Folks who didn't go to Sunday's season finale, which turned out to...
Royals Roundup: Reading Returns Home, Rallies for 6-4 Win
Players celebrate Denny Urban’s Go-Ahead Goal (All Photos Credit: M. Richter)
After spending most of the last two weeks on the road (with a brief single-game stopover at home last Wednesday), the Reading Royals were back in the Sovereign Center to take on the Fort Wayne Komets. The Royals proved that their current residence atop the Atlantic division (by 11 points!) is no fluke, pulling out of repeated 2-goal deficits to win their latest bout 6-4.
Unlike some of the 17 victories they’ve racked up this season, tonight’s win was not what one might call beautiful. The first five minutes of play were particularly brutal, with Fort Wayne’s Ryan Lasch scoring 46 seconds into the game and two fights (at 4:36 -Bryant Molle & Kaleigh Schrock and 4:44 - Dustin Stevenson & Garrett Klotz).
Things settled down after the two early altercations, with goals being exchanged between Reading’s David Vallorani (he had 2, as well as an assist) and Fort Wayne’s Lasch (3 goals in two periods, though no hats were thrown). Schrock had the spare goal for the Komets, which closed out the second period 4-2 in favour of Fort Wayne.
In the third period, Reading bounced back and tied things up with goals from Ian O’Connor and Captain Yannick Tifu. The tide finished turning at around 54 minutes elapsed, when the Royals scored their fifth goal of the night and took their first lead – a power play tally by Denny Urban. Joel Champagne tacked on an insurance goal a minute and a half later, pushing Reading to the final score of 6-4.
Philipp Grubauer earned the win, stopping 24 of 28 shots after successfully shaking off his awkward start. While his GAA took a bit of a hit, he still ranks third in the ECHL at a combined 2.27 in 18 games played.
While the three win streak they carried into tonight’s game is worth a nod (Florida Everblades, Elmira Jackals, and Elmira again), the most notable news of the last few weeks was Caps prospect and first year pro Stanislav Galiev‘s December 5th goal making ESPN’s Top Ten Plays (#9).
Saturday night, the Royals will engage in their annual Teddy Bear Toss. When the Royals score their first goal, the audience throws stuffed animals for donation to local children’s programs (often EMT/First Responders or a hospital). The Orlando Solar Bears will be doing their best to prevent those furry friends from falling. The puck drops at 7:05.