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ROYALS EXTEND WIN STREAK TO THREE

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (23 – 24 – 6 = 52; t-3rd North Division) bounced back from a first period short-handed goal against to score four consecutive goals and defeat the Cincinnati Cyclones, 4-2. Brett Smith's first goal as a member of the Royals in the Sovereign Center proved to be the game winner in a second period, during which the Royals used a physical and imposing forecheck to turn the tide of the game. Goaltender Yutaka Fukufuji (5 – 5 – 0; 24/26) picked up his second win over the Cyclones in a week's time.


The Cyclones struck first after the Royals were unable to convert on a string of four consecutive power plays, including 55 seconds of five-on-three in the middle of the first. As a matter of fact, on the back end of that five-on-three, a gray zone turnover high in the offensive zone by the Royals' power play unit resulted in a short-handed breakaway for Cincinnati's Mike Wirll–who didn't waste the chance beating Fukufuji on a nifty move for his thirty-fifth goal of the season at the 12:26 mark in the first.

Late in the first period, Cincinnati was awarded three consecutive overlapping power plays of their own that resulted two full minutes worth of five-on-three split between the end of the first and the start of the second. However, the Royals withstood that challenge and tied the game at one at the 4:23 mark of the second period when Rob LaLonde took a hard slap shot from the left point. Dany Roussin, who was planted in front of the Cyclone net, re-directed LaLonde's shot on goal. Cincinnati's goaltender, Dov Grumet-Morris (8 – 6 – 2; 27/31) made the original stop, but Roussin was able to corral his own rebound and slip it in for his sixth goal of the season. Reading took a 2-1 lead at the 14:30 mark of the second when Brett Smith won an offensive zone faceoff in the left circle. Joe Zappala jumped into the circle, took control of the puck and ripped a wrist shot high glove side on Grumet-Morris for his fourteenth goal of the season. The Royals extended the lead to two at the 17:48 mark of the third, when LaLonde entered the zone at the left point and uncorked a drive that appeared to sting Grumet-Morris in the left shoulder. A scramble down low ensued, and Zappala took control and fed Smith in front of the net. Smith took a quick snap shot that beat Grumet-Morris to the glove side for his eighteenth goal of the season–his second as a Royal and his first at the Sovereign Center.

Reading took a 4-1 lead at the 4:47 mark of the third when the referee signaled a delayed penalty against the Cyclones. The Royals pulled the goaltender and got the sixth attacker on the ice. The puck ended up in Reading's defensive zone where Greg Hogeboom took control and went coast-to-coast straight down the middle of the ice. As he charged towards the Cyclone net, he cut to the right and slipped the puck to the left side of the crease where Ned Lukacevic had joined the rush and chipped the puck in for his fourth goal of the season. Cincinnati cut the lead in half at the 8:04 mark of the third when Jean-Michel Daoust took control of a loose puck in the neutral zone and took off for the Royals' net. Daoust beat Fukufuji with a quick move from left to right as he arrived at the goal for his twenty-third of the season. Reading's defense stepped up for the remainder of the game, keeping the Cyclones' offense at bay to pick up the team's twenty-third win of the season.

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