(PR) Reading, PA – Andrew Sarauer scored 36 seconds into the third period to snap a 2-2 tie, as the Reading Royals defeated the Trenton Devils, 5-2, Sunday at Sovereign Center.
Improving to a league-best 31-13-2-3, Reading was paced by multi-point games from Olivier Labelle and Jared Ross. Michael Hutchinson stopped 38 of 40 shots and was the winning goalie, having lost his last two starts against the Devils.
Brad Miller and Matt Lombardi were the goal scorers for the Devils, and Shane Connelly took the loss despite a 24-save effort. The loss drops the Devils to 18-27-1-3, and Trenton has now alternated wins and losses over its last seven games.
Olivier Labelle put the Royals on the board first by scoring during a five-on-three power play, 2:06 into the first period. As the power play began inside the first minute of action, starting goalie Shane Connelly had his helmet knocked off and suffered a laceration above his eye. Off the bench came 37-year-old goalie Anthony Felice, the Devils’ regular emergency backup, to play 2:14 while Connelly was getting patched up. Felice made a save on the first shot he faced, but did allow the power play score in his ECHL debut, ultimately making two saves on three shots.
Just 3:07 later, with Connelly back in net and two Royals in the penalty box, Brad Miller scored on a five-on-three for the Devils to tie the game, 1-1, with Trevor Kell and Ryan Ginand earning assists. With seven scores on the season, Miller leads Devils defensemen in goals.
Matt Lombardi gave the Devils their first lead, 2-1, with 1:01 remaining in the first period by beating Hutchinson with a pin-point shot that clanked into the net off the crossbar for his 13th of the season. Assists were awarded to Darcy Zajac, who led the two-on-one, and Taylor Vichorek.
Trenton’s lead lasted until the 11:03 mark of the second period, when Ryan Cruthers re-directed a slap-pass from Jared Ross past Connelly to tie the score, 2-2.
Andrew Sarauer put the Royals ahead to stay by scoring 37 seconds into the third period, off of a set up by Tyler Murovich and Justin Hodgman. John Scrymgeour provided an insurance tally with 11:53 remaining by jamming the puck past Connelly, after it appeared that the Trenton goalie had the puck held in his glove. Reading’s leading scorer, Ben Gordon, finalized the Royals’ victory Sunday with an empty-net goal at 18:49 of the final stanza.
Losing 5-2, the Devils continue their four-game road trip with a two-game series against the Elmira Jackals, beginning Wednesday at 7:05 p.m.