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ROYALS DROP OVERTIME THRILLER IN TOLEDO

Friday, 02.03.2006 / 12:56 PM / Los Angeles Kings | News
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ROYALS DROP OVERTIME THRILLER IN TOLEDO
Toledo, OH – The Reading Royals (25-11-3=53) scored early and held a one-goal lead late, but the Toledo Storm tied the game with 4:07 remaining and scored 3:25 into overtime to complete a comeback OT win over Reading, 4-3. The Royals got a goal and an assist from Mike Kompon, who extended his personal point streak to a league high twenty-one games, and outstanding goaltending from Yutaka Fukufuji, who stopped 45 shots, as Reading extended the team's unbeaten streak to three games (2-0-1).

The Royals struck 1:12 into the first period, when Tyler Hanchuck fired one from the left point. Toledo goaltender, Drew McIntyre, made the original stop but the rebound fell to the top of the crease, where Shay Stephenson took control of the puck and fired it home for his tenth goal of the season. The Storm tied the game at one late in the first, when the Royals failed to clear the defensive zone, and Storm defenseman Jeff Lang found Brad Bonello all alone at the right side of the net. Bonello made a nice move to the top of the crease and jammed it home with 3:43 remaining in the first.

The second period featured wild sequences of up-and-down hockey punctuated by tremendous stops at both ends of the ice. But the Storm broke the deadlock at the 15:27 mark of the second, when the Royals were caught up ice and Bracken Kearns was sprung on a one-on-none break. Kearns buried the shot high, stick side on Fukufuji to give the Storm their first lead of the game at 2-1. But the Royals would tie it again with just 21 seconds remaining in the second, while Reading was skating on a five-on-three power play. It appeared that Toledo was going to be able to clear the zone, but a nice play by Chris Bala kept the puck in the Royals' offensive end and forced the play deep into the left wing corner. Doug Christiansen dug the puck out and got it to Mike Kompon, who skated out of the corner and towards the net. Kompon then found Dany Roussin sniping out in front for the second Royals' goal, as Roussin extended his personal point streak to nine games.

The game's physicality ramped up in the third period, and the Royals regained the lead when Christiansen forced a defensive zone turnover by the Storm. Kompon ended up with the puck in the mid-slot and ripped a low hard snap shot stick side on McIntyre to give the Royals a 3-2 lead with just 7:47 remaining in the game. But that just ignited the Storm, who turned up the pressure and tied things up with 4:07 remaining when defenseman Jeff Lang took a feed Mike James feed from behind the net and stuffed it home. In the overtime, the Storm and Royals traded chances until Toledo 's Chris Blight fired a seeing-eye shot from the top of the left circle that beat Fukufuji high on the short side with just 1:25 remaining in the extra frame.