Royals Set a Franchise Record in SO (10 W’s!), While Hershey Falls to Pens

Posted November 22, 2012

Reading Royals players celebrate win number ten in a row, and it feels GOOD! (All Photos Credit: M. Richter)

This year, the night before American Thanksgiving saw both of the Capitals affiliates in action on home ice.  While Hershey fell to their division rivals the WBS Penguins 4-0 in their fourth meeting of the season (and the departure of Washington Head Coach & Temporary Hershey Co-Coach Adam Oates), things were arguably even more interesting up the road in Reading.

Tonight saw the Reading Royals‘ only scheduled visit from the South Carolina Stingrays this season, in a match which pitted the two role-reversed teams against each other.  It ended 5-4 in a shootout, earning Reading their tenth consecutive win – a franchise record, and a turn-around that was badly needed following their 1-5-0-0 season start.

By all rights, the game never should have gone to a shootout – Reading ended the first period 2-0, and improved to 3-0 at 7:08 of the second period.  Unfortunately, the Stingrays got on the board :33 seconds later, and the tone of the game settled down into more of a weary grind accented by brief flashes of full-rink ping-pong.  By the time the final horn sounded, the Stingrays had managed to claw their way back to a 4-4 tie, forcing first overtime and then the standard 5-round shootout.

Philipp Grubauer’s bid for a shutout ended with an unfortunate puck through the five-hole.

Notables for Win #10:

Evan Barlow, who was picked up in a trade with the San Francisco Bulls six days ago, had two of the four regulation goals for Reading.  He’s earned eight points (4 goals, 4 assists) in nine periods since joining the Royals.

Evan Barlow, currently in proud possession of “8 Points in 8 Periods” over the course of his first 3 games with Reading this season.

– Caps Prospect & ECHL Goaltender of the Week for Nov 12-18 Philipp Grubauer has been in net for 8 out of 10 of the serial wins, including tonight’s record-breaking victory.  He gave up 4 goals on 31 shots in regulation, and two goals in five rounds of the shootout.

Caps prospect Stanislav Galiev scrambles to clear a puck in front of goaltender Philipp Grubauer.

– Stanislav Galiev & Barry Almeida both joined the Royals from Hershey in time for Wednesday night’s game.  Almeida recorded an assist on the third Reading goal.  Galiev ended the night with a single shot on goal and four penalty minutes (both for slashing).

Galiev’s single unblocked shot on net, included for the sake of posterity.

Kirk MacDonald (Assists Ian O’Connor & Bryant Molle) & Denny Urban (Almeida) had the two other regulation goals for Reading.  David Marshall, Denny Urban, & Yannick Tifu (GWG) all scored in the shootout.

Kirk MacDonald’s shot soars past the head of South Carolina’s Adam Morrison.

– The game had a notably low fight count, with only a single altercation in the first period (MacDonald v. Alexander Beauregard, following a hit to Reading’s Bryant Molle).

– Head Coach Larry Courville’s one notable superstition for this (and all) winning streaks: he’s worn the same suit to every game.  Thankfully, it’s been cleaned at least once since Halloween.

Upcoming Games:

The Royals play again on Black Friday night, hosting the Greenville Road Warriors at 7:05 and the Evansville Icemen on Saturday at the same time.  The Hershey Bears visit the Adirondack Phantoms on Saturday at 7:00, and then host the Toronto Marlies on Sunday at 5:00.

For those who don’t track the ECHL diligently, a quick note on the pertinent affiliations:

During the 2011-12 season, the Reading Royals served as ECHL affiliate for the Boston Bruins (and Toronto Maple Leafs).  In that same window, the Stingrays were affiliated with the Caps.  Summer of 2012 saw a functional allegiance swap from the parent teams, with the Caps scoring a deal with the ECHL team that’s geographically closest to both the Caps themselves and the Hershey Bears.

M. Richter

M. Richter

Associate Editor at Capitals Outsider
Em is a fan of hockey first and individual teams second, with geographical ties that cross the NHL. She was born in the Midwest, raised along the East Coast, and graduated from a university in Western Canada. A firm believer in context above all else, and a card-carrying on-ice official with USA Hockey, she splits her time between the big picture and the details. When not covering the AHL and ECHL for Caps Outsider, her photography can be found on Behance and Flickr. She also occasionally chimes in about the Hershey Bears on the Power Play Post Show.
M. Richter