The Elmira Jackals exploded offensively for seven goals tonight at Santander Arena in Reading, PA to ruin the Royals' home opener 7-2. Cason Hohmann led the team with a four-point outing and Sam Marotta turned aside 21 shots to earn his second win in as many tries.
The scoring came early and often as Cason Hohmann opened the game with a goal from the slot just 1:40 into the opening period. Colin Jacobs and Nick Zappia earned the assists off a strong face-off win and a shot directed to the net, which found Hohmann in the slot. Zappia's assist was his first point in his first game as a Jackal. However, the Royals would respond only a minute and one second later as Robbie Czarnik buried off an offensive rush. Former Jackals Kevin Sundher and Maxim Lamarche earned the assists. The Jackals would regain the lead before the end of the first period with their first power-play marker of the season. Hohmann fed the puck along to Spiro Goulakos at the point for the shot which tipped off Taylor Stefishen and trickled past Connor Knapp. Goulakos' helper was his first professional point and it would be one of three assists on the evening.
The Jackals pounced on the Royals early again in the second period with, who else, Cason Hohmann. The rookie from Arlington, TX directed an off-angle shot on net from low in the zone and luckily had it bounce past Knapp. Josh Chapman and Chris Langkow earned the assists on Hohmann's second goal of the night. Chapman's helper was also his first professional point. Just over three minutes later the pack struck again as player/assistant coach and veteran captain Nathan Oystrick blasted a slapshot from the point past Knapp. Matt Garbowsky and Justin Bernhardt were credited with the assists, which was Bernhardt's first point as a Jackal. The 4-1 advantage early in the second period chased Knapp from the net and forced Reading to bring in newly-signed back-up goaltender Nick Niedert. Niedert, who attended training camp with the Jackals, was promptly scored on by former teammate Colin Jacobs. Nick Zappia found Goulakos at the point and the Colgate University product made a nice move to fake the shot and slide past the defender finding Jacobs backdoor for the goal. Just 20 seconds later former Jackal Riley Armstrong broke through the defense and potted his first goal of the season to give the home crowd something to cheer about as the Jackals had stolen the momentum from the building.
Elmira came out in the third period looking to play shut-down defensively and protect its three-goal lead without taking any unnecessary chances. They stifled the Royals' attack, allowing just four total shots in the frame, while recording six of their own including two more tallies. First, Taylor Stefishen added his second of the night on a beautiful tic-tac-toe play following a neutral zone turnover by Reading. Stefishen started the rush, fed the puck to Hohmann who delivered it to Garbowsky and the R.I.T product touched it along to Stefishen backdoor for the sixth Jackals goal. They would add one more later in the third period as Goulakos passed it to Chapman who fired a shot that appeared to be tipped in by Jacobs in front, however the scoring sheet listed the goal as Chapman's, which would be his first professional goal if it holds up.
Marotta turned aside 21 of 23 shots faced for his second win in as many games. Knapp suffered the loss, allowing four goals on ten shots. Niedert allowed three goals on 11 shots in relief duty.
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