READING, Pa. - January 21, 2013 - The Elmira Jackals head into the all-star break on a high note thanks to a 5-2 win over the Reading Royals on Monday afternoon at the Sovereign Center. The win improved Elmira's record to 21-17-4 on the season, and snapped Reading's 11 game home winning streak.
The Jackals and Royals were not playing nice on Martin Luther King Day, especially in the first period when the clubs combined for 52 penalty minutes. Reading was able to capitalize on a 4-on-3 power play late in the period to earn a 1-0 lead. Yannick Tifu started the play with a cross-ice feed from the right wing to Stanislav Galiev low on the left wing. He, in turn, tapped the puck to Joel Champagne on the doorstep and he fed it into an open net with 1:38 left on the clock. That was the only shot that eluded Jackals goalie Ian Keserich in the frame, and his solid work earlier allowed for a late tying goal. When play shifted to a Reading 5-on-4 power play in the final minute, Louie Caporusso stole the puck at the blue line, beat a pair of defenders up the middle, and backhanded a shot behind Reading's Drew MacIntyre to put the Jackals on the board. It was Caporusso's second shorthanded score of the season and 12th overall.
In the second period the Jackals afforded the Royals three more power play opportunities and had a hard time getting their offense in gear, as a result. While the Royals did not score on any of their man advantages, David Marshall did deflect a David Vallorani slap shot past Keserich on a delayed penalty to restore Reading's one goal lead. Keserich wound up stopping 10 of the 11 shots he saw to keep the Jackals within striking distance heading into the third. MacIntyre, at the other end of the ice, denied all four shots he saw in the second.
The third proved to be much busier for MacIntrye as the Jackals peppered him with 16 shots and were relentless in their pursuit of rebounds. The comeback effort was sparked by Caporusso getting the job done shorthanded for the second time in the game. A Jordan Pietrus outlet pass found Jean Bourbeau at center and as the play went up ice Pietrus went to the bench for a change. Caporusso made a mad dash to the net and one-timed Bourbeau's pass home for the tying goal just past the midway point. Elmira's offense roared to life from there and produced two more goals in the next 3:49. Brandon Blandina and Darren Kramer set up both slam dunk goals with the first scored by Alex Beauregard and the second by Justin Daniels. Beauregard's was his first as a pro, and the game winner, while Daniels scored for the first time since December 19 in Trenton - his Jackals debut. Dustin Gazley added an empty netter with 2:15 to play to salt the win away for the Jackals.
Keserich stopped 33 shots to earn the win for the Jackals. The went 0-for-3 on the power play and 7-for-8 on the penalty kill.
By: Ray Schmitt - Elmira Jackals