Royals Take 6-5 Shootout Classic at Wesbanco Arena
Wheeling, WV - Reading Royals forward Chris McCarthy scored four points (1g) in the first frame and tallied the only goal of a three-round shootout, gunning the Royals to a 6-5 win over the Wheeling Nailers Saturday at Wesbanco Arena. Alex Roos tied the game, 5-5, with 5:53 to go. The late tying strike set up McCarthy, who drove up the middle on the shootout attempt and shot it through Jordan Ruby.
Brayden Low scored twice and Reading pounded four goals in the first period to take a 4-3 edge into the second. Michael Phillips and Cedric Lacroix each scored their second goals of the game in the middle period to give Wheeling a 5-4 advantage entering the third.
Despite the Wheeling offense, Andrew D'Agostini blocked 39 shots in victory, the most he's had in a Royals game this season.
McCarthy's four-point period placed him fourth on the Royals all-time points list (148 pts.). It is the second time the fifth-year professional has had a four-point period this campaign. McCarthy earned three assists in a span of 2:32 and the Royals scored all four goals in the final half of the frame. The seven combined first-period goals are the most by the Royals and an opponent in a frame this season.
Matt O'Connor made four saves on seven shots and was replaced by Ruby (30 svs, 2 GA, shootout loss) with 6:41 to go in the first.
The Royals play four games next week, starting at Wed., Jan. 30 vs. Maine at 7:00 p.m., which features a postgame autograph session (pres. by Rieck's Printing).
After allowing the first two goals to Hirano and LaCroix (PPG), Reading scored three straight in a 2:32 span to take a 3-2 lead in the first. Low scored with 9:13 left and the again with seven minutes to go. First, McCarthy fledged it to him left post and the left-handed shot Low skied it top shelf. Next, Low scrambled for it at the left doorstep and again slammed it through off a Frank DiChiara tip.
Nineteen seconds later, the Royals took their first lead with 6:41 remaining in the second. DiChiara skipped it through O'Connor at the top of the crease off another helper from McCarthy. Charlie Vasaturo netted the secondary assisted. McCarthy earned assists on Reading's first three goals. The goal forced O'Connor from the game (4 saves, 3 goals allowed).
Wheeling's Michael Phillips evened the game at three with an unassisted goal at the left post. He stole the puck, drove the left post and roofed a backhanded shot by D'Agostini. Wheeling out shot Reading, 16-12, in the first.
McCarthy finished his four-point first period with a power-play goal, scrambling a rebound behind Ruby. Kevin Goumas ticked it net front with 2:44 left in the second and McCarthy scored his 10th of the season. Reading has scored power-play goals in back-to-back series games against Wheeling.
At 2:24 of the second, Phillips scored his second of the game on the power play, assisted by Renars Krastensbergs and Zac Lynch. Phillips pumped it off D'Agostini from behind the left goal line.
Lacroix (PPG) managed his second of the game as well in the middle period; with 8:41 left he snapped a pass from Day Chief in at the right post to give Wheeling the lead back, 5-4.
At even strength with 5:53 left, a stick was broken and Alex Roos snuck to the left post to mash it through Ruby. Kevin Goumas picked up his second assist.
Reading's man up went 1-for-2 and Wheeling's power play scored twice on four opportunities.
Next Home Games
Wed., Jan. 30, 7:00 p.m. vs. Maine: Postgame player autograph session, pres. by Rieck's Printing.
Sat., Feb. 2, 7:00 p.m. vs. Manchester: MARVEL Super Hero Night and Diamond Credit Union Wall of Honor Night. The Royals will wear Black Panther jerseys and honor broadcasters Mark Thompson and Pat Richards. The team will give away Thompson/Richards puck to the first 2,000 fans.
Sun., Feb. 3, 2:00 p.m. vs. Manchester: Family Four Pack (4 burgers, 4 sodas and 4 tickets for $44).
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