Galiev’s hat trick propels Royals to win

Teddy bears were thrown onto the ice after Stanislav Galiev’s first goal of the game Saturday night. (Candice Monhollan)

Teddy bears were thrown onto the ice after Stanislav Galiev’s first goal of the game Saturday night. (Candice Monhollan)

READING, Pa. – The Reading Royals may be a dominating 11-0-0-1 when they score first, but it’s a very different 6-7 when they don’t, and that’s the situation they faced Saturday night against the Orlando Solar Bears and the return of former captain Ryan Cruthers.

On a night where seven minutes of penalty time in the third could have proven costly, the penalty killers and goaltender Philipp Grubauer stood tall and the Royals extended their latest win streak to five with a 5-3 victory.

“Taking a five-minute major penalty with 14 minutes left in the game wasn’t a smart decision by us,” head coach Larry Courville said. “They may have had one or two chances on that power play, but we used…a good rotation. Guys kept it short. Our PK has been solid the last seven or eight games.”

Since going 1-5-0-1 to start the season, the Royals took off the next 19 games with a record of 17-2, something Courville has not recalled ever being a part of before.

“Maybe my Bantam A team in Lancaster,” Courville said. “It’s a great run. I give those guys the credit because they’ve been working hard in practice and it’s resulting in games right now.”

The Royals weren’t fortunate to get the first goal of the game, which instead went to Orlando’s C.J. Severyn. Grubauer made the initial save and Bryant Molle did his job trying to tie up Severyn, but he was able to get his stick free and push it past Grubauer at 9:02 of the first.

Just over three minutes later, the Royals came back with a score of their own. Stanislav Galiev needed only 18 seconds of power-play time to slap a puck from one knee past goaltender John Curry. The goal brought a rain of teddy bears onto the ice that took several players and members of our Armed Forces to clean up.

Galiev tallied his second of the night 1:07 later over Curry’s shoulder, but it was a short-lived lead for the Royals as a minute later a simple attempt to corral the puck led to a goal. Adam Comrie tried to scoop the puck and skate down the other way, but was unable to and an unsuspecting and unprepared Grubauer had no chance to try and stop it.

All Grubauer and Comrie could do was look to the sky in frustration as Dan Gendur received credit for the goal.

The Royals allowed the Solar Bears to gain in shots and the second turned into a back-and-forth game as both teams traded goals 17 seconds apart.

Yannick Tifu skated in one-on-one and after a couple dekes, beat Curry to regain the lead for the Royals, but Severyn scored his second of the night right after and the primary assist went to Cruthers, who received a loud bout of boos from the crowd.

After that, the Royals put on the burners and began throwing rubber Curry’s way and out-shot the Solar Bears 16-6 in the period and tallied one more goal.

On a two-man advantage for 1:41, Galiev completed his first pro hat trick with a rebound goal, bringing a second shower down onto the ice, this time with head-wear.

“I’ve got the confidence now,” Galiev said. “I trust the coach. He gave me a lot of time on the ice and it works for me.”

A trying moment for the Royals came 4:18 into the third when Danick Paquette hit Sean Lorenz high and hard into the boards. He was assessed a boarding major and tossed from the game, putting the Royals in a precarious situation with a one-goal lead.

The Royals were able to provide excellent penalty-killing work along with some key saves from Grubauer and with an empty-net goal from Ian O’Connor with 3.2 seconds left, sealed the win.

“Anytime you have a lead and the game is running down, you don’t really want to be down a man and battling,” Ethan Cox said. “Guys dug in and battled hard. It wasn’t pretty at times, but we got the job done.”

NOTES

Earlier in the day, goaltender Sergey Kostenko was activated and loaned to the Royals. He backed up Grubauer in the game.

According to Courville, Grubauer will receive the start in net Sunday against the Elmira Jackals. Kostenko has not had a full practice since last season and Courville wants to give him time to get in better shape before putting him in net.

Kostenko replaced Brandon Anderson, who left for home.

“Anderson had to go home for some family responsibilities,” Courville said. “Not sure when he will be back, or if he will be back.”

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Categories: ECHL, Ice Hockey, Sports

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