from Brayden Low and made it 6-3 with 2:09 to go. Two minutes later, Joe Houk beat the buzzer with a power-play goal in the final 18 seconds. Reading went 1-for-3 on the man up and stopped two of the Mariners' three opportunities.
Next Home Games
Sun., Feb. 24 at 4:00 p.m.: Faith and Family Night + Battle of the Badges with a Berks Schuylkill Oil Heat Puck Giveaway vs. Adirondack
1) Pregame Battle of the Badges for the FirstStates Cup game (Allentown police and fire vs. Reading police and fire departments)
2) Royals will give away a Berks Schuylkill Oil Heat Puck.
3) Faith & Family Night
Fri., Mar. 15: Mental Health Awareness Night vs. Indy at 7:00 p.m.
Supporting mental health initiatives with the Royals
Sat., Mar. 16: St. Hat Trick's Day vs. Indy at 7:00 p.m.
1) Chance to win $10,000 if Royals player gets a hat trick
2) Ice Angels Dance Team card giveaway, pres. by Baja Beach Tanning Club
3) Enter for a chance to win a 2017 Toyota Camry, courtesy of AutoRide of Reading
Fri., Mar. 22: Community Night at 7:00 p.m. vs. Newfoundland
1) Celebrate the local groups and organizations that make Berks County special
2) Enter for a chance to win a 2017 Toyota Camry, courtesy of AutoRide of Reading
Group tickets start at $11 for all Royals home games.
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