Johnstown, PA – The Reading Royals (7 – 8 – 4 = 18; 4th North Division) gave up a late third period power play goal to Johnstown to end regulation time (and through the sudden death overtime) tied at two with the Chiefs, who went on to bag the only shootout goal of the night and take the two points, 3-2. For Reading this marked the fourth time in four tries this season the team has been on the wrong end of the shootout. Royals' goaltender Ryan Munce (4 – 5 – 4; 24/26; and 3/4 in shootout) has been the goaltender of record for Reading in all four shootout losses this season.
After a scoreless first period, the Chiefs continued a trend that has held true in fifteen of Reading's nineteen games this season by scoring the game's first goal. Midway into the second period, the Chiefs' Grant Jacobsen took control of a Randy Rowe pass low in the right circle. Jacobsen cut to the center of the ice and was able to stick handle across the top of the crease and around a sprawling Munce for his third goal of the season 11:08 into the second. Reading tied the game at 18:44 of the second when James Hiebert won an offensive zone face-off in the left circle, and in the ensuing fight for the puck, Dany Roussin took control of the puck and ripped a snap shot through traffic and behind Johnstown goaltender Morgan Cey (4 – 3 – 1; 30/32; and 5/5 in the shootout) for his first goal as a member of the Royals this season. 1:15 later, Hiebert gave Reading the lead with just one second left in the second period, while the Royals were playing on a late period power play. The play was started with strong forecheck pressure in the left corner by John Snowden and Greg Hogeboom, but it was Hiebert who was able to stuff it home at the side of the Johnstown net before the siren sounded to end the second.
In the third, Johnstown tied the game at two on their fifth power play chance of the game, with 6:08 remaining in regulation. On this one, the Chiefs created pressure in the offensive zone and took possession in the right wing corner and defenseman Doug Andress fed his defensive pairing on the power play, Brian Nathe, in the mid-slot. Nathe was unguarded and he fired a low, hard snap shot that beat Munce stick side. Neither the Royals nor Chiefs were able to score through the remainder of regulation time and the sudden death overtime, necessitating the shootout. In the shootout, the five Reading shooters (Greg Hogeboom, Ned Lukacevic, James Hiebert, John Snowden and Chris Bala) were held off the board; while Johnstown's fourth shooter, Gus Katsuras scored on his attempt, which proved to be enough to take the two points.
The Royals are back in action on Wednesday (6:35 pm) at the Sovereign Center when they face the Cincinnati Cyclones for the first time this season. Royals' game night broadcasts can be heard live on ESPN Radio 1240 am (and on the internet through the Royals' website, www.royalshockey.com
), beginning thirty minutes before the opening faceoff.