Evansville, Ind. – The Evansville IceMen and Reading Royals each took winning streaks into the third period of Sunday night’s game with a 2-2 deadlock. It was Reading, however, who extended their winning streak to nine games after scoring five unanswered goals in the third period at the Ford Center.
The Royals set the tone early in the third period for what would ultimately put an end to Evansville’s three game winning streak. Reading Forward David Vallorani scored the game-winning goal for the Royals a mere :16 seconds into the final period of the game. Royals Forward Evan Barlow assisted on Vallorani’s second goal of the game.
Barlow received the game’s first star after filling the stat sheet against the IceMen. He finished with five points (1G, 4A) and a +4 rating. Vallorani scored the game’s second star honor, finishing with two goals and one assist.
Evansville gave up the game’s initial goal for the first time in six straight contests. Reading Forward Joel Champagne, the game’s third star, struck first on the power play at the 9:56 point of the opening period. Royals Defenseman Denny Urban was credited with the assist. Denny also earned a +4 rating for Reading on his way to a one goal and one assist performance.
Following up was Vallorani with his first of two goals. The marker came 17:55 into the first period and was assisted by Barlow and Defenseman Adam Comrie, who also prevailed a +4 on the night.
Reading took a 2-0 lead to the second, but Evansville answered with two goals in the period to even the score. The first IceMen goal came on the power play 2:00 into the second period. The tally came from the stick of Center Patrick Kennedy, who found the back of the net for the fourth time this season. Kennedy’s goal was assisted by IceMen Centers Jason Dale and Todd Robinson. The IceMen captain now has 15 assists on the season.
Also connecting for his fourth goal of the season was IceMen Center Dale Mahovsky 6:10 into the middle period. The equalizer was assisted by Left Winger Mark Cody and Right Winger Dan Gendur. Cody would later be involved in an altercation with Royals Defenseman Dustin Stephenson after he performed an illegal check to the head of IceMen Defenseman Anton Blomqvist in the last two minutes of the game.
The IceMen were outshot by the Royals in the third period, 14-5. Following up on Vallorani’s game-winner was Barlow at the 5:22 mark of the final period. Barlow’s goal was unassisted as the puck took an odd bounce off the boards behind IceMen Goaltender Rob Madore. The puck found Barlow’s stick right in front of the crease, giving Reading the 4-2 advantage.
Giving the Royals a three goal lead was Forward David Marshall 14:58 into the third period. Vallorani received his lone assist on the night on Marshall’s power play goal. Also assisting was Barlow with his third assist of the game.
Reading dashed the hopes of any comeback by Evansville with two more goals within the next two and a half minutes. Royals Forward Ian O’Connor tallied his fifth goal of the season at the 15:24 mark of the third stanza. Champagne was credited his lone assist on the night. Urban added Reading’s final goal 16:22 into the period and was assisted by Barlow for the fourth time.
Evansville’s penalty killing unit had fought off 26 consecutive opponent power plays before surrendering two of Reading’s final three attempts. Reading’s man advantage went 2-for-4 on the power play on Sunday night. The IceMen power play unit went 1-for-5 for the game.
The winning goalie was Reading’s Brandon Anderson. He earned a .889 save percentage while stopping 16-of-18 shots faced.
Madore was strapped with the loss, allowing seven goals on 37 shots.
The IceMen are now 16(5-10-1) on the season, but still maintain an above .500 record in the month of November with a 9(5-4-0) record.
The IceMen travel to Wheeling on Wednesday, Nov. 21 to take on the Nailers for the second time this season. The puck is scheduled to drop at 6:00 p.m CST and can be heard on ‘Magic 98.5’ FM WEOA and on 1400 AM WEOA.