Royals Top Trenton, 3-2

(Royals PR) Reading, PA – The Reading Royals of the ECHL (12-8-1-1=26, 1st East Division), affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League and the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League, defeated the Trenton Devils, 3-2, at Sovereign Center in Reading, Pennsylvania. The win marked the fifth consecutive win this season for the Royals over the Devils. Goaltender Beau Erickson (win, 3-1-0-0; 35/37) made a great stop on the first shot he faced on the evening and continued his solid play throughout the game—particularly as Trenton pressed through the third period. Trenton’s Dave Caruso (loss, 3-7-1; 20/23) suffered his second loss of the season to the Royals. Reading got the game winner while playing with the man advantage (1-4); while the Royals’ penalty killers kept the Devils’ power play off the board.

Reading struck first on ‘Teddy Bear Toss’ night 11:08 into the game when Rob LaLonde, playing in his first game since October 25, 2009, fired a shot from the left point that beat Caruso high to the glove side. The puck got a piece of the right pipe and quickly ricocheted out of the net; but the referee quickly ruled that the puck had entered the net and should count as a goal. Reading took a 2-0 lead 3:23 into the second when Daniel Steiner corralled a rebound of a shot stopped by Erickson, circled behind his net and started a rush with a pass to Ben Gordon on the left wall at the defensive blue line. Steiner made a bee-line through the neutral zone, and Gordon hit him with a perfect return feed, sending Steiner breaking into the offensive end. Steiner ripped a rocket as he crossed over the offensive blue line, which beat Caruso five-hole for his sixth of the season.

Trenton got on the board at the 10:48 mark of the second when the Devils’ fore-check bottled the Royals up for a long segment, which ended when Tim Kunes ripped one off the top of the right circle that slipped through for his third of the year. Reading got what proved to be the game winner in the waning moments of the second period while playing with the man advantage. Late in the period, the Royals were on the power play due to a tripping minor assessed against Kory Nagy at the 17:39 mark of the second. As that penalty was about to expire, Trenton’s Mike Harder was called for a disputed delay of game for chipping the puck out of play from the defensive zone with 31 seconds left in the period. Seven seconds later, the Royals’ Ben Gordon worked the puck to Steiner, who was planted at the left side of the crease. Steiner slipped the puck across the top of the crease in an attempt to feed Olivier Labelle; but the puck deflected off the stick of a Trenton defender into the net for Steiner’s second of the night and seventh of the season.

Trenton made it a nail biter early in the third, when Brett Wilson fed the puck from behind the Royals’ net to Harder who was battling for position at the top of the crease. Harder was able to get enough of the puck to punch it in for his third of the season 1:18 into the third. Trenton pounded the pressure through the remainder of the third—outshooting the Royals 14-4 in the final twenty minutes. But the Royals held on for their seventh home win of the season (7-3-0-1).

The Royals and Devils complete their three game weekend series tomorrow afternoon (Sunday, December 6, 2009 @ 4:00 pm) at Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton, New Jersey. Sunday’s game day broadcast on the Royals Radio Network Presented by Transmissions by Arbogast kicks off at 3:30 pm.

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