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ROYALS BOUNCE BACK TO BEAT WHEELING, 6-3

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
Wheeling, WV – The Reading Royals (11 – 10 – 4 = 26; 1st North Division) scored first and eventually shook a resilient, albeit depleted, Wheeling Nailer team, pulling away with four unanswered goals in the second and third periods to win, 6-3. Greg Hogeboom racked up his eleventh multi-point performance of the season, scoring the game winner on his league leading fifth short-handed goal of the season, while assisting on two others. Defenseman Roman Teslyuk also had his first multi-goal game as a pro, and goaltender Jeff Pietrasiak (4 – 3 – 0; 34/37) picked up his fourth win in five games for the Royals.


Reading got on the board 7:50 into the game on the team's first power play opportunity of the evening. Shawn Collymore won an offensive zone face-off in the left circle to Chris Bala at the left point. Bala slipped pressure and slid a pass between his legs to Hogeboom who came out high on the left side for support. Hogeboom gunned a perfect cross-ice saucer to Arpad Mihaly who was unguarded low in the right circle and rifled a one-timer behind Wheeling's goaltender Andy Franck (10 – 12 – 1; 31/37) for his fifteen goal of the season. Wheeling tied the game at the 12:34 mark of the first when defenseman Paul Bissonnette threw a seemingly harmless wrister from the left point that ricocheted off a body in front of the Royals' goal and ended up in the net. Reading came back to regain the lead 1:31 later when Malcolm MacMillan carried the puck deep into the offensive zone on the right wing side and dropped a pass to Ned Lukacevic, who in turn dropped it to the right point where Teslyuk stepped up and unloaded a one-time cannon that beat Franck high stick side.

Wheeling tied the game again (this time at two) 2:28 into the second period, when Bissonnette threw another wrister from the high slot that his teammate, Vin Hellemeyer, redirected behind Pietrasiak for his first goal in the ECHL. Reading responded again, however, at the 6:38 mark of the second when Dany Roussin carried in with speed on the right side and forced the Wheeling defenders to sag. Roussin then dropped a pass to the trailing defenseman, Taylor Christie, who stepped up into the slot and fired a snap shot high glove side on Franck for his second of the season. 15:05 into the second the Royals would get what proved to be the game winner while playing short-handed. As Collymore pressured the Nailers on the PK, he created a turnover in the offensive zone and Hogeboom took control of the loose puck and drilled a laser out of the left circle that beat Franck glove side high for his thirteenth goal of the season–which was also his fifth short-handed goal of the year, tying a team record for a single season in that category.

Reading took a 5-2 lead 6:24 into the third period, when Collymore and Hogeboom rushed into the offensive zone, and Hogeboom found Teslyuk sliding deep on the right side of the ice with another brilliant back-door feed. Teslyuk merely had to re-direct the puck into an essentially empty net for his second of the night and fourth of the season. The Royals extended the lead to four when Roussin ripped a strong cross-ice breakout pass to Joe Zappala who carried high into the Nailers' slot and drilled a snap shot behind Franck for his eighth of the season. The Nailers cut the lead to 6-3 with a power play goal with 2:46 remaining; but the Royals were able to hold them off for the remainder of the game to win back-to-back road games for the first time this season.

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



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