Royals Held in Check (Again), Dropped in Brampton, 2-1
Teams Per: 1 2 3 REA: 0 1 01 BRM: 2 0 02
Records REA: 1-1-1 BRM: 2-1-0
Goaltenders REA: Dekanich (loss, 1-1-1) (30/32) BRM: Fucale (win, 2-0-0) (25/26)
Power Play: REA: 1-5 BRM: 1-6
Brampton, ON - The Reading Royals (loss, 1-1-1) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, were defeated by the Brampton Beast (win, 2-1-0), 2-1, in Game Three of the Best-of-Seven North Division Semifinals at Powerade Centre in Brampton, Ontario. The Beast lead the series two games to one with Game Four to be played here in Brampton on Thursday.
For the third straight game, the Royals and Beast played to a 2-1 score-with the Beast claiming their second consecutive win by that score. For the first time in the series, Brampton struck first-on their first power play chance of the game-and built a 2-0 first period lead in relative short-order. The Royals battled back to bag a power play goal of their own-the team's first of the series-in the latter stages of the second to cut the Brampton lead in half. In the third, Reading was held pretty much at bay until a late game power play, during which the team pulled the goaltender and created several quality looks in the quest to tie, but it all came up empty in the first ECHL playoff game ever played in Brampton, Ontario.
The Beast broke through on their first power play chance of the game when Luke Pither settled off the right half-wall and slid the puck to the mid-slot where Chris Auger was wide open and waiting for the quick redirect that eluded goaltender Mark Dekanich for Auger's first of the playoff season 12:28 into the first.
2:32 later, Brampton would bag what would prove to be the game winner when Matt Petgrave blocked a shot in the Beast defensive zone and then tracked the loose puck in the neutral zone. Petgrave charged down the right side into Reading's defensive end and threw a cross-ice pass to David Vallorani, who entered the zone trailing late. Vallorani settled and stepped up for a hot rocket that buzzed over the catching glove of Dekanich and sent the water-bottle tumbling for Vallorani's first of the playoff season.
Reading finally broke through on the team's second power play of the night-and tenth PP of the series-when Matt Willows took control deep on the left side, worked his way back up the wing, and the arced towards the middle of the ice where he turned in the high slot and threw an against the grain snap shot that whizzed under the blocker of goaltender Zach Fucale's for Willows' first of the playoff season.
In the third, the Beast kept the Royals pretty much at bay, holding Reading to just two shots on goal until late in the game when the Royals' Olivier Labelle was assessed with a slashing minor-and simultaneously Brampton's Dalton Thrower was hit with an undisciplined double-minor for attempted spearing. That put the Royals back on the power play with just 2:07 left in regulation. Reading tried to make the most of the late-game opportunity by pulling Dekanich in favor of a sixth attacker, resulting in a late-game flurry that included a snap shot from the high slot by defenseman Jesper Pettersson that clanged off the pipe but stayed out. But that would be as close as Reading would get to tying the game, as the Royals fell behind (two-games-to-one) for the first time in the series.
NEXT UP FOR THE ROYALS THURSDAY, APRIL 20, 2017 @ Brampton Beast
Game Four of the North Division Semi-Final Best-of-Seven Brampton Leads Series (2-1) Powerade Centre - Brampton, ON (7:15 pm)
AUDIO: iHeartRadio - Rumba 1340 in Reading Deibler Dental In Arena Broadcast: 99.3 fm Inside Santander Arena
TELEVISION: Royals' Road Games are televised locally in Berks County, Pennsylvania on BCTV, which Can Found at Comcast Reading Cable Channel 15, Service Electric Cable Channel 19, Comcast Southern Berks Channel 965 Courtesy of Boscov's Travel and Apple Vacations
STREAMING VIDEO: ECHL.TV powered by NeuLion (Pay-Per-View)
North Division Semifinal Best-of-Seven Series Game One - Brampton @ Reading: Reading 2 - Brampton 1 (REA leads series 1-0) Game Two - Brampton @ Reading: Brampton 2 - Reading 1 (OT) (Series Tied 1-1)
Game Three - Reading @ Brampton: Brampton 2- Reading 1 (BRM leads series 2-1) Game Four - Reading @ Brampton, Thursday, April 20 @ 7:15 pm et Game Five - Reading @ Brampton, Saturday, April 22 @ 8:30 pm et, if necessary
Game Six - Brampton @ Reading, Monday, April 24 @ 7:00 pm et, if necessary Game Seven - Brampton @ Reading, Tuesday, April 25 @ 7:00 pm et, if necessary
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