Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (3 – 2 – 3 = 9) scored first, but fell behind due to three consecutive power play goals for the Titans; then, in a roller coaster third period, tied the game at three before giving up a late short-handed goal to fall behind again only to tie it (again) with a last gasp shot with 15 seconds remaining. This one went all the way to the shootout after Reading was unable to score in the overtime–despite playing with a man advantage for virtually the entire extra frame (and much of that time was with a two skater advantage). In fact, the Royals had nineteen opportunities on the power play in this one and were only able to come away with one power play goal. In the shootout, only Trenton's Mike Pandolfo (a former Royal) scored to give the two points to the Titans. For Royals' goaltender, Ryan Munce (1 – 1 – 3; 24/28), this proved to be his third shootout loss of a season that is only eight games old.
Unlike six of the seven games played coming into this afternoon's game, the Royals scored first, when Greg Hogeboom took a Malcolm MacMillan pass and broke behind the Titan defense and beat Trenton goaltender, Joel Martin (5 – 2 – 0; 51/55), for his second short-handed goal of the season at the 3:04 mark of the second period. The Titans responded with three back-to-back-to-back power play goals in a span of 3:14 (from 10:54 to the 13:08 of the second period). The first of the three was a five-on-three power play goal by Gregg Johnson, followed by the garden variety five-on-fours by Les Haggett and Benoit Mondou, giving Trenton the 3-1 lead.
In the third, the Royals began to mount the comeback with a goal by Shawn Collymore–who extended his personal point streak to six games–7:34 into the period. Reading finally broke the power play ice at the 12:19 mark of the third, when James Hiebert slipped around the Trenton defense and chipped one high to the short-side on Martin, tying the game at three. The Royals looked poised to take control of the game as Trenton went on a late game penalty binge; but, Haggett was able to steal and break short-handed and make the Royals pay at the 14:04 mark of the third after he and a Royals' defender crashed into Munce, which allowed a trailing Gregg Johnson to chip in his second of the game. It was looking rather dismal for the Royals as time wound down in the third; but Reagan Rome wound up from the point with 15 seconds left and ripped a rocket that Hiebert deflected behind Martin for the dramatic game tying goal. The Royals had their chances in the overtime–playing a full two minutes of five-on-three and almost the entire overtime with some type of advantage–but Martin was spectacular–something he continued right through the shootout, as all five Royals were held off the board, while Mike Pandolfo scored for the Titans.
For more information on the Reading Royals visit thier official team website at www.royalshockey.com