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ROYALS VICTORIOUS IN 12-ROUND SHOOTOUT

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
Trenton, NJ–The Reading Royals (41-19-7=89) entered the third period trailing by a goal, but picked up the game tying goal from Chris Bala with just 8:35 remaining in regulation and then went twelve rounds deep in the shootout to beat the Trenton Titans, 3-2. With this win–only the second win in six tries in the shootout this season for Reading–the Royals extended the team's win streak to four games and maintained possession of first place in the North Division of the ECHL's American Conference.


The Titans jumped on the board first with a power play goal at the 7:41 mark of the first period. The Titan's Mike Jarmuth took a hard slap shot from the high slot that went off the body of Jim Henkel and slipped behind Royals' goaltender, Cody Rudkowsky (23-8-3, 22/24; 10/12, shootout) to give Trenton the 1-0 lead. The Royals responded with a power play goal of their own, when Rudkowsky started the rush with a long pass out of the defensive zone that Doug Christiansen tapped ahead to Chris Bala, who carried deep into the right circle.

Bala then slid a perfect diagonal feed to the hard-charging Larry Courville, who was breaking to the net out of the left circle. Courville re-directed the puck behind Trenton goaltender, Rejean Beauchemin to tie things at one 15:01 into the first period. The Titans jumped back on top with a short-handed goal late in the first period, when the Royals were caught up ice and Henkel lead the Trenton rush in the other direction. Henkel fed to Seamus Young, who was carried deep into the right circle before taking a shot that went off a Royals' defender's stick and high into the Reading net with just 29 seconds remaining in the period.

After a scoreless second, the Royals tied things at the 11:25 mark of the third period, when T.J. Kemp started the Reading rush out of the defensive zone with a pass to Larry Courville, who carried into the offensive zone on the left wing side. Courville then dropped the puck in the high slot to the trailing Chris Bala, who ripped a high, hard shot behind Beauchemin to make it 2-2.

The teams ground through the remaining time in regulation and the overtime session in scoreless fashion, necessitating the shootout, which would go twelve rounds before being resolved. For the Royals, the team got shootout goals from Bala, Malcolm MacMillan and Eric Werner–whose goal on his second attempt as the twelfth shooter in the shootout proved to be the difference.
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