The Reading Royals kicked off their 15th anniversary season in the same building where their 2015 Kelly Cup Playoff run ended…the North Charleston Coliseum.
Saturday night’s affair was all South Carolina and their goalie Mark Dekanich, who stole the show. The Royals didn’t score on him until there were five minutes left in regulation. South Carolina started the scoring 9:46 into period one on a deflection goal by rookie Brett Cameron. The Royals argued the goal as they thought he may have hit the puck with high stick but the goal stood. Cameron wasn’t done as he would strike again 8:18 into the 2nd period to make it 2-0 South Carolina.
Tempers started to flare towards the end of the 2nd as Ian Watters received a game misconduct for abuse of officials and Derek Mathers received a 10-minute misconduct but would return.
Reading would put one though to break the shutout as Adam Comrie powered one past Dekanich to put the Royals on the board. Kevin Goumas and Geoff Walker would pick up the helpers on Comrie’s 1st of the season.
It would be too little, too late for the Royals as the Stingrays would hold on for the (2-1) win on “Charleston Strong” night at the Coliseum. Both teams went scoreless on the man-advantage.
Sunday afternoon was a different story for the Royals, as the offense unleashed a six-pack of goals, including 3 goals in less than 3 minutes on starting goaltender Vitek Vanecek. Kevin Goumas got flurry started 4:58 in for his first as a Royal with helpers coming from Perry & Parker to give the Royals a 1-0 lead. Just 1:53 after, Joe Rehkamp plotted his first as a Royal and first as a pro to make it 2-0 Royals. Then just 1:45 later, Cam Reid on the doorstep picked up his first of the night to make it 3-0 Royals after one.
The second period was back and forth affair, but the Royals would get one from Justin Crandall to give the Royals a 4-0 lead after two. It wouldn’t take long for the Royals to continue the onslaught, as Cam Reid extended the lead to 5-0 just 1:24 into period.
Tempers would start to flare for the Stingrays midway through the period as Wade Epp would elbow Cam Reid. The result would end up giving Reading a 5-minute major power play and they capitalized on it. Robert Czarnik scored just 8 seconds into the major power play to make it 6-0 Royals.
Royals goaltender Martin Ouellette recorded his 2nd career shutout, making 20 saves.
The team will travel to Elmira to conclude the three-game road-trip before coming home Saturday for their 2015-16 home opener against the Jackals.