The Reading Royals (1-0-0-0) raced out to a quick 3-0 lead and beat the Elmira Jackals (0-1-0-0), 6-2, on opening night at Santander Arena in Reading Saturday night.
The Royals jumped on the Jackals in the first period and quickly opened a 3-0 lead halfway through the period. Oliver Labelle started the scoring with a power-play goal from the right circle at 6:30 after the Royals maintained possession in the offensive zone for nearly the entire power play. Just 1:22 later, Steven Swavely found a loose puck near the crease and roofed a shot over Andy Iles to make it 2-0 at 7:52. A few minutes later, Kris Newbury converted a give-and-go with a shot from the slot to make it 3-0 Reading at 10:19.
The Jackals started to gain momentum as the first period continued and they got on the board with a power-play goal at 12:54, with Charlie Mosey banging home a rebound at the left circle to make it 3-1. Cole Martin and Benjamin Dieude-Fauvel picked up the assists on Mosey’s first ECHL goal.
The Jackals carved into the lead in the second period with another power-play goal, with Mike Radja scoring from the bottom of the right circle after Daultan Leveille rang a shot off the post. Casey Thrush also picked up an assist on the play, making it 3-2 at 7:18. Reading snatched momentum late in the second period with Chris McCarthy converting an odd-man rush with 9.1 seconds left in the period to give the Royals a 4-2 lead heading into the third period.
The Royals put the game away in the third period, scoring twice to build their lead to four. First, Labelle scored his second of the night, another power-play goal that came from almost the same spot as his first goal. This one came at 9:20 of the period. Then, with just under five minutes to play Ryan Penny capped the scoring with a backhand goal from near the crease, giving the Royals a 6-2 win.
Andy Iles was strong in net for the Jackals in the loss, stopping 32 of 38 Royals shots as Reading outshot Elmira 38-20. Both teams scored two power-play goals.
(Courtesy: Elmira Jackals)