ELMIRA, N.Y. - In their final home game of 2013 the Elmira Jackals were unable to slow down Reading's attack and fell by a score of 6-2 at First Arena on Thursday night. The loss dipped Elmira's record to 9-13-3 on the season.
Click here for tonight's box score.
Click here for tonight's postgame comments.
The game got off to an inauspicious start when former Jackal Louie Caporusso buried Reading's first shot of the game. His initial bid clanged off of the post to the right of Elmira goalie Maxime Clermont, but Caporusso bulled his way to the rebound and jammed it home for his sixth of the season. Reading's lead ballooned to two just over 10 minutes later when Dustin Gazley banged home a rebound for his seventh of the season. Then Elmira began to dig its way out of the hole when Kyle Bushee fired a wrist shot past Reading's Riley Gill at 13:27. The goal was Bushee's fourth of the year and second in as many games against Reading. Despite a 16-7 Reading shot advantage, the Jackals headed into the intermission down just one.
The Jackals and Royals struggled to a near stalemate for much of the second period, but it was the Royals who blinked first and allowed Elmira to tie the score. Jordan Pietrus fed the puck to Ludwig Karlsson in the left wing circle and the Jackals' rookie alertly spotted Rob Bellamy alone on the doorstep. Bellamy tapped home Karlsson's feed for his seventh of the year at 13:03. Elmira couldn't enjoy that feat for long, though, because Reading's Doug Clarkson slammed home the rebound of a fluky bounce in front 1:26 after Bellamy's goal. Elmira had a chance to tie it again with a late second period power play, but after Reading killed it off T.J. Syner accepted a breakaway pass and scored on Clermont with less than a second remaining in the period.
Reading fed off of the momentum of Syner's late goal and cashed in two more in the third. Michael Cjakovsky slapped home a shorthanded goal at 5:10 and Syner finished off a pretty passing play from Gazley to at 8:53 set the final score. Reading was smothering in its own end and limited the Jackals to just four shots in the final stanza.
Clermont turned away 31 shots but was saddled with the loss. Reading's Gill stopped 20 for the win. Elmira ended the contest 0-for-3 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill.
Mark your calendars! The Jackals return to home ice on Saturday, January 4 to take on the Wheeling Nailers. Get here early to be one of the first 1,000 fans through the door to get your free M & T Bank Thundersticks! 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.