READING, Pa. – They say that revenge is a dish best served cold. If that’s the case, then getting revenge on the frozen tundra of a hockey rink sure sounds like the best place to have revenge as any. It will be repeated in these pages that the last time the Reading Royals were in the ECHL Conference Finals they blew a 3-0 series lead and lost in seven games. The opponent at that time was the Cincinnati Cyclones.
Three years later and you can bet that the Royals will be reminded of what happened, but the truth is they won’t need mild manner reporter Clark Kent to do so. Head Coach Larry Courville, who was the coach at the time, will do that for the rest of us.
The Royals won Game One over Cincinnati 5-4 in double overtime to take a 1-0 series lead in one of the more memorable playoff games in recent history. Both teams combined for 97 shots and set fans up for another memorable playoff series.
Reading never led until Bobby Shea’s game winner to propel the Royals to the win. The truth is that Shea doesn’t have a shot at being the hero of the game until there was 1:30 left in regulation when Dominic Jalbert dumped the puck into the Cyclone zone and somehow ricocheted off the boards and somehow got by goaltender Michael Houser to somehow tie the game at 4-4 setting up Shea’s game winning goal.
Riley Gill made 50 saves on 54 shots while Houser made 38 saves on 43 shots. Shea’s goal was the only power play goal in seven tries by both teams. The Cyclones got goals from four different scorers while two of the Royals goals with T. J. Syner also scoring for Reading. Game Two will be on Sunday afternoon. The Cyclones will host Games 3-5 starting on Wednesday.
Contact the author at Brian.Jennings@prohockeynews.com