Jackals Fall In Preseason Opener
ELMIRA, N.Y. - October 10, 2014 - The Elmira Jackals could not overcome the fast start by the Reading Royals in the team's preseason opener at First Arena, falling 4-1. Kevin Sundher, who was reassigned to Elmira by Buffalo from Rochester earlier today, scored the lone Jackals goal.
Click here for tonight's box score.
The Royals spoiled the grand unveiling of Elmira's new state-of-the-art scoreboard by stealing the game's first highlight just 1:22 into play. Reading's aggressiveness was put on display early when blueliner Dan Ford jumped into the action and buried a rebound behind Jackals' goaltender Neil Conway. Conway made a stellar pad save on forward Adam Hughesman, but the puck popped out onto the stick of Ford, who deposited it and gave Reading a 1-0 lead. Less than six minutes later Royals' defenseman Jordan Heywood blasted a slap shot from the point which bounced off Justin Kea's foot and slipped past Conway. Hughesman and Brock Higgs earned the assists on Heywood's power play tally. Less than a minute later former Jackal Justin Daniels scored against his ex-team and put the Royals ahead 3-0. Kevin Sundher was able to get the Jackals on the board in the first period with a silky toe drag on a 2-on-1 rush. Caleb Suderman's penalty expired in time to join Sundher on the rush, who froze Reading netminder Martin Ouellette and beat him through the five-hole.
The play during the second period was more even than the first frame, but the Royals were able to extend their lead to 4-1 just 3:55 into the period. A neutral zone turnover led to a 3-on-1 rush for the Royals, and despite the defensive effort by Suderman, Matt Hatch was able to deposit the loose puck behind Conway. Kyle Bodie added the assist on Hatch's goal. Matt Tassone was wearing the captain's 'C' tonight and did his best to reignite the Jackals by dropping the gloves with Ian Watters 4:40 into the second period.
Reading continued to stifle the Jackals' offensive efforts throughout a defensive third period. Matt Tassone had a couple of strong scoring chances during the final 20 minutes, including a shot off the post with six minutes remaining. However, Ouellette held strong and stopped 17 of 18 shots faced in the winning effort. Conway stopped 30 of 34 shots faced, but suffered the loss.
The Jackals power play went 0-for-5 and the team's penalty kill went 4-for-5 tonight.
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