Elmira Drops Preseason Finale in Reading 4-1


READING, P.A. - October 11, 2014 - The Elmira Jackals scored first, but were thwarted for the rest of the night and suffered a 4-1 defeat at the hands of the Reading Royals for the second straight game.

Click here for tonight's box score.

After allowing three first period goals a night ago, the Jackals responded with a strong start at Santander Arena in Reading. Matt Tassone, who wore the captains 'C' for the second straight night, was the beneficiary of a net-front turnover by the Reading defense and put the Jackals ahead 1-0 4:59 into the game. Nick McParland and Ryan Rashid earned the assists on Tassone's tally. Reading nearly answered seconds later on an odd-man rush, but Jackals netminder Travis Fullerton held his ground and kept the Royals at bay. However, the Royals got on the board with just 3.5 seconds remaining in the opening frame when Sean Wiles redirected a shot from the point by Ryan Cruthers. Bryant Molle also added an assist on the tying goal.

The second period began as a defensive battle, but by the end of the frame the two teams combined for 25 shots. Fullerton shook off the late first period goal and turned away the Royals on numerous scoring chances, including a stellar stop on Olivier Labelle's point blank shot from the slot. However, Reading was able to solve Fullerton and break the tie courtesy of lady luck. Justin Kea's slashing minor gave the Royals their first power-play of the night and Sean Wiles capitalized by bouncing a puck off of Patch Alber from the goal line. Ryan Cruthers recorded his second assist of the night and Zach Davies added a helper on Wiles' second goal of the game. Less than two minutes later Caleb Suderman turned the puck over in the neutral zone to Kyle Bodie, who placed a drop pass on the tape of Labelle. The Quebec native blasted a slap shot past Fullerton from the top of the circle, giving Reading a 3-1 lead at 13:13 of the second period. The Jackals put ten shots on the goal in the middle frame, but netminder Connor Knapp was solid between the pipes for the Royals.

Elmira came out hard in the third period, generating offensive opportunities and controlling the pace of play. The Jackals directed nine of the first 11 shots on goal in the final frame, but Sam Marotta, who entered the game at the start of the third period, weathered the storm and battened down the hatches. Reading extended its lead to 4-1 at 10:25 of the third period when Matt Hatch fed former Jackal Justin Daniels backdoor for Daniels' second goal in as many nights. The tension reached a boiling point with 7:12 left in the game when Colin Jacobs was crunched into the boards and left the game with an apparent injury. The scuffle reached the benches and captain Matt Tassone received a five minute major for spearing and a double game misconduct for spearing an opponent and leaving the bench to join an altercation. Ryan Cruthers was dealt a two minute slashing minor and a ten minute misconduct.

Travis Fullerton stopped 27 of 31 shots faced but was handed the loss. Knapp stopped 17 of 18 shots faced in the first two periods and Marotta turned aside all 13 shots he saw in the third period. The Jackals finished the night 0-for-1 on the power-play and 1-for-2 on the penalty kill.

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