For the second consecutive game, Reading could not overcome an early deficit on Saturday night.
The Royals fell behind by three goals after 21 minutes and could not recover, ultimately losing to Newfoundland 4-2 in Game 6 of the ECHL North Division finals at Santander Arena. The Growlers tied the series at 3-3 to force Game 7, which will be Monday at 7 p.m. at Santander Arena.
“We made three mistakes in the neutral zone that cost us goals,” Reading coach Kirk MacDonald said. “You can’t make those mistakes that far away from the puck that lead to goals.”
Newfoundland opened the scoring midway through the first period with a goal from forward Tyler Boland. The Growlers extended their lead to 2-0 less than four minutes later, as defenseman Ben Finkelstein found the back of the net.
Newfoundland wasted no time in the second period, as Boland scored his second goal of the game just 23 seconds into the period to make it 3-0. Defenseman Matt Hellickson had an assist on both of Boland’s goals.
The Royals began to show some life midway through the second period, as forward Kevin Conley scored to make it 3-1. Reading cut further into the Growlers’ lead with a goal from forward Brad Morrison, who scored from close range with six seconds remaining in the period.
“I had a lot of time,” Morrison said. “I picked the corner and I think it might have went off of (Newfoundland goalie Keith Petruzzelli) a little bit and it went in the net.”
The Royals could not carry that momentum into the third period, as the Growlers played stout defense and clogged Reading’s shooting lanes. Newfoundland sealed it with an empty-net goal from forward Gordie Green with less than two minutes remaining.
“They’re a good hockey team,” MacDonald said. “We need more from some guys.”
The Growlers outshot the Royals 24-22. Reading goalie Pat Nagle and Petruzzelli each recorded 20 saves.
“When it’s a low-event game, you’ve got to be detailed,” MacDonald said. “We weren’t very detailed.”
Both teams came up empty on the power play. Newfoundland was 0-for-2, while the Royals were 0-for-3.
“There’s no assertiveness,” MacDonald said. “We need better from the power play.”
Source: Berkshire mont