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by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (12-3-1=25) played inspired hockey for the first 40 minutes, building a 5-0 lead against the Toledo Storm, but stumbled in the final stanza before holding off the Storm for the 5-3 win. The Royals pounded the pressure on the Storm through the first two periods, outshooting Toledo 32 -18 in that time frame; but in the third, the Storm fired nineteen shots on Reading goaltender, Cody Rudkowsky, and gave the 6617 faithful at the Sovereign Center a few anxious moments before the Royals regained their composure and closed out the win.

The Royals got on the board first when Stuart Kerr, playing in a forward's slot because a depleted Royals' roster was reduced to eight forwards, scored his first goal as a pro at the 9:24 mark of the first. After breaking into the offensive zone low on the right wing side, Kerr took a sharp angle shot that slipped through the legs of Toledo goaltender, Logan Koopmans, and probably would have gone wide of the net had Kerr not gone behind the net and come out on the far side and banged the loose puck in. The Royals went up 2-0 a minute and fifteen seconds later when Greg Hogeboom worked a perfect give and go with Mike Kompon who was planted at the side of the Toledo net while the Royals were on their first power play of the night. Hogeboom buried the shot from between the hashmarks under the bar to extend his personal point streak for the Royals to eight games.

In the second the Royals went up 3-0 when Tyler Hanchuck scored the first goal in his three year pro career on a shot from the point at the 10:02 mark. A minute and nine seconds later, Chris Bala scored his first goal as a member of the Royals when he was sent streaking into the Toledo end on a brilliant bank pass off the boards by Mike Pandolfo while the Royals were shorthanded. Reading went up 5-0 when Mike Kompon picked up his third point of the night on a put-back of a rebound off a Reagan Rome shot from the point while the Royals were skating with a five-on-three advantage at the 15:25 mark of the second period.

But the Storm would not go quietly into the night, picking up back-to-back-to-back goals in the third period from Adam Keefe, Chris James and Scooter Smith to cause the blood pressure on the Royals' bench to rise beyond recommended levels. But Reading was able to maintain enough control down the stretch to pick up their eighth win at the Sovereign Center against just one loss this season.
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