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ROYALS BLANK CHARLOTTE, 3-0

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
Charlotte, NC – The Reading Royals (13 – 10 – 4 = 30; 1st North Division) won in the team's first game in history at Charlotte Bobcats Arena, defeating the Charlotte Checkers, 3-0. Joe Zappala scored 1:10 into the game to give goaltender Jeff Pietrasiak (6 – 3 – 0; 18/18) all he would need, as Pietrasiak made all eighteen stops he was called upon to make in registering his first pro shutout.


Reading got off to the team's quickest start all season when Dany Roussin slipped a pass through a Charlotte defender sending Zappala deep into the slot, where he forced off a snap shot through another defender and into the upper right corner of the net, beating Checker goaltender Alex Westlund (6 – 3 – 0; 24/27) high to his stick side 1:10 into the game. For Zappala that was his ninth goal of the season–and it proved to be his third game winner. Reading picked up a bit of insurance at the 8:37 mark of the first when Malcolm MacMillan took control of a loose puck high in the right circle and fired a laser high stick side for his fourth goal of the season. Through the remainder of the game, the Royals played a smart and solid road game, preventing the Checkers from any substantial scoring opportunities. In the third, Reading took a 3-0 lead when Doug Christiansen, playing in a defensive slot, took control of the puck deep in the defensive zone and went coast-to-coast, getting upended as he made a power move towards the net and taking Westlund and the puck across the goal line for his sixth of the season with 7:34 remaining in regulation. The Royals shut the door down the stretch to lock up the shutout for Pietrasiak, who ran his record to 6 – 1 – 0 in the seven consecutive games he's played for Reading.

For more information on the Royals, log on to www.royalshockey.com).



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