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by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (17 – 18 – 4 = 38; 4th North Division) snapped a three game home losing streak behind a 36 save performance of goaltender Jeff Pietrasiak (9 – 11 – 0; 36/36) defeating the Trenton Titans, 3-0. The Royals picked up a first period power play goal, added some insurance with a goal early in the second period, and then used solid team defense to hold off the Titan attack down the stretch. This marked the second shutout of the season for Pietrasiak, who also picked up an assist on the Royals' empty netter to ice it with just 18 seconds left.

Reading scored first while playing with a five-on-three power play advantage late in the first period. After winning an offensive zone face-off, the Royals worked the puck around the perimeter, as Greg Hogeboom tapped a pass from the top of the left circle towards defenseman Jason Becker who was planted at the top of the right circle. Becker ripped a low slap shot that John Snowden deflected behind Trenton's goaltender Joel Martin (10 – 9 – 0; 24/26; 1 eng) for his eighth goal of the season 17:23 into the game. With this win, the Royals record now stands at 10 – 2 – 2 when they score the game's first goal. For Snowden, this proved to be his third game winner in his last six games with the Royals.

The Royals went up 2-0 early in the second after killing one of five Trenton power plays in the middle frame. (In fact, the Royals killed all eight Titan power plays over the course of the game.) Rob LaLonde hit Malcolm MacMillan with a pass as MacMillan charged through the neutral zone. MacMillan carried deep on the left wing side, taking the puck below the goal line in the left corner. MacMillan then slid a pass towards the top of the crease where a hard charging Kevin Saurette was able to get a stick on the puck and push it through Martin for his sixth of the season at the 1:58 mark.

In the third, Trenton outshot the Royals 17-6 but Pietrasiak made several big stops at big moments, while the rest of the team played a smart and simple style that worked to repel the Titans down the stretch. In the waning moments, Reading added an empty netter when Pietrasiak sent the puck up ice to Reagan Rome who had two shots at the unguarded goal–the second of which hit the cross bar–before MacMillan was able to control the rebound and slip it in for his fifth of the season with just 18 seconds left.

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