Reading, PA– The Reading Royals of the ECHL, affiliate of the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League and the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League, came back from four separate deficits to win Game One of the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Final match-up against the Cincinnati Cyclones, 5-4 in double overtime, at Sovereign Center in Reading, Pennsylvania. The Royals got a somewhat improbable, if not miraculous, game-tying goal with just 1:30 left in regulation on an inadvertently deflected dump in that caught Cincinnati’s goaltender out of the net to tie the game—and then picked up the double-OT game winner on the first pro goal by defenseman Bobby Shea. Game Two of the third round series will be played in Reading on Sunday at 4:05 pm.
Cincinnati scored the first goal of the ECF 6:17 into the first, when a Reading defender was caught above the puck, and Cincinnati broke on an odd-man rush, which Josh Shalla finished for his first of the playoff season. Reading tied things 15:15 into the first on a high snap shot of the right circle by Evan Barlow. The Cyclones took their second lead of the game 1:52 into the second with a back-hand from the right side of the crease by Mathieu Aubin. The Royals bounced back to tie at two 1:42 after that on a two-on-one break. Syner tried to feed Ian O’Connor charging down the slot, but his attempted pass hit a Cyclone defender and deflected between the legs of Michael Houser (OTL, 8-3-2, 38/43) for Syner’s fourth of the playoff season. Cincinnati took their third lead 9:52 into the second when Shalla threw one out of the left corner that David Pacan deflected by Riley Gill (win, 6-2-0, 50/54) for his ninth of the playoff season.
Reading tied the game 7:14 into the third, when Barlow bagged his second of the game and fourth of the playoff season with a hot snapper from just inside the offensive blue line that beat Houser high glove. The Cyclones regained the lead with just 4:33 left in regulation—while the two teams were playing four aside—on a goal that was credited to Josh McFadden, who fired from the left point but appeared to be deflected on the way in. The Royals tied the game for the fourth time on a crazy-hop-miracle-marker while playing with the man advantage. With the power play balking at best and time ticking down on the clock, Dominic Jalbert just sought to rim the puck down the left wing wall; but the dump in struck the skate of Joel Champagne and—as Houser headed behind the Cyclone net in anticipation of stopping the dump—the puck deflected directly into the wide-open net.
After a first overtime in which Reading hit two posts and Gill made several quality saves, the Royals ended things in the second OT when Yannick Tifu found defenseman Bobby Shea with a perfect pass out of the right wing corner, as Shea came off the right point. Shea ripped a bullet from the mid-slot that beat Houser to the glove side for his first goal as a pro.
The Royals and Cyclones play Game Two of the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Finals on Sunday (May 5 @ 4:05 pm) at Sovereign Center in Reading, Pennsylvania. Ticket information for the ECHL’s Eastern Conference Finals matchup between the Reading Royals and the Cincinnati Cyclones can be obtained by calling the Royals office (610-898-PUCK) or by logging onto the Royals website: www.royalshockey.com.
No photos available right now.
Please verify your settings, clear your RSS cache on the Slickr Flickr Admin page and check your Flickr feed