CINCINNATI, Ohio – The Reading Royals (9-5-0-1) used a three-goal second period to propel themselves to a 4-2 win over the Cincinnati Cyclones (8-3-2-0) in front of 3,666 at U.S. Bank Arena on Friday night. The victory for the visiting Royals extended their winning streak to eight games.
For the ninth time in thirteen contests, the Cyclones were first to get on the scoreboard. At 8:19 of the opening period, forward Dan Eves passed the puck from behind the Reading net to Cincinnati captain Mathieu Aubin who wrested a shot past the glove side of Royals goaltender Philipp Grubauer (W, 16 saves, 7-3-0). And thanks to the Captain’s second tally of the year, Cincinnati carried a 1-0 edge after 20 minutes.
The Royals, however, exploded for three unanswered goals in the middle frame. Just 49 seconds in, Denny Urban blasted in a lamplighter past Cyclones net minder Zoltan Hetenyi (L, 19 saves, 1-3-0) to knot the score at one. Then, at 4:45, Evan Barlow grabbed a puck in the Cincinnati slot and fired a snap shot over Hetenyi’s glove-shoulder to put Reading out in front 2-1. Seven minutes later, at 11:27, former Cyclone Joel Champagne caught a pass from behind the net and buried his third goal of the year to push the Royals’ edge to 3-1 – a lead they carried into the second intermission.
The Cyclones finally had an answer for Grubauer and the Royals; with 12:15 gone in the final stanza, rookie Josh Birkholz cut between the Reading circles, caught a pass from Mike Pelech and fired a wrist shot into the net for his first professional goal – shrinking the Cincinnati deficit to one. In final minutes, the Cyclones earned a power play when Scott Witecha was whistled for a holding penalty; however, Grubauer came up with some big saves to deny the tying-goal. And with just seven seconds remaining, Ian O’Connor potted an empty netter to seal a 4-2 victory for the Royals.
The Cyclones Radio Network Stars of the Game are as follows:
First Star: Denny Urban (1 goal, 1 assist for Reading)
Second Star: Yannick Tifu (2 assists for Reading)
Third Star: Mathieu Aubin (1 goal for Cincinnati)
The Cyclones will return to the ice at U.S. Bank Arena next Wednesday, November 21 when they welcome in the Toledo Walleye at 7:30pm.