Elmer Fudd was definitely on the Royals side this weekend as the home squad took down struggling Greenville in a pair of games at Santander Arena. Connor Knapp was a huge reason why Greenville was not productive and could get the puck in the back of the net. Knapp only gave up one goal all weekend to Greenville and Royals outscored the opposition 10-1 in both games.
Saturday marked the first time these two teams matched up since February and it would be two of four this season, with all games happening in Reading this month.
The Royals would get on the board first 14:27 into the game as Kevin Young threw the puck on net, which double deflected and snuck by Greenville starter Allen York for the 1-0 Royals lead. After a few good chances from both teams that was pretty much the first period.
Mike Pereira would re-direct a Maxim Lamarche shot that beat York for the 2-0 lead. We did have a fight between Jordan Heywood and Bretton Cameron. This was Greenville’s attempt to spark it’s team who were down by a couple. It really didn’t help as just 1:12 later Reading would capitalize on their first power play of the game. Adam Comrie would unload a shot that blew by York to give the Royals a 3-0 lead. Greenville would get on the board a few minutes later as Brian Hart solved Knapp to cut the Royals lead to 3-1. Reading answered the bell as Matt Hatch would pick up his first of the season 44 seconds later and put Royals up 4-1. Reading would score one more on the power play with a few minutes to go in second period. Robert Czarnik ripped a weak-side one-timer from the right side that blew by Allen York for the 5-1 Royals lead after two periods.
Knapp made the score stand, ensuring the Royals would pick up their fourth win of the season.
Game two was no different for Knapp who would have another great performance. The power play which was something to watch this weekend, came through again in this game as Royals offensive leader Justin Crandall got the scoring started 5:24 in the game on nice pass from Tifu who picked up his first point since rejoining the team. The Royals would strike on their next power play late in the first as Yannick Tifu picked up a loose puck, chipped it in the air and it fluttered over Greenville starter Mackenzie Skapski for his second goal of the season.
The game was tight as the Royals only lead 2-0 after two periods. The Royals got three goals in the third period to blow the game open and sweep Greenville in shutout fashion 5-0. Connor Knapp was spectacular again, stopping all 30 shots he faced and was the first star for the second consecutive game.
The top two things to watch for in this weekend set paid off as the power play was productive going 4-for-8 on the weekend. Yannick Tifu recorded his first three points Sunday (1 goal, 2 assists) since being acquired.
The Royals are back at it this Wednesday as they begin a home-in-home with the Wheeling Nailers. Greenville will hope to get back on the winning side as they host Atlanta on Thursday.