(PR) Reading, PA – The Trenton Devils broke a 1-1 first-period tie with three straight goals, and went on to beat the Reading Royals, 5-2, in the final game of the season Saturday at Sovereign Center.
The Devils’ win gives them a final record of 27-37-2-6 and denies the Atlantic Division-champion Royals (44-23-2-3) a chance to win first place overall in the Eastern Conference and get home-ice advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs.
The winning goalie for Trenton was Jeff Lerg, who made 31 saves on 33 shots in his third straight victory while clinching a winning record of 13-12-1. Trenton’s goals were scored by Brad Miller, J.S. Berube, Matt Germain, Jeff Prough and Tony Zancanaro, and five Devils had multiple points.
Daren Machesney allowed four of the five goals, saving 35 of 39 shots in a losing effort. Reading received its goals from Yannick Riendeau and Olivier Labelle.
After three penalty calls in the first three minutes of the game, Trenton had a power play and Brad Miller scored the game’s first goal to give Trenton a 1-0 lead. Assisted by Jeff Prough and Ryan Hayes, Miller’s goal came off a high-slot drive and gave the Alpharetta, GA native his 14th power-play point of the season; he added an assist later to finish the season with 23 points overall.
The Devils’ lead lasted just a minute, as former QMJHL MVP Yannick Riendeau scored his 18th goal of the season into a gaping net after Lerg had been drawn out of his crease by solid Reading puck movement by Olivier Labelle and Ryan Cruthers.
The Devils regained their lead before the first period’s midway point, when J.S. Berube netted his 12th goal of the season. Ryan Hayes got his second assist of the game with a leading pass to Berube, who got around a Reading defender, made an expert move to his left and fired past Machesney. Miller, who finished plus-4 for the night, had the secondary assist.
The Devils built on their lead by scoring twice in the second period for a 4-1 edge after 40 minutes. First, Matt Germain scored at the 4:00 mark and made the score 3-1 by making a tricky move around Machesney after receiving a breakout pass from Jordon Southorn. Then Jeff Prough shoved in his 25th goal of the season, at 15:25, on Trenton’s fourth attempt of a net-mouth flurry. Berube and Hayes earned helpers, capping their rookie seasons with 30 and 50 points, respectively.
In the third period, Labelle scored to narrow Reading’s deficit to 4-2 with a tip of a Sam Roberts point shot, but the most veteran Devil, Tony Zanacanaro, capped the season’s scoring with his tenth of the year, a shorthanded empty-net goal, in the last minute of the game with assists to Dave Leaderer, his 33rd point, and Matt Germain, who posted seven points in his first nine pro games.
The Trenton Devils win the game 5-2 to cap the 12th season of professional hockey in New Jersey’s capital city. The final gathering of the 2010-11 team will be Tuesday at Dublin Square Irish Pub & Restaurant in Bordentown for episode 12 of the Along the Boards radio show heard live on Z88.9 at 7 p.m. featuring head coach Kevin Dean and Devils players.