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'Blades Season Ends with 4-1 Loss to Reading in Game 7

Wednesday, May 1st
'Blades Season Ends with 4-1 Loss to Reading in Game 7

READING, PA  –  Riley Gill made 24 saves to help lead the Reading Royals to a 4-1 win over the Florida Everblades in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at the Sovereign Center Wednesday evening.  Reading wins the best-of-seven series 4-3.

For the second consecutive night, the two teams skated to a scoreless first period. However, just as they did in Game 6, Reading scored first on the power play at 3:54 of the middle frame.

Joel Champagne picked up the puck in the corner and flipped a shot off the skate of Florida goaltender Jesse Deckert, and banked across the goaline to put the Royals ahead 1-0. 

Nearly ten minutes later, Reading added to its lead after a wild scramble in front of the Everblades net.  A bouncing puck bounced several times before Barry Almeida picked it up in the slot.  Almeida flipped a shot toward the net which slid into the net for the goal to give the Royals a 2-0 lead after 40 minutes.

Reading held off an Everblades assault for the first half of the third period.  At 12:02 of the period Royals forward Ian O’Connor was assessed a hooking penalty. Prior to the start of the power play, Florida called for an illegal stick check on goaltender Riley Gill.  The stick was found to be illegal resulting in an additional penalty, and gave Florida a 5-on-3 advantage for two minutes. 

The Everblades peppered Gill with a barrage of shots, including a backside opportunity for Corey Trivino which was stopped off the glove Gill. Gill and the Reading penalty kill held off the ‘Blades and did not surrender a goal against during the two minutes. 

Following the penalty kill, Reading captured the momentum and added to their lead with a goal by Ian O’Connor at 15:43 to cap off a 2-on-1 rush into the zone to extend the lead to 3-0. 

Moments later Reading went on the power play and Kirk MacDonald finished off a stretch pass with a shot high into the net past Deckert to extend the lead to 4-0.

The Everblades received a power play chance late, and with the net empty was able to get on the board with 1:58 remaining.  Maury Edwards shot from the blue line was tipped by Brandon Maclean past Gill for the goal to pull the Everblades within three.

However, time ran out on the ‘Blades in Game 7, and their season, as Reading held on for the 4-1 victory.

Jesse Deckert takes the loss allowing four goals on 26 shots, while Gill earns the win stopping 24 of 25 shots faced.

Reading now advances to the Eastern Conference Finals against the Cincinnati Cyclones. The series will begin on Friday at the Sovereign Center.

The following is the final results of the best-of-seven series:

(1)  Reading Royals v (4) Florida Everblades (Reading Wins 4-3)Game 1:  Friday, April 19: Florida – 4  at Reading – 3Game 2:  Saturday, April 20: Florida – w  at Reading – 3Game 3: Wednesday, April 24: Reading – 1  at Florida – 4Game 4: Friday, April 26 : Reading – 3 at Florida – 2 (OT)Game 5  Saturday, April 27: Reading – 5 at Florida – 4 (OT)Game 6:  Tuesday, April 30: Florida – 2  at Reading – 1Game 7:  Wednesday, May 1: Florida – 1 at Reading – 4

2013-14 Season Tickets are on sale!A variety of packages are available. Stop by the Everblades office located at Germain Arena, or call 239-948-7825 for more information.  Office hours are Monday thru Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Florida Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes & Tampa Bay Lightning of the NHL, and the Charlotte Checkers & Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League.

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