READING, Pa. - February 26, 2014 - The Elmira Jackals grabbed a first-period lead Wednesday night in Reading but couldn't make it stand up and they fell 4-1 to the Royals at Santander Arena. The loss dipped Elmira's record to 20-26-6 on the season.
Click here for tonight's box score.
The homestanding Royals had the early leg up in the first period and registered five of the first seven shots on goal. Elmira goaltender Scott Greenham hadn't seen game action since February 12 but was sharp and stopped each of the first five shots he faced. Greenham's fellow Senators prospect Ludwig Karlsson made his early efforts all the more worthwhile with his 11th goal of the season at 8:39 of the first. His high-rising wrist shot from the slot beat Reading's Brandon Anderson to the glove side and gave Elmira the 1-0 lead. Elmira held Reading without a shot for the next seven-plus minutes but a Marvin Degon wrist shot from the point created a rebound that T.J. Syner stuffed in at 14:19 to tie the score.
Reading had an abbreviated power play to start the second period but the Jackals were able to stem the tide and keep the game tied early on in the middle stanza. Danny Hobbs was tagged for high-sticking at 6:53 to give Reading its second full two-minute power play of the game and that proved to be a momentum-changing moment. Just before the power play hit its midpoint Greenham left the net to handle a Royals dump in but missed the puck. Josh Brittain centered a pass to Domenic Monardo who had a wide open net to shoot for. The rookie didn't miss and netted his 17th of the season to give Reading its first lead of the night.
The third period started off any which way but right for the Jackals as a turnover at center led to a quick scoring opportunity that the Royals cashed in on. After intercepting a stretch pass, Reading's Mike Banwell returned fire with a long feed that sent Sean Wiles in behind the Elmira defense. Wiles picked the top glove-side corner on Greenham and gave Reading a 3-1 lead just 1:43 into the final frame. The Jackals tried to get the offense on track but Reading's defense was nearly impenetrable and limited Elmira to five shots over the final 20 minutes. Ryan Cruthers added a power play goal just before the third reached the midway point and set the final.
Greenham stopped 33 of 37 shots in his return to the Jackals after a two-week stint in the American Hockey League with Binghamton. The Jackals ended the night 0-for-4 on the power play and 5-for-7 on the penalty kill.
Mark your calendars! The Jackals return to home ice on Friday, February 28 to take on the Wheeling Nailers. 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.