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ROYALS WIN FOURTH STRAIGHT

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
Reading, PA – The Reading Royals' (24 – 24 – 6 = 55; 3rd North Division) special teams accounted for all three goals and goaltender Yutaka Fukufuji (6-5-0; 39/40) was nothing short of spectacular in a 3-1 win over the Dayton Bombers. Joe Zappala scored two power play goals and Shawn Germain bagged his first goal of the year–while Reading was playing short-handed–to help extend the Royals' win streak to a season high four games.


Dayton struck first 12:45 into the game while on the power play, after a long and sustained offensive attack that resulted in a series of Grade-A scoring chances–including what appeared to be wide open empty net opportunity at the right side of the goal for Yannick Tifu–each of which was rejected by Fukufuji. To Tifu's credit, however, he kept the sequence alive, and walked out front and took a snap shot that struck teammate Matt Herneisen and slipped through Fukufuji for his eleventh goal of the season. The Royals tied things at one at the 18:06 mark of the first while on a five-on-three power play. Rob LaLonde flipped a point-to-point pass to Chris Bala, who took control high on the left side in the offensive zone. Bala then slid a diagonal feed to Zappala who was planted low in the right circle and took a quick snap shot that beat Dayton goaltender Dan LaCosta (3-5-1; 21/24) to the short side.

Reading took the team's first lead of the game at the 2:55 mark of the second period while on the power play. As Dayton attempted to clear the defensive zone, Reagan Rome stepped up on the right half wall to keep the puck alive in the offensive end, allowing Zappala to take control in the right corner. Zappala attacked the net from there, attempting to jam the puck through LaCosta who pinched the right pipe. The puck flipped off the body of LaCosta, tumbling over his head, striking his back leg, and trickling into the net for Zappala's second goal of the night. Midway into the second period, the Royals' penalty kill was called upon to do its part when simultaneous penalties were assessed against Jon Francisco and Shawn Germain, giving two full minutes of five-on-three power play time to Dayton. During that kill sequence, another penalty was assessed against the Royals, which did not start to run until after the five-on-three expired. After Reading killed the five-on-three and Dayton was working on the five-on-four portion of this power play sequence, Francisco dove at a loose puck in the Royals' defensive zone and was able to poke it into the neutral zone, where Germain picked it up an broke for the Dayton end. Germain carried to the top of the right circle where he ripped a low hard snap shot that beat LaCosta to the far side for his first goal of the year, making it 3-1 Reading. Despite getting outshot 9-2 in the third, Fukfufuji and the Royals were able to preserve the two goal lead and, with the win, get the team back to .500 for the first time in ten games.

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