Caps Outsider reflects on how Dennis Maruk came to Washington.
Reading Royals Kick Off Season With Style (and Lose 6-2 in the Process)
The first 2,500 ticketholders received a special Opening Night T-Shirt, featuring the above logo (All Photos Credit: M. Richter)
While they may have lost 3-2 to the Elmira Jackals last night in the first game of the seasons, the Royals took to their home ice with the kind of confidence that can only be inspired by brilliant purple warm-up jerseys and free t-shirts adorning the crowd.
That confidence got them through roughly the first 31 seconds of the game, at which point Jacob Drewiske scored on Caps prospect Brandon Anderson. It wasn’t quite all downhill from there (final results of the game were 6-2 in favor of Trenton), but the trend was far from positive. Capitals defensive prospect Brett Flemming illustrated the disconnected frustration beautifully when he dropped the gloves with Andrew Conboy at 14:16 of the first period.
Trenton slid a total of three past Anderson before Reading managed to claw their way onto the board with a goal by Kirk MacDonald (in Anderson’s defense, he didn’t have much help). Goaltender Scott Wedgewood was denied the shutout, but he still managed an impressive combination of skill and luck (he stopped 31 of 33 shots, and at least 3 that he lost track of went just wide of the net).
In an effort to turn things around, Reading presented their second intermission entertainment in keeping with the evening’s giveaway theme – a Frozen T-Shirt Contest. Thankfully, no nudity was involved in the execution of that contest. Everyone in the audience was grateful.
The contest appeared to work, at least for a few minutes. Local boy Denny Urban gave the team some much needed hope when he notched his first of the season (and the team’s first PP goal) just before the halfway point in the third frame, closing the gap between teams to 5-2. This being ECHL hockey, scores can swing in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, despite Reading’s best (if disjointed) efforts, Trenton snagged the last tally of the night with just over two minutes remaining in regulation for a final score of 6-2.
As home openers go, it was not particularly exciting from the Reading fan’s perspective, but there’s comfort to be taken in the fact that the season is still young. Give it a few weeks, and passes should be connecting with much greater consistency (and Coach Courville should have had a chance to crack a few skulls).