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ROYALS WIN HOMECOMING AGAINST JOHNSTOWN

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (30 – 28 – 6 = 66; 4th North Division), took a 2-0 lead to the third period and held off the hard-charging Johnstown Chiefs to win 3-1. Tonight's game marked the Royals return to the Sovereign Center after a six game road trip, and the win marked the team's third straight victory. Reading got goals from defensemen, Jason Becker and Taylor Christie, and an empty netter from Chris Bala, which iced the game with just 32 seconds remaining. Goaltender Yutaka Fukufuji (11 – 9 – 0; 29/30) played strong in net to pick up his seventh win in his last eleven games for Reading.


The Royals got on the board 8:03 into the game, when Sheldon Wing took control below the goal line and fed Becker between the hash-marks. Becker then slipped a wrist shot under Johnstown goaltender Morgan Cey (18 – 5 – 5; 20/22; 1 empty net goal) for his ninth of the season. Reading picked up what proved to be the game winner 1:45 into the second period, when Christie came deep into the offensive end to help the Royals forwards who were battling for a loose puck on the end wall, which resulted after Joe Zappala appeared to ring one off Cey's mask from low in the right circle.

Michael Cohen dug the puck off the wall and fed Christie low on the left side. Christie forced a quick one-timer on goal which hit Cey in the right side and ended up in the net for Christie's fourth of the season. Johnstown finally broke through with five minutes left in the game when Ian MacLean slid a backhander under Fukufuji's stick for MacLean's second goal of the season. Johnstown pressed hard in the latter stages–as they had all game long–but Reading's Chris Bala took control after a defensive zone face-off in the waning moments and, with time winding down, bagged a coast-to-coast empty netter to send the Royals fans to the exits with a smile on their collective face.

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