Johnstown, PA – The Reading Royals (9 – 9 – 4 = 22; t-3rd North Division) snapped a seven game road winless streak with an overtime victory over the Johnstown Chiefs, 3-2. Reading scored first and held the lead late in the third, but a sixth attacker goal by the Chiefs with just 51 seconds remaining tied the score at two and sent it to OT. The Royals' James Hiebert scored a power play goal 2:13 into the extra frame to bag the win. Goaltender Jeff Pietrasiak (2 – 2 – 0; 27/29) stopped 27 Johnstown shots for his second win in two starts with Reading.
For the second game in row, Reading scored the game's first goal when defenseman Jason Becker sprang Joe Zappala into the offensive zone with a tape-to-tape feed through a seam in the neutral zone. Zappala ripped a wrist shot as he crossed the blue line that beat Johnstown goaltender Morgan Cey (4 – 3 – 2; 25/28) high stick side 6:09 into the game. The Chiefs tied the game with a power play goal mid-way into the first. Randy Rowe fed defenseman Doug Andress at the right point, and Andress fired a low slap shot that Pietrasiak kicked out; but the rebound found the stick of Adam Henrich, who chipped it in for his fifth goal of the season. Reading regained the lead 1:36 later while the two teams were playing four aside. Reading defender Shawn Germain carried the puck down the left wing side deep into the offensive zone and was ridden around the net. As he came out on the right side, Germain fed James Hiebert in the mid-slot, and Hiebert settled and blasted a puck that ricocheted off the hip of Greg Hogeboom and into the net to make it 2-1 Reading.
Despite about 45 more game minutes of up and down hockey, neither team could bag a goal until the waning moments. Late in the third, the Chiefs pulled their goaltender and crashed the Royals' goal to create a sequence of sustained offensive pressure. With 51 seconds remaining the Maxime Boisclair slipped a puck from behind the net to Rowe who was able to take control eight feet above the Royals crease and chip a back-hander over Petrasiak to tie things again (at two). In the overtime, Johnstown's Andre Deveaux took a high sticking minor just 15 seconds into the OT, providing the Royals with the man advantage. Reading created sustained pressure on the power play and scored 2:13 into the overtime when defenseman Taylor Christie slipped a puck from the right side of the net across the top of the crease to Hiebert, who drilled one home from the back-door. After the goal was scored Johnstown's Adam Henrich cross-checked Hiebert, who responded with a slash–all of which resulted in a post-game fracas; but the Royals took the two points on the road for the first time since the season opening game in Trenton on October 20.
The Royals return to action tomorrow afternoon (4:35 pm) at the Sovereign Center in Reading against the Trenton Titans. 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 face-off. Streaming video is also available for $6.00 per game through the B2 Networks, which can be accessed through the Royals' website.