Royals’ lackluster effort results in 7-2 loss

The Reading Royals enjoyed a postgame skate with the fans after the loss. (Candice Monhollan)

The Reading Royals enjoyed a postgame skate with the fans after the loss. (Candice Monhollan)

READING, Pa. – Despite coming off a win in front of their home crowd the night before, the Reading Royals came out flat against the Florida Everblades Saturday and were beaten, 7-2.

The Everblades weren’t about to let a repeat of the night before happen again. After leading 5-3 against the Trenton Titans at one point in the second, the Titans scored five unanswered goals to win 8-5. If they were still angry over the loss, they showed it as they came out and dominated the Royals from top to bottom in the game.

“We didn’t show up in front of [the goalies],” head coach Larry Courville said. “Could [Joe Palmer] have made a couple of those saves? Yeah, to bail us out, but it was embarrassing…I thought maybe one or two guys played well and the rest didn’t show up.”

Royals captain Ryan Cruthers expressed the same feelings. He said the team came out flat and left the goalies out to dry.

“You can’t really fault [Palmer] on those goals,” Cruthers said. “He got us some points last weekend and then he played well tonight. They got a couple of rebound goals we didn’t box out two or three times. We didn’t come ready to play.”

It didn’t take long for the Everblades to strike. A shot from Trevor Bruess hit goaltender Palmer and trickled behind him 2:10 into the game.

Justin Shugg gave the Everblades a 2-0 lead just 78 seconds when he backhanded a rebound in.

Philip-Michael Devos extended the lead to 3-0 with Dennis McCauley in the box for interference. Shugg’s shot was stopped by Palmer, but the rebound landed right on Devos’ stick and wasted no time shooting it into the net.

The Everblades kept the pace up when David Rutherford scored top shelf 15 seconds into the second period to take a 4-0 lead.

Florida kept piling on the goals. With Rob Kwiet in the box for cross-checking, David Fischer fired a slap shot to make it 5-0 at the 3:13 mark of the second. Palmer was yanked after the goal in favor of Mark Owuya who played the night before.

After a series of penalties on the Everblades, including two 5-on-3s, the Royals were finally able to get on the board. Shortly after the first penalty expired in the second 5-on-3, Matt Caruana’s shot from the side of the net deflected off the back of goaltender Pat Nagle’s skate and into the net.

An early power play in the third period for Reading gave them a chance to gain momentum in a game that seemed to be going all Florida’s way. Cruthers’ shot from the point pulled the Royals to within three.

The Everblades ended any hope of a comeback when Mathieu Roy pounced on a rebound in the crease 3:57 after Cruthers’ tally, making it 6-2.

To add more salt to the wound, Robby Dee sniped the puck past Owuya for a shorthanded tally.

The Royals spent the majority of time in their end allowed 42 shots. Palmer allowed five goals on 24 shots and Owuya let in two on 18 shots.

“In the end, if you don’t show up and don’t work hard – don’t take the man [and] don’t take the body – teams are going to walk all over you,” Courville said.


  • Kwiet and Cruthers were a team worst minus-3 in the game.
  • Olivier Labelle had six shots on net, the most out of both teams.
  • John Scrymgeour was activated off injured reserve and played in the game.
  • Derrick LaPoint was loaned to the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL, leaving the team with five defensemen.

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Categories: ECHL, Ice Hockey, Sports

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