LOVELAND, CO – The visiting Reading Royals looked to bounce back from their past two games against the Colorado Eagles. Penalties finally helped the Royals this game – going 3-for-10 on the power play and only committing two penalties themselves.
The Royals started the first period strong. They only put a few shots on net but they were quality shots. Then things started to get away from them. A poor defensive turnover allowed Colorado’s Luke Salazar a clear shot for the first goal of the game. The Eagles had all of the momentum from then on, putting a total of 15 shots on goal to the Royals’ six.
The Royals started the second period well, firing the first six shots on goal and not allowing any to Colorado. That changed as Matt Register walked into the Royals’ zone and set up an easy rebound for Casey Pierro-Zabotel and a 2-0 Eagles lead. The tide started to turn in the Royals’ favor as the Eagles’ Connor O’Donnell got called for a high-stick and immediately got into a fight. O’Donnell, squaring off against Michael Pelech, didn’t tie down his jersey which lead to a game misconduct. During the ensuing power play, Kevin Sundher got the Royals on the board and continued to build on the new momentum change.
The third period was… well it was something. There were half-dozen total power plays, three fights, and five total misconducts in the third period alone. Penalties ended up being Reading’s friend for this game.
Michael Sdao got called for boarding just 50 seconds into the period. Steven Swavely added the tying goal just 20 seconds after the penalty was killed. 34 seconds later, Sdao finds his way back to the box for elbowing. Chris McCarthy gave the Royals their first lead of the night, capitalizing on their 6th power play of the night. Darryl Bootland of the Eagles, now trailing by one and needing the momentum back, dropped the gloves with Matt Wilkins. Unfortunately (for Colorado), Bootland gets called for taking the bucket off prior to his tilt, putting his team back on the penalty kill. Mike Pereira took full advantage and put one away to give the Royals a 4-2 lead. This all took place in the first 6:08 of the third period.
The Eagles became increasingly aggressive and drew a tripping penalty from Ian Watters. Darryl Bootland gained some momentum back for his team as he scored on the power play to cut the Royals lead to one with 3:55 left in the game. That momentum turned out not to be enough as the Royals held on to win their 4th game of the season 4-3.
The Royals are back in action on Friday, November 4th at 9:05 pm MST as they visit the Rapid City Rush.