ROYALS COMPLETE SWEEP OF DAYTON, 4-2 FOR FIFTH STRAIGHT WIN
/ Los Angeles Kings
Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (25 – 24 – 6 = 56; 3rd North Division) got a pair of goals from both Shawn Collymore and Ned Lukacevic to defeat the Dayton Bombers, 4-2, for the second night in a row. Goaltender Yutaka Fukufuji (7 – 5 – 0; 25/27) won his third straight for the Royals, who extended the team's win streak to a season high five games. Playing as a line, Collymore (2g – 2a), Lukacevic (2g – 2a) and Dany Roussin (0g – 3a) combined for a total eleven points on the score-sheet in this one.
Reading got on the board first 6:36 into the game when Lukacevic dished a saucer from the right point to Collymore who powered his way deep into the right circle where he fired a quick snap shot that beat Dayton goaltender, Terry Denike (0 – 1 – 0; 21/25) to the short side for his twelfth goal of the season. The Royals got a break 2:43 later when Lukacevic attempted to throw a pass out of the right wing corner that pin-balled off a couple of legs in front of the Dayton goal and bounced into the net for his fifth of the season. Dayton cut the Royals' lead in half when Joe Cullen ripped a blast from the left point that eluded Fukufuji at the 14:48 mark of the first.
The two teams played a tight and scoreless second until only 5.5 seconds remained in the period. At that point, Collymore took control of a loose puck high in the Dayton defensive zone and quickly charged the net. As he arrived at the goal, he deked left and went right, stuffing the puck behind Denike for his second of the night, making it 3-1 Reading.
In the third, the Royals clung to their two goal lead until the 7:41 mark of the period, when Yannick Tifu forced his way to the Royals' goal and powered the puck over the top of Fukufuji who had pinched hard on the right pipe. The puck flipped into the air and landed behind Fukufuji where Matt Herneisen was able to push it across the goal line to make it 3-2. Reading regained the two goal advantage 2:03 later with a power play goal by Lukacevic. After winning a battle on the right wing wall, Lukacevic floated to the right point where he teed up a slap shot that hit someone on its way towards the Dayton goal, redirecting it between the legs of Denike for his second goal of the night. For Lukacevic, this marked his first multi-goal game as a pro. The late stages of this game broke down into a series of physical scrums and tilts; but more importantly for the Royals, the team was able to hold off any further Bomber attacks, as the Royals' record jumped above .500 for the first time in thirteen games.