READING, Pa. - Newcomer Mike Vaskivuo continued to spark Elmira's offense with a two-goal effort on Monday afternoon at Santander Arena in Reading, but it wasn't enough to lift Elmira to victory. Reading's 3-2 win dropped the Jackals' record to 12-20-4 on the season.
Click here for tonight's box score.
After scoring early in each of their last two games the Jackals had the tables turned on them by the Royals. Reading scored on its first shot of the game, just 33 seconds into the contest, to open up a 1-0 lead. Brandon Blandina was camped out in front of goalie Scott Greenham and deflected a Brett Flemming point shot in for his third goal of the year. Reading doubled its lead at 8:08 of the first with Ryan Cruthers beating Greenham off the rush for his ninth of the season. Vaskivuo extended his scoring streak to three games by converting a penalty shot goal, Elmira's first of the season, at 19:44. Vaskivuo swung out wide to the left, swept back in front of the net, and used a wrist shot to beat Brandon Anderson low to the glove side for his seventh goal of the year.
Elmira had an early power play in the second to try to even the score, but after failing to convert Reading wound up being the next team to dent the scoreboard and restore its two-goal lead. T.J. Syner carried the play into the Elmira zone and left a drop pass for former Jackal Josh Brittain. In his first game with the Royals Brittain hammered a slap shot past Greenham at 9:18 of the second for his first goal of the season. Things got bleaker for Elmira late in the second when captain Jean Bourbeau was knocked out of the game on an illegal check to the head by Flemming. Yannick Tifu took a hooking minor with 44 seconds left in the period and gave Elmira a lengthy 5-on-3 to start the third.
Elmira wasted little time converting the opportunity as Ludwig Karlsson hit Vaskivuo with a crisp pass out of the right wing corner. Vaskivuo tipped the puck right past Anderson 1:04 into the third and pulled Elmira within striking distance. The Jackals launched nine other shots Anderson's way in the final frame, and limited Reading to just four, but the tying goal eluded them.
Greenham stopped 27 of 30 in the loss. Elmira ended the night 1-for-6 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.
Mark your calendars! The Jackals return to home ice on Friday, January 24 to take on the Fort Wayne Komets. Join us for Blade's Birthday Party! 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.
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UPCOMING FIRST ARENA EVENTS:
Friday, January 24: Elmira Jackals vs. Fort Wayne, 7:05 p.m. Blade's Birthday Party. Click here for tickets.
Saturday, January 25: Elmira Jackals vs. Fort Wayne, 7:05 p.m. Able2 Cowbell Giveaway. Click here for tickets.
Sunday, January 26: Elmira Jackals vs. Fort Wayne, 4:05 p.m. Postgame Skate With the Jackals. Click here for tickets.