The Royal Road Ahead: Reading Royals at Florida Everblades
ROYALS PRE-GAME NOTES
- This evening, the Royals continue a late-season five-game road trip (and three game swing through Florida) with the second of two in a row against the Florida Everblades at Germain Arena in Estero, Florida.
- This is the sixth and final matchup of the regular season between the Royals and Everblades. Reading swept Florida a three-game-in-three-day set at Santander Arena in Reading in early February, defeating the Florida 5-4 on February 6; 5-3 on February 7; and 3-2 in a ten round shootout on Sunday, February 8. On Wednesday, March 25, however, the 'Blades bounced back with a vengeance running over the Royals in the team's 1000th game in team history, 5-1, at Santander Arena.
- On Wednesday, the Royals defeated the Everblades, 5-2, here in Estero. In that game, Florida struck relatively early in the first, but Reading bounced back mid-way into the opening period to tie the game at one. Early in the second, the Royals took a 2-1 lead; but a couple of minutes later, the Everblades counter-punched to tie the game at two. That's the way the two teams entered the third period.
Florida was thwarted on several quality chances early in the final frame on saves by goaltender Martin Ouellette. That allowed Reading to re-group and eventually run off three straight to record the win and push the team's record to 4-1-0-0 against Florida this season (and 14-12-4 historically).
- Wednesday's win pushed the Royals record back to a season-high twenty-five games over .500 (43-18-4- 2=92), and jumped Reading back into second place (leaping over the South Carolina Stingrays) of the East Division, seven points behind first place Florida. However, last night, the Stingrays defeated the Orlando Solar Bears, 2-1 (after a fifteen round shootout), which pushed South Carolina back into second place and the Royals back down to third in the East.
- With the win over the Everblades on Wednesday, the Royals ensured that the team can finish no lower than third place in the Eastern Division standings.
- Wednesday's victory was the twenty-third road win of the year for Reading (23-7-4-0), establishing a new single-season record for wins away from Reading (23).
- The Royals trailed Wednesday's game 1-0 after the Everblades' goal 5:54 into the first period; but Reading was able to come-back and register what proved to be the team's nineteenth come-from- behind victory of the year.
- Reading and Florida entered the third period of Wednesday's game tied at two. The Royals got a third period tie-breaking game winner from Ryan Cruthers (and two third period insurance goals) to win that game and push the team's record to 11-3-2-0 when entering the third period tied with the opposition.
- The 5-2 win for the Royals on Wednesday marked the twenty-eighth game of the year in which Reading held the opposition to two goals or less. The Royals have compiled a record of 28-0-0-0 in those games.
- On Wednesday, Olivier Labelle recorded his fifteen multi-point game of the year (2g-2a). That marked the first four-point game of the year for Labelle, who has twenty-five points (11g-14a) in his last eighteen games. That was also the seventh game this season in which Labelle recorded three points (or more). He has had four separate two-goal performances this season.
- Labelle now has twenty-eight goals in 67 games with the Royals this year, which is a personal career season high. He is just the sixth player in team history to score twenty-eight or more goals for the team in a single season, joining: (i) Brian McCullough (39) (2003-03); (ii) Steve Rymsha (38) (2002-02); (iii) Doug Christiansen (35) (2005-06); (iv) Greg Hogeboom (30) (2006-07); and Andrew Sarauer (28) (2009- 10). Labelle is the all-time team career leader with 99 goals (and 186 career points) in 223 games with the Royals.
- Brett Flemming scored the Royals' second goal on Wednesday to extend his goal scoring streak to four games (4g) and his current point streak to six (5g-2a=7pts). Flemming, who has six goals in his last eight games, has recorded at least a point in twelve of his last fifteen games (6g-9a=15pts).
- Ryan Cruthers bagged the third-period tie-breaking game winner in Wednesday's game. That was his third game winner of the year and his fifteenth career regular season game winner as a Royal, which is second most in team history (to Olivier Labelle who has eighteen career game winners with Reading).
Cruthers also recorded the primary assist on Brett Flemming's goal on Wednesday, giving him eleven multi-point games this season. Cruthers is the all-time leading scorer for the Royals with 271 points (85g-186a) in 273 games with the team.
- Pat Mullane recorded his seventh power play goal of the season in Wednesday's 5-2 win, which is tied with Olivier Labelle for the team lead in that category. Mullane also assisted on the team's first goal (by Labelle), which makes his (1g-1a) performance in Wednesday's win his team-leading eighteenth multi- point performance of the season.
- Maxim Lamarche (0g-2a) picked up his seventh multi-point game of the season on Wednesday. He also played plus-1 (+1), pushing his team-leading plus-minus rating to a plus-22 (+22) through fifty-five games with the Royals.
- Justin Crandall, who was signed by the Royals to an ATO on Tuesday, had an exceptional pro debut, recording a pair of assists in Wednesday's win. He is the eleventh player in Royals' team history to record two or more assists in his debut performance with the team.
- Goaltender Martin Ouellette pushed his personal win streak to three with his twenty-five save win on Wednesday. Oullette, who has compiled a 3-0-0-0 record against Florida this season, has seventeen wins for Reading this year (17-8-1-1).
- Reading's power play broke a string of three straight games without a goal on Wednesday night, striking at the 18:29 mark of the third period (to make the score 5-2), which was twenty-five seconds after a double minor for high sticking was assessed against Florida's Ray Kaunisto.
- Wednesday's game marked the thirty-ninth time this season that Reading's penalty killers have blanked the opposition. Reading has compiled a record of 29-6-2-2 in those games.
Royals Recent Transactions
03/30/15 Add D Maxim Lamarche Assigned from Lehigh Valley (AHL)
Delete F Zac Frischmon Released from ECHL Contract
03/31/15 Add F Justin Crandall Signed to Amateur Tryout Agreement
Delete F Andrew Johnston Recalled to Lehigh Valley (AHL)
Delete D Mike Marcou Placed on ECHL Reserve
04/01/15 Add F Joe Rehkamp Signed to ECHL Contract
Delete D Ryan Misiak Released from ATO
Add D Ryan Misiak Signed to ECHL Contract
Delete F Sean Wiles Placed on ECHL Reserve
04/03/15 Add D Curtis Leonard Returned from Rochester (AHL)
NEXT UP FOR THE ROYALS
Reading Royals @ Orlando Solar Bears
@ Amway Center - Orlando, FL
Saturday, April 4, 2015 (7:00 pm Eastern Time)
NEXT UP: The Royals complete the team's three game swing through Florida tomorrow (Saturday, April 4 @ 7:00) at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, where Reading will face the Orlando Solar Bears for the first and only time this season. As with all Royals' road games this season, Saturday's game will be televised live locally in Berks County, Pennsylvania, on BCTV courtesy of Boscov's Travel and Apple Vacations. The game night broadcast for Saturday's matchup can be heard live on CBS SportsRadio 1240 am and 98.5 in Reading, Pennsylvania, starting with the pre-game warm-up show presented by Highmark Blue Shield at 6:30 pm Eastern Time. Streaming audio is available free of charge on the Royals' website (follow the 'headset' icon); and streaming video is available on a pay-per-view basis through ECHL.TV.
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