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After a disputed penalty in the second overtime of Game 1, the Reading Royals were looking for revenge in Game 2 at the North Charleston Coliseum on Saturday night. Both teams, once again, came out strong but the Royals would draw first blood as Jordan Heywood beat Jeff Jakaitis with a slick backhand for the early lead. Reading would tack on another a few minutes as Brandon Alderson took fired a quick wrister from just inside the blue line that just blew right by Jakaitis who did not see the puck through the traffic for the 2-0 lead. Reading would cap off the opening frame with another tally as Jordan Heywood would get his second of the night (and the period) off a Adam Hughesman rebound into a wide open net to put Reading up 3-0 after the first period of play.
The first intermission could not come quickly enough for South Carolina, and they came fighting back in the middle frame. The Rays would get on the board…or so they thought. For the second straight game, South Carolina had a goal disallowed, and this time it was for goalie interference. Sean Dolan fed a nice pass out to the waiting Brandon Wong who cut in front of the net, scooped up a rebound and put it right by Connor Knapp. Referee Peter MacDougall was there to make the controversial call. It took a few seconds for South Carolina to realize it was waived off and Stingrays Coach Spencer Carbery wasn’t too thrilled to say the least. The Rays would get some vengeance as a few minutes later as Sean Dolan got a nice, juicy rebound on a sprawled out Connor Knapp to make it a 3-1 game. Game 1’s overtime hero, Joe Devin would cut the lead to 3-2 at 15:33 mark to give the Rays some serious momentum. The Royals were on their heels heading into the third period.
The Royals were able to keep the surging Stingrays at bay for the final frame, with the lone tally coming from Ryan Cruthers to add insurance to the Reading lead. Cruthers took a nice feed in the slot, and sniped one over the shoulder of Jakaitis to put the game away. Connor Knapp would put the kibosh on any chance of a late comeback, and the Royals were able to tie up the series, heading back to home ice. The next three games will shift to Reading’s Santander Arena, starting with Game 3 on Thursday night.
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