READING, Pa. - The Elmira Jackals earned at least one standings point for the third time in their last four games thanks to a third period comeback effort. The win escaped Elmira, though, as Reading won the shootout 2-1 and the game 4-3 on Wednesday night at Santander Arena. The defeat moved Elmira's record to 4-9-2 on the season.
Over the last two weeks the Jackals had scored the first goal of the game just once and were forced to play from behind more often than they'd have liked. Tonight, though, they bucked that trend as Jean Bourbeau hammered home a one-timer from the left wing circle 9:52 into the game. Bourbeau, who had four assists in three games last week against Kalamazoo, stayed hot with his second goal of the season. Patch Alber picked up his first pro point with the assist, and Rob Bellamy also registered a helper. Jackals goalie Scott Greenham only saw five shots in the period, but the final one off the stick of Domenic Monardo knotted the game at one. Louie Caporusso set up the power play goal with a shot from the high slot that Greenham kicked out, but Monardo potted the rebound for his seventh of the season. Reading thought it had taken a 2-1 lead moments later, but the goal was waved off due to incidental contact with the goaltender.
Before many fans at Santander arena had settled into their seats for the start of the second Reading had taken a 2-1 lead. Monardo took the puck between the circles after a faceoff win by Caporusso and wristed a shot off of Greenham's blocker and in. The goal was Monardo's second of the night and came just 17 seconds into the frame. The Jackals spent the remainder of the period furiously trying to find the tying score. Their efforts produced 17 shots during the second period, including 10 on two power play chances, but Reading's Brandon Anderson turned away each shot he faced to keep his club ahead by one heading into the third.
Elmira's comeback effort hit an early speedbump in the third when Reading's T.J. Syner was sprung on a breakaway just past eight minutes in. The speedy forward sent a low wrist shot Greenham's way and it found a way to squeak through for a 3-1 Royals lead. The Jackals kept their collective foot on the accelerator, though, and pushed home a pair of goals to tie it. Just after his minor penalty expired, Matt Carter was sprung on a breakaway by Jakub Culek and beat Anderson high to the glove side and pulled Elmira within one. Jordan Pietrus capped the comeback with just over two minutes left when he finished a pretty centering pass by Maxim Lamarche.
In overtime the team's treated the fans to a thrilling final 10 seconds. After Greenham stopped a Reading 2-on-1, the Jackals worked a counter attack that set up Kyle Bushee with a good look from the high slot. His snap shot was blocked, though, and Syner raced the other way against the clock for a breakaway. He got a shot off with one second remaining, but Greenham slammed the door to send it to a shootout.
In the breakaway competition Carter scored in the top of the second for Elmira, but Reading got goals from Caporusso in the bottom of the fourth and Syner in the bottom of the fifth to snag the win.
Greenham stopped 21 shots in the loss while Anderson denied 34 for the win. Elmira ended the night 0-for-2 on the power play and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill.