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by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
Charleston, SC – The Reading Royals (27 – 26 – 6 = 60; 4th North Division), playing with just fourteen skaters and no fewer than eight players on recall in the American Hockey League, fell behind early and were unable to muster a comeback against the South Carolina Stingrays, losing 3-0. For the Royals, this marked the third time that the team has suffered a shutout this season. Goaltender Yutaka Fukufuji (9 – 7 – 0; 29/32) took the loss for the Royals, who were blanked in seven chances with the man advantage.The Stingrays struck first 3:25 into the game, when defenseman Scott Romfo was able to walk off the right wing half wall directly across the front of the net. As Romfo cut through the low slot, the Royals' defenders appeared to get entangled with Fukufuji preventing him from moving into position to make the stop. By the time Romfo arrived to the left side of the crease, he had nothing but empty net to shoot at, and he didn't miss, scoring his fifth goal of the season. South Carolina took a 2-0 lead 11:23 into the first with a power play goal, when Matt Stefanishion took control in the left corner and fired a brilliant pass to the top of the crease where a crashing Jarrett Konkle redirected the puck over the top of Fukufuji for his sixth goal of the year. The Stingrays picked up some additional insurance late in the period when Evan Schwabe, who assisted on all three South Carolina goals, sprang Stefanishion for a long breakaway. Stefanishion didn't waste the opportunity as beat Fukfuji with a backhand from in tight. From that point on, the Royals' opportunities were somewhat few and far between, as the Stingrays played solid defense in front of Davis Parley, who made all twenty-six stops he was called upon to make in picking up his third shutuout and twenty-seventh win of the year.

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