Better effort from the Royals, but same result

This article can be found published on Something’s Bruin.
The Reading Royals had a better defensive effort, but are still trying to get back in the win column. (Candice Monhollan)

The Reading Royals had a better defensive effort, but are still trying to get back in the win column. (Candice Monhollan)

READING, Pa. – It was safe to say the Reading Royals got off to a far better start than their last game, but the outcome was still the same. They lost Thursday night, 4-1, to the South Carolina Stingrays in Karel St-Laurent‘s first appearance in net for the Royals.

“All-in-all, I didn’t think we played all that bad of a game,” coach Larry Courville said. “We kept them under 25 shots…I thought we competed, but the mistakes that we made cost us.”

After a scoreless first, the Royals needed only took 37 seconds into the second period to strike. Rob Kwiet’s shot from the blue line off a face-off win by Casey Haines was deflected before sneaking between South Carolina’s Philipp Grubauer. Haines was credited with the goal.

South Carolina was able to rebound from the goal as Danick Paquette was able to tie the game on a second effort with St-Laurent down on the ice. Paquette attempted to stuff the puck past St-Laurent, but the rebound came right back to him.

The Stingrays took the lead late in the second period, which would end up being the game winner, as Trent Campbell passed the puck to David de Kastrozza who shot it into an empty net with just 56.8 seconds remaining. They took a 2-1 lead into the intermission and never looked back.

Despite having the second best power play in the ECHL, the Royals were unable to score on their three chances in the game. The Stingrays, however, were able to convert on one of their four chances.

With Matt Caruana in the box for the third time in the game, the Stingrays made the Royals pay. Zach Tarkir fed the puck from behind the net to a waiting Jerry Pollastrone all alone at the top of the crease. He buried it above St-Laurent’s shoulder for a 3-1 Stingrays lead 6:02 into the third period.

Paquette added another insurance goal for South Carolina on a similar play. He scored his second of the night top shelf on St-Laurent off a feed from Anthony Maiani with 5:55 left in the game. The Royals lost their second straight game and are now 2-2-1-0.

“Before we were cheating, but I don’t think we cheated at all tonight,” Courville said. “We made some mistakes that cost us, so I think we’re hopefully going in the right direction. We just got to get more pucks to the net, more traffic to the net.”

*  *  *

Ryan Button, the Boston Bruins‘ third-round draft pick from 2009, suited up for the Royals. He was sent to the team from the Providence Bruins Wednesday. Courville had him in the starting line-up and he even saw time on the penalty kill.

“I thought for his first game, he played pretty well since he didn’t know much of our systems,” Courville said. “I thought he was one of our better defensemen out there tonight. He competes, he plays physical [and] he can move the puck well.”

Button said the illness he had kept him off the ice for two and a half weeks and Thursday night was his first game in three weeks.

“[It] was a little difficult to get into it, but I thought as the game went along I got a little more accustomed to it,” Button said. “For only being down here for a day, I feel comfortable, which is a credit to this team and this organization.”

Reading fans shouldn’t get too attached though, as Button said he is only here for the weekend.

“The team is playing well up in Providence, and that’s a credit to them,” Button said. “They’re not going to change the line-up so they decided to send me down to get some games and I’ll hopefully be right back up.”

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Categories: ECHL, Ice Hockey, Sports

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