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READING EXTENDS DIVISION LEAD, BEATS TRENTON

Wednesday, 02.22.2006 / 10:13 AM / Los Angeles Kings | News
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READING EXTENDS DIVISION LEAD, BEATS TRENTON
Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (31-13-6=68) used solid team defense, with a pinch of spectacular goaltending, and a pair of quick goals late in the third period to defeat the Trenton Titans for the second game in a row, 3-1. With this win, the Royals extended their win streak to four games and increased the team's lead for the top slot in the North Division standings to four points over the Wheeling Nailers after fifty games.

After a scoreless first period, during which goaltender Cody Rudkowsky (16-3-3) made several big time stops, the Royals got on the board first for the fourth consecutive game.

In the early stages of the second period, with the Royals on the power play, Reading defensemen Eric Werner made a highlight reel move at the right wing point to keep the puck in the offensive end and move it to Reagan Rome, who was planted in the high slot. Rome fired a low shot on net, which required Trenton's goaltender, Scott Stirling, to make a stick stop. But the rebound fell to the top of the crease where Doug Christiansen was able to take control and bury it for his team leading twenty-fifth goal of the season at the 4:37 mark of the second.

It remained a 1-0 game until late in the third period, when the Royals' transition created a three-on-one break after the Titans had missed on a golden scoring chance. Reading's Dustin Sproat carried the puck into the offensive end and found Werner in front of the Trenton net. Werner settled the puck, picked his spot and ripped it under the bar for his sixth of the season at the 13:41 mark of the third. Forty-six seconds later, Malcolm MacMillan picked up a loose puck, after a turnover high in the defensive zone by Trenton, and MacMillan fired a laser from forty feet that beat Stirling low to the glove side for his eighth of the season–his seventh in his last 13 games for Reading–to make it 3-0 Royals.

Trenton broke up the shutout with a power play goal by Stephen Wood with 2:02 remaining. But the Royals were able to close the door for the remaining time, which included a classic toe-to-toe heavyweight knock down, drag out between the Royals' Tyler Hanchuck and Trenton's Jason Norrie with just 24 seconds remaining on the clock.