Jeff Schmidt scored the tie-breaking goal midway through the third period for a 4-3 victory over the Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies Friday, Jan. 25. Schmidt, added to the roster that day, scored 7:35 into the final frame to prevent Reading from losing the contest after jumping out to a 3-1 first-period lead. Brad Rooney added his team-leading 16th goal and an assist and Kelly Selix chipped in a goal and a helper for the Royals, who entered Friday's action with the number-two ranked penalty-killing unit at 86.7 percent and killed off all seven Atlantic City opportunities. Jeff Salajko stopped 27 of 30 shots to win his third straight start for Reading, which improved to 12-4-1 when leading after two periods.
Jeff Salajko registered his first shutout of the season and Lorne Toews recorded his first two-goal game of the season as the Reading Royals blanked the Dayton Bombers, 3-0, to snap their 18-game home unbeaten streak (16-0-2). Salajko turned aside 17 first-period shots and 37 overall for the win, extending his personal winning streak to four games. Toews scored the first two goals, 68 seconds into the second period and again 16 minutes later, to give himself three goals in his last two games. Bryan Forslund added a shorthanded empty-netter with 39 seconds left in the match for Reading, which remains unbeaten over its last five (4-0-1). Dayton had its six-game unbeaten streak snapped following its first loss at home since October 13, 2001. Mark Kielkucki stopped 21 shots in defeat, dropping his record to 4-2-1.
The Reading Royals have traded forward Tommi Degerman to the New Orleans Brass for forward Matt Erredge. In 31 appearances with the Royals, Degerman posted 15 assists and 18 points. He was also tied for the team high with a plus 7 rating. Ironically, 15 of his 18 points came on the road. Degerman was placed on the suspended list on January 14 by the Royals due to his failure to report to the Roanoke Express nullifying a potential trade for forward Alain St. Hilaire.
"I believe this trade works out for both franchises. Tommi wants to play and we don't want to hold him back from doing that, but at the same time we don't want to get nothing for him," said Royals head coach Al Sims. "We feel both of these players can be very valuable to their new teams with a fresh start."
Matt Erredge comes to the Royals with 40 games played this season, tallying two markers and 10 points. He started the season with Baton Rouge, appearing in 17 games before being sent to New Orleans. The Minnesota native is in his third season as a pro. His best season as a professional came in his rookie season where he racked up 31 goals and 65 points in 63 games as a member of the CHL's Fayetteville Force. Erredge played his amateur hockey at Saint John's University from 1995-1999.