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ROYALS FALL IN JOHNSTOWN, 4-1

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
Johnstown, PA – The Reading Royals (19 – 22 – 6 = 44; 5th North Division) fell behind on the first shot of the game–nine seconds in–and were never able to recover from there, losing to the Johnstown Chiefs, 4-1. Despite out-shooting the Chiefs 35-23, Reading could not find pay-dirt until midway into the third period by which time the Chiefs had built a three goal lead. Goaltender Yutaka Fukufuji (3 – 4 – 0; 19/23) suffered the loss in his first game for the Royals since being reassigned to Reading from the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League on Friday. The loss extended the Royals' winless streak to a season high five games (0 – 4 – 1).


Johnstown scored on their first shot of the night nine seconds into the game, when the Chiefs won the opening face-off and quickly dumped the puck behind the Reading net. Jean Desrochers tracked the loose puck down there and was able to walk out to the right side of the net where he slid the puck across the crease to Randy Rowe, who tipped it in for his twelfth goal of the season.

The Chiefs scored on their first power play opportunity of the night 5:11 into the game. Maxime Boisclair carried into the right circle in the offensive zone and drew the attention of the Royals' penalty killers. Boisclair then dropped the puck high in the slot to Andrew Martens who was trailing the play. Martens stepped down into the mid-slot and ripped a snap shot over the left shoulder of Fukufuji to give the Chiefs a 2-0 lead.

In the second, the Chiefs extended their lead to three goals when Ryan Gibbons battled to take control of a loose puck in the left wing corner and slid a pass towards the front of the Royals' goal. Brandon Elliot crashed the net and redirected the puck behind Fukufuji 13:03 into the second to make it 3-0. The Royals broke up the shutout bid of Morgan Cey (11 – 9 – 4; 34/35) at the 8:54 mark of the third period when Tyler Kindle took control in the high slot and fired a wrister along the ice towards the Johnstown goal. Greg Hogeboom was floating from left to right in front of the Chiefs' net and angled his stick so as to redirect the puck over Cey and into the net for his twenty-sixth goal of the season.

That goal extended Hogeboom's personal point streak to ten games (6g – 7a = 13pts). Johnstown took the air out of the Royals' attempted comeback when Rowe charged through the neutral and cut from left to right in front of Reading's net, firing a snap shot behind Fukufuji from fourteen feet away with just 1:46 remaining for his second goal of the game.

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