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by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
Reading, PA – In a scenario that has been played out more times than the team would care to remember, the Reading Royals (16 – 17 – 4 = 34; t-3rd North Division) out-shot and out-chanced the opponent–this time the Cincinnati Cyclones–but did not outscore them, losing 4-1. The Royals fell behind by three goals before they could finally solve Cincinnati goaltender, Cedrick Desjardins (15 – 8 – 0; 35/36), for their only goal of the game. Although the Royals generated a significant number of quality scoring opportunities, Reading was blanked on the power play for the ninth time in the last twelve games, going 0 for 6 with the man advantage. Royals' goaltender, Jeff Pietrasiak (8 – 10 – 0; 21/24; 1 eng), who got the call for the sixteenth time in the last seventeen games played by the Royals, took the loss for Reading.

Cincinnati scored first 7:19 into the game, when defenseman Jon Gleed threw a back-hander from the right point towards the Royals' net. A Reading defender blocked the shot, but in doing so, deflected it onto the stick of Barret Ehgoetz, who was planted at the right side of the goal. Pietrasiak was caught a bit out of position because he appeared set to play the original shot by Gleed, allowing Ehgoetz enough space to slip the puck into the net on the short side for the 1-0 lead. The Cyclones took a two goal lead at the 14:51 mark of the first while the teams were playing four aside. A turnover at the offensive blue line by a Royals' defender allowed Cincinnati's Conrad Martin to go on a long breakaway, and he did not waste the chance, burying his first pro goal for a 2-0 Cyclone lead.

In the second, the Cyclones went up by three 10:07 into the period, when Sam Ftorek dug a puck out of the right corner and fed defenseman Jarred Mohr who came down from the right point to take the pass. Mohr was allowed to walk deep into the slot where he slipped a shot through Pietrasiak to make it 3-0. The Royals broke up the shutout bid by Desjardins (who leads the league with four shutouts–and blanked the Royals last Friday night) when Kevin Saurette dug a puck off the left wing wall, floated high into the slot, turned and wheeled a wrist shot towards the goal. James Hiebert, who was planted out in front, re-directed the shot behind Desjardins for his eleventh goal of the season. The Royals continued to press–particularly through a series of power play opportunities late in the second and early in the third–but could not solve Desjardins or the solid Cincinnati defense, as Reading appeared to run low on gas as the game wound down, ultimately giving up an empty netter with 20 seconds left to Greg Stewart to make the final score, 4-1.

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