READING, Pa. - March 15, 2014 - The Elmira Jackals entered tonight's game in Reading looking to snap an eight-game losing streak in their series against the Royals. However, all of the luck went Reading's way in its Saint Patrick's Day Game as it shut out the Jackals 4-0 and dropped Elmira to 22-30-8 on the season.
Click here for tonight's box score.
The first period showcased a battle of goaltending between Neil Conway and Brandon Anderson. The Royals edged Elmira 12-10 in the shot department and generated the better scoring chances throughout the first 20 minutes. Conway turned away all 12 shots he faced, including a breakaway stop on Bryant Molle just past the halfway mark of the opening frame. The Jackals were inches away from scoring the game's first goal on two occasions. First, Jordan Pietrus ripped a wrister from the right wing side that squeaked past Anderson but did not have enough steam to cross the goal line. Later on Mike Vaskivuo tried to wait out Anderson along the goal line and beat him on the short side but hit the post. Despite no score there were some fireworks courtesy of Jean Bourbeau and Brett Flemming. With exactly five minutes remaining in the period the two combatants dropped the gloves off of a neutral zone faceoff. Bourbeau scored the victory with one hard right that dropped Flemming.
The Jackals opened the second period with the man advantage but could not capitalize on the power play. Right after Brandon Blandina was released from the penalty box Rob Bellamy was whistled for slashing. Matt Campanale set up the power play in the Jackals' zone and moved the puck across to his defensive partner, Aaron Gens, who found a wide-open Sean Wiles backdoor for the game's first goal just as Bellamy stepped out of the penalty box. After their goal the Royals tightened up defensively. The Jackals did not register a shot on goal until Zach McCullough's slap shot just past the 15 minutes mark of the second period. Conway was the busier of the goalies in the middle period with eight saves on nine shots. Anderson turned aside all three shots he faced.
The Royals ramped up the intensity in the final frame. Ethan Cox was the first to get on the board in the third when Kevin Walrod's shot hit Conway in the mask and popped out in front for Cox who deposited it in the back of the net to double the Royals' lead just 39 seconds in. Just one minute and 14 seconds later Yannick Tifu was the beneficiary of a kicked-out rebound and buried it from the bottom of the left wing circle. Domenic Monardo would add a power-play goal with 3:39 left to seal Reading's 4-0 victory.
Conway made 28 saves but was handed his third consecutive regulation loss. Anderson stopped all 22 shots he faced for his fourth shutout this season.
Mark your calendars! The Jackals return to home ice on Monday, March 17 to take on the Gwinnett Gladiators. Don't forget that groups of 10 or more who book in advance receive discounts off the box office price and preferred seating based on availability. Call 607-734-7825 to get your group outing booked.