New look Royals continue success with win over Titans

This article can be found published on Something’s Bruin.
Mark Owuya received his fifth straight start Saturday night and improved his record to 10-3-2-1. (Candice Monhollan)

Mark Owuya received his fifth straight start Saturday night and improved his record to 10-3-2-1. (Candice Monhollan)

READING, Pa. – Two wins in a row at home.

Through 62 games this season, the Reading Royals were unable to pull off that feat, but Saturday night against the Trenton Titans, they were finally able to do just that with a 2-1 win.

After all the moves made the past week, head coach Larry Courville’s team has gone 2-0 over the weekend. It’s hard to argue with the results being shown on the ice.

“We wanted to add some depth and we wanted to add some compete,” Courville said. “The compete level this year for us has been really disappointing.”

New addition Ethan Cox arrived at the arena forty minutes before game time and regardless of the amount of travel he went through that day, still suited up and played a strong game without showing much, if any, fatigue.

“The only thing I was really thinking of tonight was more or less trying to play as smart as possible,” Cox said. “I wasn’t thinking that my legs and lungs were going to be there in the capacity that I’m used to, so I was more trying to focus on playing smart. I was excited to be here and wanted to make as much of a good impression as I possibly could with the circumstances that I had.”

Courville liked what he saw from the 24 year old, acquired from the Alaska Aces for Ryan Cruthers.

“The Cox kid today I thought was unbelievable, to be honest,” Courville said. “He flew 18 hours, drove to the rink here and played a game. He was great defensively. He was great for us tonight.”

The Royals came out looking like more of a cohesive team than the previous night and had a good first period, despite the scoreless outcome.

Denny Urban had the first great scoring chance of the game 1:44 in, but goaltender Brad Phillips slid across the crease to rob him of the game’s first goal.

Five minutes later, Ray Macias gifted the Titans with a prime opportunity with his giveaway behind the net. The pass was sent right to the slot for a point-blank shot. Goaltender Mark Owuya made the save, but the puck landed behind him in the crease. Macias redeemed himself by diving into the crease to swipe the puck out of danger.

The game remained scoreless past the halfway point of the second. Owuya made a huge right-pad save on Andy Bohmbach eight minutes in and twenty seconds later, Ian O’Connor broke through two Titans and got a shot off, but hit the post.

The Titans broke through on the power play with Olivier Labelle in the box for slashing. Adam Presizniuk’s pass was tipped in by Dustin Cameron, standing at the left pipe, to give the Titans the 1-0 lead 10:55 into the second.

The Royals thought they had tied the game with 5:59 left when a mass of bodies was whacking away and pushing in front of Phillips. The Royals celebrated, but no light went on and the referee signaled no goal.

The Royals soon forgot about it as they were able to get on the board before the period ended. While on the power play, Matt Caruana sent a cross-ice pass backdoor to Mikael Bedard. He whiffed on the shot, but it didn’t matter as Phillips over-committed on Caruana and left an open net for Bedard to tie the game with 34.1 seconds left in the second.

With the power-play goal, the Royals could be happy knowing their record of 22-9-0-2 would dictate a better chance of winning the game, and combined with the help of the new roster, it happened.

Chris Doyle, in his second game as a Royal, scored on the rebound to give the Royals the 2-1 lead 4:21 into the final period.

The lead would hold after the Royals were able to shut down the Titans, for the most part and Owuya came up with some big saves at the end to keep them ahead. With less than a minute to go and with Phillips pulled for the extra attacker, the Titans were called for a too many men penalty, which iced the game for them.

Though the team may now look accustomed to each other on the ice, it’s a different situation in the locker room as the new guys are learning who now sits across from them.

“Everyone has been really well to me and acknowledges the crazy situation,” Cox said. “It’s not every day that they see someone in jeans and a T-shirt walk in five minutes before warm-up for an ECHL game. They’re awesome. They’re welcoming and I’m excited to get to know the group of guys in the locker room.”

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Categories: ECHL, Ice Hockey, Sports

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