The Reading Royals lost in overtime for the first time (in five tries) in the 2013 playoffs on Wednesday night, dropping Game Three of the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Final match-up against the Cincinnati Cyclones, 3-2, at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Royals now lead the series two-games-to-one.
Cincinnati scored on their first shot of the game 1:28 into the contest: a tic-tac-toe passing sequence started off the left point by Mike Pelech to Chris Reed at the right half wall back to the top of the crease where Dan Eves tapped it behind Riley Gill (otl, 7-2-1, 28/31) for his first of the playoff season.
Despite being credited for only eight shots through forty minutes (3 in the second period), Reading created any number of Grade-A scoring chances in the first two periods—including two breakaways for Kirk MacDonald in the second period, the second of which was short-handed. But goaltender Michael Houser thwarted each of those opportunities.
Cincinnati stretched their lead to two 2:18 into the third period, when Mike Embach picked off a break-out attempt by the Royals, walked to the middle of the ice and misfired on a snapper. But the slow sliding puck was re-directed by Mike Pelech at the top of the crease behind Gill for his third of the playoff season.
Reading sent the game to the overtime for the third consecutive time in the series by generating back-to-back third period goals. The first came on the power play when a Cincinnati defender made a terrible mental lapse, mishandling a puck to the low slot where a wide open and all alone Alex Berry drilled it home for his fourth of the playoff season. The Royals tied the game with a sixth attacker goal with just 1:37 left in regulation when Nikita Kashirsky gained possession below the goal line, powered his way to the top of the crease and stuffed it under Houser for his third of the playoff season.
Cincinnati ended it with a multi-shot rebound flurry 16:24 into the first overtime, which finished when Mike Embach hammered the puck by Gill after he had made a solid stop on Josh Shalla from deep on the left side.
The Royals and Cyclones play Game Three of the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday (May 8 @ 7:35 pm) at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio.
** Video courtesy of WXIX **