1.Last week, the Royals split the first two games of the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Semi-Final series with the Florida Everblades, who scored first and never trailed in a 4-3 win at Sovereign Center in Game One on Friday, April 19. The Royals bounced back in Game Two, jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first period and holding on down the stretch for a 3-2 win.
2. The Everblades’ 4-3 win in Game One on Friday, April 20, snapped a four game playoff home winning streak for the Royals dating to Game One of the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarter-Final matchup against the Elmira Jackals one year ago.
3. The Royals’ loss to Florida on Friday in Reading also snapped a four game playoff home winning streak for the Royals against the Everblades. More specifically, the Royals won both games at the Sovereign Center in the 2004 National Conference Finals against Florida (despite losing the series, 3 games to 2); and Reading also won both home games against the ‘Blades in the 2010 American Conference semifinals (which Reading won 4 games to 0). (In the two prior playoff series against the Everblades, Reading has compiled a record of 2-3-0 at Germain Arena in Estero, Florida.)
4. The Eastern Conference Semi-Final series is the seventeenth
playoff matchup in the twelve year history of the Royals. Of the prior 16 playoff series, Reading has lost Game One of the series eight times and have ended up coming back to win the series five times (5-3)—and in two of those five series, the Game One loss came on home ice: 2005 North Division Semi-Finals v Toledo Storm; and 2011 Eastern Conference quarterfinal vs. Cincinnati Cyclones.
5. Reading has only lost the first two games of a playoff series twice in the history of the team—and the Royals were defeated in both of those series: 2004 National Conference Finals vs. Florida Everblades; and 2011 Eastern Conference semifinals against the Kalamazoo Wings.
6. Reading’s win in Game Two on Saturday night at the Sovereign Center was the twenty-ninth win of the year on home ice for the Royals (26 in regular season and three in playoffs). The Royals, who are 13-3-0-1 in the team’s last seventeen games (including the conclusion of the regular season), have won 51total games this season (46 in regular season and five in playoffs).
7. Florida scored the game’s first goal in Game One on Friday; but the Royals notched the first goal in Saturday’s 3-2 win for Reading. This continues a ‘first goal’ trend for the Royals so far in this playoff season, during which Reading has gone 5-0-0 when scoring first and 0-2-0 when the opposition scores the game’s first goal.
8. The Everblades first goal 13:55 into the first period of Friday’s game snapped a playoff scoreless streak for goaltender Riley Gill at 133:55. (His personal scoreless streak actually a totaled 142:03 when including the final game of the regular season).
9. The Everblades first goal in Game Two (by David Rutherford, 15:59 into the first period) snapped goaltender Mark Owuya’s playoff scoreless streak at 150:11.
10. The team record for consecutive scoreless minutes by a goaltender in a playoff season was set by Barry Brust over the course of games in the 2005 North Division Semi-Finals against the Toledo Storm at 169:27.
11. The Royals have allowed a total of 10 goals against in the team’s seven playoff game, which is translates into a 1.43 team goals against, which currently leads the league.
12. Reading has scored a total 21 goals during the playoff season, which is a 3.00 goals per game average—ninth best amongst the sixteen teams who qualified for the playoffs in the ECHL this year—and sixth amongst the eight teams that are still in contention for the Kelly Cup.
Notes from the Eastern Conference semifinals
1. Reading has outshot the opposition in each of the seven playoff games the team has played so far. Collectively the Royals have outshot the opposition 152-148 (+104), which translates into a 14.9 shot per game differential favoring the Royals. Reading averages 36 shots per game (second best), while only giving up an average of 21.14 shots per game, which leads the league.
2. Collectively, in the first two games of the Eastern Conference semifinals, reading has outshot the Everblades by a total of 77 to 35.
3. The Royals’ 21 goals on 252 shots translates into an 8.3% scoring ratio, which is the lowest goal-per-shot ratio amongst the eight teams remaining in the ECHL playoff picture.
4. Reading scored a power play goal in each of the first two games of the Eastern Conference semis against the Everblades, going one for seven on the PP in Game One and one for five in Game Two. Overall, Reading is 4 for 37 on the power play during the playoff season, which is a 10.8% scoring ratio-seventh out of the eight teams still playing.
5. Florida snapped the Royals’ penalty killers’ string of 17 consecutive power play chances against without giving up a goal when the ’Blades scored a 5-on-3 PPG 5:28 into the third period in Game One (which proved to be the game winner). Florida also bagged a PPG in Game Two wiht just 4:24 left in the third period to draw within one at 3-2. Florda has gone 2 for 8 on the power play in the first two games of the series against the Royals.
6. Overall in the playoffs, the Royals are killing penalties at a 91.3% clip, which is third amongst the eight teams still competing for the Kelly Cup.
7. Yannick Tifu is riding a four game goal scoring (and point) streak (7g-2a=9pts). In fact, he has had more than one point in each of those four games—and has had five multi-point performances in the Royals seven games so far played in the post-season. Tifu has had three multi-goal games in the last four played. He is currently tied for the scoring lead in the ECHL post-season (8g-4a) and his eight goals is tied for the league lead. He scored his league-leadingthird game-winning goal in Reading’s 3-2 win in Game Two against Florida. This season, Tifu has scored 35 goals (27 in regular season and eight in playoffs) and has 84 total points in 79 total games (regular season and playoffs) with the Royals. In 61 career playoff games, Tifu has recorded 55 points (23g-32a).
8. Nikita Kashirsky is riding a seven game playoff point (and assist) streak (1g-9a=10pts). Kashirsky, who is tied for third in the playoff scoring leads the league with nine playoff assists. He has three multi-point games, which included a pair of assists on the Royals first two goals in Friday’s 4-3 loss to Florida. Kashirsky has 51 points (18g-33a) in his last 41 games (playoffs and regular season) with the Royals. In 37 career playoff games, Kashirsky has 31 points (9g-22a).
9. Stan Galiev is riding a six-game point streak (3g-6a=9pts) and a five game assist streak (6a). Galiev, who factored in all three goals scored by the Royals in Game One against Everblades, is currently second in scoring amongst rookies in the league. Galiev’s 33 shots leads all first year pros and is fourth in the league. He is currently playing to a plus-7 (+7) which is tied for second amongst rookies.
10. Defenseman Brett Flemming, who assistedon the game-winner (by Yannick Tifu) in Game Two against Florida, leads all defensemen on the Royals with five points (which places him tied for sixth amongst defensemen in scoring). His three goals leads all defensemen in the league.
11. Defenseman Mark Mitera has four assists in his last sixth playoff games. He picked up a helper on the Yannick Tifu power play goal that gave the Royals a 2-0 lead 13:01 into the first period of Saturday’s Game Two.
12. Kirk MacDonald scored his first goal of the playoff season 8:14 into the first period while the Royals were playing short-handed. That was the first SHG of the playoff season for Reading (who scored six short-handed goals during the regular season).
13. Ian O’Connor returned to the Royals from the Manchester Monarchs of the AHL for Saturday’s Eastern Conference semifinal Game Two. He engaged in the fifth fight of the playoff season for the Royals when he took on Charles Landry of the Everblades 15:00 into the second period. That was O’Connor’s fifth fight of the season (four in the regular season and one in playoffs).
14. Goaltender Riley Gill sustained his first playoff loss (2-1-0) in Game One against the Everblades last Friday. Gill currently has a 1.35 goals against average, which is second best in the league; and a .937 save percentage, which is fourth best in the league.
15. Goaltender Mark Owuya recorded his third consecutive playoff win (3-1-0)—and his first at the Sovereign Center—in Game Two on Saturday. Owuya leads the ECHL with a 1.26 GAA and a .940 save percentage, which is second best in the league.