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by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
Dayton, OH – The Reading Royals (20 – 24 – 6 = 46; 6th North Division) could not hold an early two goal lead, as the Dayton Bombers rang off five consecutive goals to win, 5-2. The Royals have yet to solve the Bombers in three games this year and have four more coming up against Dayton over the next seven games. Yutaka Fukufuji (4 – 5 – 0; 32/36; 1 eng) took the loss for the Royals, who ended up one for four on the power play.

As has been the case in six of the last seven games for Reading, the Royals struck first 3:28 into the first period, when Joe Zappala took control of a loose puck behind the Dayton net and attempted a hard-wrap at the right pipe. The puck slid off Zappala's stick across the crease to Greg Hogeboom, who was planted in the low left circle. Hogeboom drilled a snap shot that clipped the interior of the left arm of Dayton goaltender Adam Berkhoel (21 – 12 – 3; 21/23) and slipped through for Hogeboom's twenty-eighth goal of the season. That goal also extended Hogeboom's personal point streak to thirteen games (8g – 11a = 19 pts). Reading took a 2-0 lead at the 14:06 mark of the first while on the team's first power play of the night. While the Royals worked the puck in the offensive zone, the referee signaled a delayed penalty against the Bombers. Reading pulled the goaltender and got the sixth attacker on the ice, while Kevin Saurette and Shawn Collymore controlled the puck down low near the Dayton net. Collymore ended up throwing a back door feed from the left pipe across the crease and deep into the right circle, where defenseman Rob LaLonde stepped down to receive the feed and rip a quick shot for his third goal of the season and his second in two games. Dayton cut the lead in half with 2:06 remaining in the first when Greg Labenski kept left point and threw a seemingly harmless wrister toward the net that went off the cuff of Fukufuji's glove, through his legs and into the net.

Dayton came out storming early in the second period, and it paid off. 2:40 into the period, the Bombers crashed the net and created a multi-shot flurry which ended when Joe Cullen forced the puck through a sprawled out Fukufuji tying the game at two. 2:10 later, a similar flurry in tight resulted in a loose puck low in the slot that Brent Walton fired through Fukufuji who made a couple of good stops in the sequence but could neither corral the loose puck during the rebound flurry nor stop the shot by Walton, making it 3-2 Bombers.

Early in the third, Dayton picked up a power play goal to extend their lead to 4-2. Again, a multi-shot rebound sequence resulted in a loose puck at the top of the crease that Trevor Frischmon was able to drive home for his third goal of the year 1:23 into the period. The Royals pressed down the stretch, but could not solve Berkhoel, who made the stops he was called upon to make, while Justin Maiser added a shorthanded goal with nine seconds left to ice the game.

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