DAYTON OVERCOMES BALA'S TWO GOALS, ROYALS FALL 4-3
/ Los Angeles Kings
Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (14 – 14 – 4 = 32; t-1st North Division) scored the game's first two goals but could not hold off the resilient Dayton Bombers who pulled out the decision, 4-3. The Royals got a pair of goals from Chris Bala and the second penalty shot goal of the season from Greg Hogeboom, but the Bombers won their second 'one-goal' squeaker in two games this season against the Royals, whose record fell to 2 – 9 – 4 in games decided by one goal. Goaltender Jeff Pietrasiak (6 – 7 – 0; 26/30), who returned to the Royals today from the Hershey Bears, was saddled with the loss despite picking up his first point as a pro.
The Royals scored first when Pietrasiak started a rush with a pass up the left wing side to Dany Roussin, who in turn slipped it ahead Bala who charged deep into the Bomber zone on the left wing side. Bala cut the edge to get by the Dayton defender and streak to the front of the net where he slipped the puck through the legs of Adam Berkhoel (14 – 5 – 1; 23/26) at the 14:28 mark of the first.
In the second, the Royals took a 2-0 lead when Greg Hogeboom was hauled down from behind on a breakaway and was awarded a penalty shot. Earlier this season, Hogeboom had become the first player in Royals' team history to score a penalty shot goal, and he didn't disappoint on this one, either. Hogeboom slipped one five hole on Berkhoel at the 3:09 mark for his seventeenth of the season. Dayton got on the board at the 9:58 mark of the second when defenseman Trevor Hendrikx threw a wrister from the right point that appeared to be deflected as it made its way into the Royals' net. Dayton tied the game at two at the 18:17 mark of the second when Yannick Tifu forced one through a pile of bodies in the Royals crease after Corey LeClair had attempted to jam one in at the side of the Reading net.
Dayton took their first lead of the game (3-2) at the 3:21 mark of the third period, when Joe Cullen carried into the offensive end and unleashed a bullet that beat Pietrasiak high glove side. The Royals, however, bounced back 2:25 later to tie the game at three, when Malcolm MacMillan charged deep into the offensive end on the left wing side and threw a saucer to the top of the crease, where Bala re-directed the puck between the legs of Berkhoel for his second of the game and thirteenth of the season. But Dayton picked up the game winner with 7:04 remaining in the game, when Scott Ford threw what appeared to be the prototypical 'harmless wrister' from the point that somehow snuck through to give the Bombers a one-goal lead they would hold until the end.