ROYALS COME FROM BEHIND, BEAT GREENVILLE

Thursday, 03.02.2006 / 11:57 AM / Los Angeles Kings | News
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ROYALS COME FROM BEHIND, BEAT GREENVILLE
Reading , PA – The Reading Royals (33-14-7=73) got their offense from their defense as they came from behind to win the team's last out-of-division regular season game over the Greenville Grrrowl, 4-2. Defenseman T.J. Kemp bagged his third multi-goal performance of the season–and his third game winner–as the Royals extended their lead in the North Division over the Wheeling Nailers to a season high five points.

Greenville struck first 5:53 into the game, when John Snowden picked up a loose rebound in front of the Royals' net and backhanded it behind Royals' goaltender Cody Rudkowsky (17-4-3, 30/32) for his twenty-third goal of the season. Reading tied things at one five seconds after the team's first power play had expired when Corey LeClair took a shot from the point that was dug out of the left wing corner and controlled by Larry Courville, who picked up the first of his three assists on the night, when he made a brilliant diagonal back-door feed to Kemp who had slipped up on the right wing side. Kemp buried the one-timer on his off-wing for his eleventh goal of the season at the 14:13 mark of the first period to tie things at one.

The Royals took their first lead of the game while on the power play, when Eric Werner kept a clearing attempt by the Grrrowl at the left wing point. Werner then stepped into the slot and created space for himself by shaking a check with a shoulder fake. He then ripped a snap shot behind Greenville 's goaltender Cam Ellsworth for his eighth goal of the season at the 4:12 mark of the second period. Later in the second, Kemp picked up what proved to be the game winner when Tyler Hanchuck battled at the defensive blue line to steal a puck and spring Larry Courville on a two-on-one break with Dustin Sproat. Rather than try to thread the needle to Sproat, however, Courville dropped a pass in the right circle to the trailing Kemp who uncorked a blast behind Ellsworth to give the Royals a 3-1 lead with 5:57 left in the second.

The Royals played solid team defense in the third, but the Grrrowl gave the Sovereign Center faithful pause to think when Rory McMahon bagged a goal with ten seconds left and the sixth attacker on the ice to make it 3-2. The Royals however ended the game with an empty netter by Malcolm McMillan in the waning moments to reduce the Royals' "magic number" to any combination of four points earned by Reading or four points lost by the Dayton Bombers to clinch the organization's third playoff appearance in this fifth anniversary season.