The Florida Everblades had to rally to sent their ECHL
Eastern Conference semifinal playoff series all the
way to a Game 7, despite enjoying a 2-1 lead in the
CAROL ORR HARTMAN
lost their last two
games of the
series in overtime,
3-2 and 5-4, at
sending the bestof-
back to Reading,
where the Blades
forced a game 7
with a 2-1 win
best-of-seven series and two more games on home ice last
The Reading Royals spoiled that home ice advantage,
just as the Blades did earlier at Reading, by winning two of
the last three games at Germain Arena, both in overtime.
The defending ECHL Kelly Cup Champion Everblades,
however, could not muster enough offense to advance to the
conference finals. The Royals pinned a 4-1 defeat on the
Blades Wednesday night to claim a 4-3 series victory and
advance to the next round against the Cincinnati Cyclones.
Wednesday: Trailing 2-0, Matthew
Pistilli sent a pass from left-to-right
through the crease to Corey Trivino
standing alone near the right post.
Royals goalie Riley Gill dove across,
got his glove on the puck, sending it off
the post and safely behind the net.
The save came on a 5-on-3 third
period power play for the Blades, but the
Royals survived and added two more
goals for good measure.
Brandon MacLean broke the shutout
with the Blades' lone goal with 1:58
"The guys left everything out there,"
said Blades coach Greg Poss said. "All
we can ask is you do your best.
Sometimes it works out and sometimes
it doesn't. Last year, we had a great
playoff run where we got all the
bounces. This year, we couldn't get a
bounce. We lost the two playoff games
at home in overtime."
Tuesday: Adam Brace and Leigh
Salters scored goals 90 seconds apart
past the halfway point of the third period
to rally the Everblades to a 2-1 win in
Game 6 and force Game 7.
Saturday: Evan Barlow scored twice,
including the game-winning goal in
overtime, to lead the Royals to a 5-4 win
in Game 5.
The Royals took a 3-2 series lead
back to Reading.
The Royals opened a 2-0 lead early
Salters led a 2-on-1 rush to the right
wing circle to Brace who one-timed the
puck past Gill to pull the Blades within
2-1 in the second period.
Florida tied the game with three minutes
remaining in the second, on a
rebound chance in front for Trivino,
who rolled a shot into the net from the
top of the crease.
The Everblades took their first lead in
the third period on a shot from the point
hit off the back glass and landed in the
crease for Trivino's second goal.
The Blades took a 4-2 lead when
Brace muscled his way around a
defenseman and lifted a shot over the
goalie's glove for the score.
The Royals would not go quietly,
scoring on two power plays in the final
five minutes of regulation to force overtime.
Halfway though the extra session, a
loose puck in front of the Everblades net
causing a wild scramble when Barlow
tapped it into the net for the game-winning
Reading Royals v. Florida
(Reading wins series 4-3)
Game 1: Florida 4, Reading 3
Game 2: Reading 3, Florida 2
Game 3: Florida 4, Reading 1
Game 4: Reading 3, Florida 2
Game 5 Reading 5, Florida 4
Game 6: Florida 2, Reading 1
Game 7: Reading 4, Florida 1