READING, PA – Despite battling back in the waning moments Friday night, the Kalamazoo Wings comeback bid fell short in a 5-4 loss at the Santander Arena against the Reading Royals.
The K-Wings lead grew 9:04 into the stanza when Sam Ftorek found Ryan Del Monte in front of the net for the Del Monte’s seventh goal of the campaign.
The Royals responded less than a minute later with a goal from Yannick Tifu (19th).
The goal from Tifu rejuvenated Reading. Dominic Monardo notched his team-leading 27th tally of the season 23 seconds later to even the game at 2-2.
Before the end of the first, Greg Wolfe (3rd) put the Royals ahead with a rebound marker.
Just as they did to start the game, the K-Wings scored early in the second period. Chris Lawrence (14th) recorded the equalizer with a wrister from the left circle 2:20 into the period.
The Royals reclaimed the lead three minutes later when Ryan Cruthers (16th) jammed in a loose puck.
Taking advantage of one of their five power-play chances in the period, the Royals grew their lead to two goals with marker from Marvin Degon (7th).
Following the goal, the K-Wings made a goaltender change bringing in Jordan Binnington to replace Joel Martin, who made 11saves on 16 shots in 28 minutes.
Binnington, who finished the game stopping all 14 saves he faced, stood strong against his biggest challenge in the third period denying Brendan Blandina on a penalty shot 3:25 into the third period.
Cutting the Royals lead to a single goal midway in the stanza, Ludwig Blomstrand earned his 13th goal of the year on the power-play.
With the victory, the Royals lead in the Eastern Conference grew to four points over the K-Wings.