Royals Suffer Late Game Loss in Dayton, 4-3
Dayton, OH - The Reading Royals (5-14-1= 11; 7th North Division) of the ECHL battled back from three separate deficits only to lose in the last minute to the Dayton Bombers, 4-3, at the E.J. Nutter Center in Dayton Ohio. The loss extends the Royals' losing streak to a season high five games and the team's winless streak to six (0-5-1). Goaltender Danny Taylor (loss, 3-12-1; 30/34) sustained the loss; while Tyler Plante (win; 3-3-1; 17/20) picked up his second straight win against the Royals. Kirk MacDonald scored a pair of power play goals for Reading to become the first player this season to have a multi-goal game for the Royals. Reading went 2 for 4 with the man advantage; the Bombers struck on their lone power play chance of the game (1-1).
Reading started the game with a strong push, but a couple of good saves by Plante including a sprawling a stop on Brock Hooton in the opening moments kept the game a zero-zero tie until Dayton broke through at the 13:25 mark of the first while the teams were playing four aside. Jim Henkemeyer created a turnover deep in Reading's end off with a strong fore-check, stole the puck and fed Mike Looby who skated into the high slot for a shot, which he fired through a Royal player, who had stepped up to front him, and into the upper right corner of the net.
The Royals tied the game early in the second when a long dump by Rob LaLonde ricocheted off the end wall where a hard-charging Hooton retrieved-and then turned a wheeled a back-hand from low in the right circle that went across the body of Plante and into the net for his sixth goal of the year. The Bombers re-took the lead at the 14:40 mark of the second, when Bryson Busniuk carried deep into the offensive end on the left wing side. Busniuk found the trailer Ryan Smyth floating through the slot. Smyth fired a low hard snap shot that beat Taylor to the glove side for his fifth of the year. The Royals tied the game again (at 2-2) while on the power play. Hooton fed LaLonde in the high slot who threw a wrister toward the net which MacDonald re-directed behind Plante for his sixth goal of the season.
Dayton took the lead (again) with a power play goal by Dan Riedel two minutes into the third period. Immediately after an offensive zone face-off-and nine seconds after the Bombers were awarded their first (and only) power play chance of the night-Riedel fired a snap shot out of the right circle that eluded Taylor for his tenth goal of the year. Reading tied the game (again) (3-3) at the 14:29 mark of the third with MacDonald's second power play goal of the night. LaLonde fired one on net, which was kicked out by Plante. Reading's Steve Ward swept into the right circle, took control of the rebound, and slid the puck under and through Plante, which hit the left pipe and was coming out. But MacDonald, who was planted at that goal post, jammed it in for his second of the night and seventh of the season.
The two teams played give-and-take down the stretch, with neither team appearing to be in much of a mood to give away a point. But as time ticked down, Dayton's Danny Lapointe threw a long shot on net. Taylor made the stick stop, but the rebound kicked above the crease to the right side of the Reading goal, where the Royals' defense failed to clear, creating a mad scramble for the puck, which resulted in a virtual tap in for Mike McLean at the left side of Reading's goal with only 54.9 seconds remaining. Unfortunately, that didn't leave the Royals much time to mount a fourth comeback, and the team's November record fell to 4-10-1.
The Royals start their December schedule on Wednesday night (December 3; 7:05 pm) when the Johnstown Chiefs visit the Sovereign Center in Reading. Wednesday's game will be broadcast live on the Royals Radio Network Presented by Transmissions by Arbogast (True Oldies WRAW 1340 am in Reading; and The Ticket WLAN 1390 am in Lancaster), as well as on the internet via webcast hosted by Sportsjuice.com, which can be accessed through the Royals website. To become a part of Royals hockey, call 610-898-PUCK or log onto www.royalshockey.com.
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