Reading Continues to Historic Success in Tenth Annual PIR Game and Claims DeMet’s Candy Challenge Cup In Win Over Jackals
Teams Per: 1 2 3
ELM: 0 1 0=1
REA: 0 3 1=4
ELM: 9-34-6-1=25 (6, North Division)
REA: 30-17-1-2=63 (2, North Division)
ELM: Iles (loss, 5-19-3-1) (32/36) (58:44)
REA: Ouellette (win, 12-7-0-1) (25/26)
Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (loss, 30-17-1-2=63) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, defeated the Elmira Jackals (win, 9-34-6-1=25), 4-1, at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania.
In the team’s tenth annual Pink in the Rink celebration, the Royals tapped into the power of the pink to knock off the Jackals and claim the team’s thirtieth win of the year. After a less than stellar start, the Royals scored first and held off a counter-punch by the Jackals to build a two goal lead after two periods. Reading tacked another goal on in the third to close out the Jackals and snap what was a three game home losing streak. The win, which pushed the Royals’ record back to thirteen games over .500, ran the Royals’ historic record to 9-1-0-0 in Pink in the Rink games hosted in Reading.
After a scoreless and somewhat listless (for Reading) first, Reading struck 3:24 into the second after a multi-player and multi-shot scramble in front of the Elmira net which ended when Nathan Moon chipped an arcing shot up and over the catching glove of goaltender Andy Iles for his ninth of the year—and his first as a Royal in his third game with the team.
Just over three minutes later, the Jackals tied the game at one, when Kenton Miller battled his way from below the goal line to the low left slot where he ripped and roofed a beautiful backhand that buzzed by goaltender Martin Ouelllette and caught the upper right corner of the net.
Almost two-and-a-half minutes after that the Royals got what proved to be the game winner when Derik Johnson fired a long-range laser that zipped by everyone including Iles for his fifth of the season.
Reading tacked on a power play goal 11:25 into the second when Justin Crandall made a power moved to the top of the crease where he was able to force a shot on goal which fluttered off the body of Iles and appeared to land below the goal-line and in the net. But the red light did not turn on, so play continued and after a brief scramble led by Robbie Czarnik at the top of the crease, the puck clearly crossed over the goal-line and slid into the net, and Czarnik was credited with his twentieth of the year.
The Royals had one more for the big crowd in the third period. Defenseman Florian Iberer, who would end up with three assists in the game, slipped a perfect lead-out pass to Matt Willows who took the puck on the fly at the offensive blue line and charged into the offensive zone. With defenseman Benjamin Dieude-Fauvel draped all over him, Willows cut right-to-left across the top of the crease and slid the puck under and through Iles for his sixteenth of the year.
From that point forward, Reading held the Jackals pretty much at bay—although Ouellette was called upon to make more than one big stop in the final frame. The Royals did ultimately notch the team’s sixth win of the year against the Jackals (6-1-0-0) to claim season ten game series and the annual DeMet’s Candy Challenge Cup with three more games to be played (or finished) between two teams.