Reading, PA– The Reading Royals of the ECHL (46-19-3-4=99, 1st Atlantic Conference, 1st Eastern Conference), affiliate of the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League and the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League, were defeated by the Elmira Jackals, 3-2, in a shootout at Sovereign Center in Reading, Pennsylvania. The Royals scored first and held a 2-1 lead into the third period; but the Jackals got a game tying goal mid-way into the final period and then dominated in the shootout 3-0 to take the two points and prevent the Royals from reaching the century mark for the first time in team history.
The Royals Stanislav Galiev started the scoring when he lifted the puck over sprawling Elmira goalie Ian Keserich at 17:08 of the first period for his twenty-third goal of the year. Elmira immediately tied it up on a deflection by Jean Bourbeau twenty-six seconds later. Reading took the team’s second lead of the night 15:14 into the second on deflection by Julien Cayer. Elmira tied things again when Matt Tassone got a point blank wide open chance from below the hash-marks with just 8:02 left in regulation. The Jackals then went three-for-four in the shootout while goalie Keserich blanked the three Reading shooters in the skills competition to take the two points. Goaltender Riley Gill sustained his first shootout loss as a Royal (10-3-0-1, 26/28).
The Royals begin the Kelly Cup Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series against the Greenville Road Warriors at the Sovereign Center in Reading, PA, on Friday, April 5 (7:05 pm). Game two is Saturday, April 6 (7:05 pm). More information is available at 610-898-7825 and through the Royals website: www.royalshockey.com.