Royals Drop Defensive Standoff in Game Four, 3-0
Decisive Game Five Necessitated After Elmira Breaks Scoreless Tie with Third-Period Game Winner
April 7, 2012
Elmira, NY – The Reading Royals of the ECHL (2-2-0), affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League and the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League, were defeated by the Elmira Jackals (2-2-0), 3-0, in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal playoff series at First Arena in Elmira, New York. The Jackals broke a scoreless tie 7:34 into the third period and tacked on a couple of late game empty netters to send the first round best-of-five series to a decisive final game on Monday.
Mark Owuya (2-2-0, 25/26, 2 eng) made a couple of big saves to keep things scoreless until the third, when the Jackals finally squeaked one through. Brian Stewart (2-1-0, 28/28) put up the sixth playoff shutout against the Royals in the eleven year history of the team. The Royals’ power play was stymied for the third time in four playoff games against the Jackals (0-5). Elmira’s power play was blanked for the fourth straight time (0-2).
After a tight, close-to-the-vest scoreless first two periods—which did have an intermittent offensive chance or two for both clubs—the Jackals finally broke the 0-0 knot 7:34 into the third period, when defenseman Matt Campanale forced the puck deep into the Royals’ end. Campanale worked on the end wall with Reading’s Denny Urban on his back. As the puck got the half-wall on the right wing side, Campanale forced it into the right circle where he regained possession and fired a low wrister that slipped under Owuya for his first of the playoff season.
Reading pressed hard at that point, but the Royals were unable to break through despite generating several quality chances down the stretch. Late in the game, with the goalie pulled and the sixth attacker on the ice, the Jackals bagged a couple of empty netters—the first by Rob Bellamy (at 19:19) and a second by Mario Larocque 18 seconds later—to ice the game and send it a decisive Game Five on Monday at Elmira’s First Arena.
The Royals and Jackals return to First Arena in Elmira, New York for a decisive Game Five in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series on Monday (April 9, 2012 @ 7:05 pm). Monday’s game night broadcast will start at 6:35 pm with the Red Robin Gourmet Burger Pre-Game Warm-up Show on ESPN Radio 1240 am in Reading. Streaming audio is available free of charge courtesy of America One through the Royals’ website, www.royalshockey.com. As with all Royals road games this season, Monday’s game will be televised live locally in Berks County, Pennsylvania on BCTV courtesy of Boscov’s Travel and the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.