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ROYALS CAN'T COMEBACK, LOSE TO TOLEDO 4-3

Tuesday, 01.17.2006 / 12:46 PM / Los Angeles Kings | News
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ROYALS CAN\'T COMEBACK, LOSE TO TOLEDO 4-3
Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (23-9-2=48) scored early but were unable to hold off the Toledo Storm , who scored twice on the power play and once while shorthanded, to take a lead that they would not relinquish down the stretch, despite a valiant come back attempt by Reading, as Toledo won, 4-3. The Royals are yet to win on Sundays this season going 0-4-0 thus far. With this loss, Reading 's home record drops to 10-6-1.

Reading scored 32 seconds into the game when Jeff State scored his first goal of the season. Doug Christiansen found Dany Roussin breaking into the offensive end, and Roussin went hard to the net; but Toledo goaltender, Drew MacIntyre rejected Roussin's effort. The rebound, however, kicked into the high slot where the trailing State fired it home for the 1-0 lead. Toledo answered with their first power play goal of the night, when Ken McGowan fired one out of the right circle off the rush that Royals' goaltender, Yutaka Fukufuji, got a piece of, but could not keep out of the net at the 8:21 mark of the first. Toledo took a 2-1 lead 2:05 later when Gerry Burke took a shot from the right point that appeared to hit someone or something in front of the Royals net and eluded Fukufuji.

In the second, the Storm went up 3-1 with a short-handed goal when Chris Blight blocked a shot, which kick started a breakaway into the Royals' end. Although Fukufuji made the stop on the original shot by Blight, the Royals could not control the rebound and the trailing Jeff Attard buried it 18:47 into the period. 21 seconds later, however, the Royals made it a one-goal game again after a scramble in front of the Toledo net, when Doug Christiansen slipped a loose puck from the top of the crease behind MacIntyre.

In the third, Toledo took a 4-2 lead with their second power play goal of the game. After a turnover in the defensive zone, Fukufuji made a spectacular stacked pad stop on Mike James, but the puck flew off Fukufuji's pads high into the air; and Chris Blight swatted it out of mid-air into the Royals' net. Reading made a game of it down the stretch when Chris Bala snuck between a couple of Toledo defenders and went right to the net, where his backhander slid between the legs of MacIntyre with 4:21 remaining. Despite turning up the pressure down the stretch, the Royals were unable match the magic of the past two games, losing for the first time this season to Toledo at the Sovereign Center in three tries.