Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (24-11-2=50) scored five unanswered goals in the second and third periods to snap a three game losing streak with a 7-2 win over the Johnstown Chiefs. The line of Mike Kompon, Dany Roussin, and Doug Christiansen combined for twelve points and goaltender Yutaka Fukufuji (9-6-1) made 23 stops on 25 shots, as the Royals tied their largest margin of victory this season.
As with the last three games for the Royals, the opposition scored first when Johnstown picked up a power play goal at the 8:24 mark of the first period. After the Royals had killed the front end of a five-on-three power play for the Chiefs, Johnstown's pp unit took control of the puck and worked it around the perimeter until Joe Tallari took a hard slap shot from the high slot that went by the net on the left side, ricocheted off the end wall, and ended up coming out on the right side of the net, where Jean Desrochers stuffed it in for the 1-0 lead. The Royals tied things at one when Jason Kostadine sprang Malcolm MacMillan into the offensive end, and MacMillan uncorked a blast out of the left circle that screamed over the left shoulder of Johnstown goaltender, Morgan Cey, at the 12:15 mark of the first. 1:53 later, the Royals took a 2-1 lead when Chris Bala sprinted into the offensive end on the left wing side on a two-on-one break with Mike Kompon. Bala threw a beautiful saucer to the charging Kompon who was flying up the gut and swept the puck into the net from 18 feet out in one fluid motion.
In the second, the Chiefs tied the score at two with their second power play goal of the night. As Randy Rowe came through the slot, he made a nice move to the right side of the net, where Fukufuji made a brilliant kick stop with his left pad. Unfortunately for the Royals, the puck popped up into the air and landed on the left side of the crease where Justin Kelly was able to fire it home at the 3:11 mark of the second period. The Royals regained the lead at the 7:38 mark of the second, when Christiansen sent Roussin charging into the offensive zone on the right wing. As Roussin was running out of space towards the goal line at the side of the Chiefs' net, he deftly slipped a drop pass to Mike Kompon who was trailing on the left side of the goal. Kompon was able to force it in for his second of night and what proved to be the game winner. Late in the second, Chris Bala scored his twelfth goal of the season, when he fired a shot from right along the goal line at the left side of the Chiefs goal that somehow snuck through on the short side to give the Royals a 4-2 lead at the 18:59 mark. Forty-one seconds later, the Royals made it 5-2 when Dany Roussin finished an extended flurry for Reading that resulted in at least three consecutive scoring chances. In the third, the Royals added two goals by Christiansen–his 19th and 20th of the season–and during the final period maintained a consistent pressure in the offensive end, which had the side benefit of taking a considerable amount of that pressure off of an understaffed defensive core and Fukufuji, who picked up the win in his ninth consecutive start for Reading.