READING, Pa. –The Reading Royals were less than 41 minutes away from reaching the ECHL Eastern Conference Finals, but a funny thing happened along the way. The Florida Everblades, the defending Kelly Cup champions, changed things in a hurry. Florida scored two goals in a 1:30 second span and propelled themselves into a winner take all Game Seven Wednesday night in Reading, Pa as the Everblades hung on for a 2-1 win and evened the series up at 3-3.
Like a boxing match, both teams seemed tentative to end things early through two periods but Reading scored with 50 seconds left in the second period thanks to Barry Almeida to give the Royals a 1-0 lead going into the third period.
Than in one fell swoop the Blades Adam Brace and Leigh Salters put Floida up 2-1. Salters goal was controversial in that it appeared his stick might have been above the crossbar but the refs called it a goal and bad memories of recent playoff collapses hit the Royals fans hard. Unfortunitly for them they will have to come back Wednesday night to see how this street fight will end.
For the first time in the playoffs, the Royals were outshot in a playoff game (28-27). It also didn’t help either team both teams only had one playoff chance each. Neither team scored on their opportunity.
Reading started goaltender Riley Gill or Mark Owuya but you can expect Owuya to be in net in a deciding Game Seven. Jessie Deckert got the win for Florida.
The winner of Game Seven will go on to meet the Cincinnati Cyclones who defeated the Gwinnett Gladiators in six games Tuesday night.
Contact the author at Brian.Jennings@prohockeynews.com