Two of the Royals three games for the week of Nov. 21-28 went into overtime shootouts, giving the Royals four shootouts already this season.
By By:Tony Roberts
The Royals dropped two of the three contests, both to their intrastate rival, the Johnstown Chiefs. The Chiefs doubled up the Royals 4-2 on Wednesday, Nov. 21, in Johnstown. Reading's Simon Tremblay and Tommi Degerman kept the game tied through the first two periods with a goal apiece, but Sean Gauthier gave away two more goals in the third for his third straight road defeat.
The Royals bounced back Nov. 24 against the Charlotte Checkers. Tremblay scored the Royals' lone goal in regulation in the second period. James Desmarais scored the only shootout goal on Reading's second shot. Gauthier stopped 32 of 33 shots to improve his record to 7-8-1.
Gauthier gave his second strong performance in a row Wednesday, Nov. 28, against the Chiefs, but the Royals could not generate enough offense for the win. They lost 2-1 in their second straight game that went into a shootout. James Desmarais forced overtime for Reading, tying the game at 1-1 on his team-leading seventh goal with 7:52 remaining in the third. Gauthier finished with 20 saves for the Royals, who dropped to 7-10-3 overall.
The Royals power play woes continued through the week. They were 0-3 in each of this week's contests.
a* Royals' Center Dan Riva's number was called again by the Manchester Monarchs, Reading's double A affiliate. He was called up for the second time this season on Nov. 15. Riva spent only one game back at Reading, Nov. 14 against Richmond. He joins teammate Chris Aldous who was called up by the Monarchs Nov. 10.
* The Royals made a trade with the New Orleans Brass Nov. 20. The Brass acquired Mikko Sivonen from the Royals, while Reading received the rights to left wing Lorne Toews. In 15 games with New Orleans, Toews has two goals and ten points. Those numbers are comparable with Sivonen who has five goals and eleven points for Reading in 17 games.ˆ ˆ
"Lorne is a veteran guy that gives us a little more grit up front. He is all a guy that can put the puck in the net," said Royals Coach Al Sims.
Sivonen had played well for the Royals. He was the leading scorer heading into last weekend's games. To date, Sivonen's ranks among the team leaders with eleven points (2nd), five goals (2nd), three power play goals (1st), two game winning goals (2nd) and 53 shots (2nd).
"It's tough to give up a player like Mikko. He works hard and is a good solid player. He fills a greater need for them and we believe Toews fills a need for us," Sims said.
The Royals acquired Defenseman Nathan Borega from Pensacola for cash considerations. In order to make room for Borega, the Royals released Defenseman Darwin Murray. Borega has not seen action this season after being sidelined with a shoulder injury.