Reading, PA– The Reading Royals of the, affiliate of the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League and the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League, won Game Two of the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Semi-Final match-up against the Florida Everblades, 3-2, at Sovereign Center in Reading, Pennsylvania to tie the series at one game apiece.
Reading scored 8:14 into the game, when Kirk MacDonald converted a turnover by the Everblades at the defensive blue line into a short-handed breakaway goal. MacDonald lifted a backhand shot over sprawling Everblades goalie Jesse Deckert for his first goal of the playoff season. The Royals stretched the lead to two on the team’s first power play chance of the night. Yannick Tifu fired a wrist shot from the top of the left circle that blew by heavy traffic and goaltender Jesse Deckert (loss, 5-3-0, 11/14 in 20:18) for Tifu’s seventh goal of the playoff season.
Florida got on the board at 15:59 of the first, taking advantage of a turnover by the Royals in their own end. Shawn O’Donnell stole the puck and flipped a pass to David Rutherford who tapped the puck through the five-hole of Reading netminder Mark Owuya (win, 3-1-0, 15/17) to pull the Everblades within one.
The Royals scored just seconds into the middle period with what proved to be the game winner. Brett Flemming fired a pass from deep on the right side that was deflected by Yannick Tifu and by Deckert for Tifu’s third multi-goal game in seven played in the playoffs. The goal ended the night for Deckert, as Florida brought in goaltender Brady Hjelle (no decision, 26/26 in 38:21) in relief.
Hjelle stabilized the ship; and gave Florida a chance to draw within one on a power play goal with just 4:24 remaining in regulation on a one-timer by Corey Trivino. The Everblades’ six attacker barrage in the final minute came up short allowing Reading to even the series.
The Royals and Everblades play Game Three of the best of seven Eastern Conference Semi-Finals on Wednesday, April 24 @7:30 pm at Germain Arena in Estero, Florida. More information is available at 610-898-7825 and through the Royals website: www.royalshockey.com.