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ROYALS COME FROM BEHIND TO BEAT CINCY, 5-3

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
Cincinnati, OH – The Reading Royals (20 – 23 – 6 = 46; t-5th North Division) scored first but gave up three straight first period goals before going on a four goal binge over the last two periods to beat the Cincinnati Cyclones, 5-3. Defenseman Jason Becker scored two power play goals–including the game winner late in the second–as Reading snapped a season high six game winless streak. Goaltender Yutaka Fukufuji (4 – 4 – 0; 29/32) picked up his first win for the Royals since November 29, 2006.


Reading struck first 5:32 into the game on the team's first power play chance of the night. Brett Smith took control in the right corner and fed it into the mid-slot to Greg Hogeboom, who misfired on a one-timer sending the puck off the heel of his stick–but directly to Becker who had slipped low on the left side of the ice. Becker didn't waste the fortunate break, shooting from a sharp angle and banking the puck off of Cincinnati's goaltender Cedrick Desjardins (18 – 12 – 1; 32/37) for his seventh goal of the season. Cincinnati bounced back, however, with three consecutive goals before the expiration of the first period: (i) a Sam Ftorek rocket from the left point (while on the power play) at 9:31; (ii) an Avery Wilson put back on a rebound of a Matt Macdonald shot from the left point at 12:59; and (iii) a point blank shot by Scott Reynolds who was wide open between the hash marks at 16:14.

In the second, the Royals quickly cut the Cincinnati lead to 3-2 when Kevin Saurette and Shawn Collymore took off on an odd man rush into the Cyclones' zone. Saurette carried deep on the left side and attempted to slip the puck across to Collymore who was charging in on the back door. But the puck ricocheted off the lone Cincinnati defender and slid between Desjardins' legs 52 seconds into the period to give Saurette his eighth goal of the season. 48 seconds later, Reading tied the game at three when Rob LaLonde uncorked a blast from the high slot that blew by Desjardins for his second goal of the season. The Royals regained the lead on the team's second power play goal of the night–and the second of the game for Jason Becker. Collymore and Taylor Christie worked the puck around the perimeter to Becker at the right point who blasted a one-timer that eluded Desjardins high to the glove side to make it 4-3 Reading.

In the third, the Royals played a smart if somewhat conservative period, but still ended up out-shooting the Cyclones 13-6. Late in the third, Saurette picked up his second of the night after he took control of the puck in the right circle and fired it on net. Desjardins made the initial stop but kicked the rebound directly back to Saurette who took control, stick-handled around Desjardins and bagged the insurance goal with just 1:31 remaining. On that goal, Hogeboom picked up his third assist of the night (marking his eighteenth multipoint performance of the year–and the seventh game in which he's scored three or more points) which served to extend his personal point streak to a team season high twelve games (7g-11a=18pts).

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