Royals fail to gain in standings with loss to Everblades

This article can be found published on Something’s Bruin.
Denny Urban scored his eighth goal of the season Sunday night. (Mike Ashmore)

Denny Urban scored his eighth goal of the season Sunday night. (Mike Ashmore)

READING, Pa. – With four games in five nights, the Reading Royals were unable to finish off the week strong and take advantage of moving into eighth place in the conference. The Florida Everblades once again got the best of the Royals as they stopped a late push from the home team and took the game, 4-2, Sunday night.

“You could tell it was a little slower, a little sloppier,” forward Casey Haines said. “I thought we were getting the calls, but just couldn’t get the bounces. They were fortunate enough to bury their opportunities. I had a bad turnover there at the end that they scored on that didn’t help us out.”

The Royals had been playing with a strong roster, it took a major hit the night before as three players were knocked out of the game and a fourth was added to the list Sunday, leaving the Royals one defenseman short, along with the addition of two new players.

“I don’t want to look for excuses,” head coach Larry Courville said. “We lost four guys for tonight’s game. We thought we only lost three and then [Marc] Cantin came in for game time and wasn’t able to put his skate on. It’s a big loss for us.”

The Royals had a tough time the majority of the game and were down after two periods, but began to battle back in the third, but it wasn’t enough.

“We got down a couple and we had to fight back,” Haines said. “The effort was there at the end, at least. We didn’t quit.”

The Royals were handed a prime opportunity to score the game’s first goal with a 5-on-3 for 1:28, but were unable to succeed as goaltender John Muse and the Everblades’ penalty killers stopped them. Fourteen seconds after it expired, Florida was able to get on the board with a wrister in the slot from Rylan Galiardi at 8:26.

“You’ve got to capitalize on a 5-on-3 opportunity, especially with the way we’ve been struggling offensively here the last little bit,” Courville said. “It could have changed the momentum of the game.”

Life slowly drained out of the Royals after the goal and they looked like the team that had been on the road for 12 days instead of the Everblades.

Florida extended its lead at 5:25 of the second. Scott Pitt sent a pass from the left toward a hard-charging Brandon MacLean coming down the slot. He cut to the right of goaltender Mark Owuya and put it above him for a 2-0 lead.

Slowly but surely, the legs began to return for the Royals in the third period.

Yannick Tifu ended Muse’s shutout bid at 7:53. Yannick Riendeau sent a long pass up the ice to Tifu. His shot from the left side hit the right post and went in to make it 2-1. The shot also happened to be the first of the period for the Royals.

The goal woke up the sluggish Royals and they began pressuring the Everblades, but as time was running out, a turnover led to the Royals’ demise. Haines turned the puck over to Pitt and he sent it over to Brayden Irwin. Owuya held tight to the left pipe, but Irwin’s shot somehow squeaked through with 1:19 left.

Owuya was pulled immediately after the goal for the extra attacker, and it paid off as Denny Urban scored with 43.5 seconds left, but it was too little too late for the Royals.

The Everblades sealed the outcome with an empty-net goal from Matt Beca with 19 seconds left for the 4-2 win.

Fortunately for the Royals, Cincinnati also lost and Chicago was only able to gain a point, putting eighth through 10th place in a tie with 69 points.

“We just have to win out,” Courville said. “I don’t want to look at the scoreboard. Let’s dictate our own fate by winning games.”

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Categories: ECHL, Ice Hockey, Sports

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