(PR) Trenton, NJ, April 3, 2010 – Trenton allowed more goals Saturday than in any of its previous 71 contests this season, losing, 8-4, at Sovereign Center. A night after the Devils’ playoff hopes were quashed by Reading’s overtime victory in Wheeling, the Royals’ relentless offense produced the 11th win in 14 meetings with the Devils. Three players had four or more points for the home team and goalie Kain Tisi made 42 saves in his professional debut.
Stefano Giliati notched four assists, Andrew Saraurer had three goals and three assists and Daniel Steiner had four goals and one assist to pave the way for the Royals. The three stars of the game teamed up to produce the game’s first score, an even strength goal in transition at 6:26 of the first. Giliati started the play and Saraurer passed from the left goal line to the crease for Steiner’s score. Captain Dinos Stamoulis created the next scoring opportunity, reversing a Devils rush and leading Sarauer for a two-on-one. The drop pass on the high right came to Steiner for another goal. Before the first period was halfway complete, Ryan Cruthers tacked on his 22nd of the year on a pass to the backdoor from Ben Gordon and the Royals had a 3-0 lead.
The Devils fought back with two goals to close out the first, both on the power play. Dan Eves whirled and whipped the puck under Tisi’s pads after a centering pass from Matt Vokes and a secondary from Trevor Kell at 11:35. A minute later, Chris Poli’s rocket from the deep right-wing circle got the Devils within 3-2, with Tim Kunes and Ryan Ginand contributing.
The same 3-2 output was replicated in the second period for a 6-4 Royals edge after two. The period began with Sarauer getting his first goals of the game in quick succession. Moments after Tisi denied Kell on a shorthanded breakaway, an otherwise successful penalty kill couldn’t prevent another transition goal. A shorthanded breakaway for Ryan Cruthers forced goalie Jeff Lerg to make a sprawling save, but the rebound from Sarauer made it through for a 5-2 Royals lead.
Jeremy Akeson got points on the next two Trenton scores to again put the Devils on the comeback trail, first with a pass interception and a breakaway goal, his eighth of the season, and then assisting on a Dan Eves tally at 17:06 of the second to make it Royals 5, Devils 4. Eves’ goal was his second of the night and fourth in the last two games, and his 23 for the season are only short of Jack Combs’ 24 and Jeff Prough’s 30.
Reading finished things off with authority, scoring the last three goals of the game. Sarauer completed a hat trick by beating Lerg glove side. He’d earn his sixth point of the night on the Royals’ next goal, another hat trick from Steiner. Giliati assisted on that score and the final nail, crashing the net and then watching Steiner bang it home for his fourth goal of the game with 30 seconds left and an 8-4 victory over the Devils.
Trenton finishes the season 33-30-4-5, 75pts, third place in the East Division and ninth in the American Conference. 21 of those wins came in the final half of the season, and Trenton’s final quarter of the season was their strongest, posting 22 points in the final 18 games, but ultimately coming up three points short of a playoff spot.