GREENVILLE, SC – The Reading Royals (14-10-1-1) were not able to hold off the Greenville Swamp Rabbits (14-9-2-0) in a 5-4 loss last night.
In the back-end of a two-game set in Greenville, the Royals held six different leads—including two by two goals—but couldn’t hold off the resilient Swamp Rabbits, who got a third-period tie-breaking game winner halfway into the final frame on a slap shot from the right point by defenseman Spiro Goulakos. Tonight’s game marked the seventh “blown lead loss”—games where the team has held an in-game lead but failed to pick up the two points—this season for Reading.
The Royals got their first chance of the game after Greenville’s Tyler Brown got called for a high-stick 5:16 into the game. Robbie Czarnik made the Swamp Rabbits pay as he lit the lamp for his sixth goal of the season, giving the Royals a 1-0 lead. The Royals were not done, though, as Tyrell Goulbourne scored off of a Ryan Penny rebound seventeen seconds later for a quick 2-0 lead.
The Swamp Rabbits did not let that discourage them as they came right back and peppered Mark Dekanich with a flurry of shots. All of their hard work paid off when Brandon Alderson finally got one past Dekanich to make it a 2-1 game.
Reading held control of the start of the second period. Matt Willows helped the Royals jump back to a two-goal lead 5:43 into the period for his sixth goal of the year.
Greenville continued to battle back, scoring two goals in a span of 1:22 and tying the game at three. Matt Prapavessis battled in front of the net and snuck a loose puck past Dekanich to cut the lead to one. Trevor Gerling then tied the game at three after scoring a blast from the slot 1:22 later.
Reading re-took the lead on an offensive rush that was set up by Goulbourne and finished by Ian Watters. The Royals’ lead was short-lived, however, after Paul Zanette answered 2:25 later to tie the game 4-4.
It wasn’t until the third period until the tie would be broken. Zanette won a face-off in the Royals’ offensive zone and got it to Spiro Goulakos who blasted it past Dekanich for the Swamp Rabbit’s first lead of the game.
The Royals were not able to make up the one-goal deficit and ended up falling to the Swamp Rabbits for the second night in a row. Reading returns to action Tuesday night when they visit the Adirondack Thunder at 6:00 PM.
Three Stars of the Game
3 – (GRN) Matt Prapavessis (1 goal, 1 assist)
2 – (GRN) Spiro Goulakos (1 goal, game-winning goal)
1 – (GRN) Paul Zanette (1 goal, 1 assist)
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