April 7, 2018
Reading, PA – The Admirals pulled within one goal late, but it wasn’t enough as Reading topped the Admirals in the season finale 5-2 on Saturday night.
Domenic Alberga continued his career season, scoring his 15th goal of the year. Netminder Dillon Kelley made his professional debut in the third period.
After a mainly scoreless first the Royals got the only tally with just under three minutes to play. On the left post Matt Willows collected a loose puck and got a couple of shots off before lifting a puck past Jamie Murray to give the Royals the 1-0 lead. Murray finished the stanza with 16 saves on 17 shots, as the Royals carried a 1-0 lead into the intermission.
The second period hockey started fast for both teams as Chris McCarthy gave the home side a 2-0 lead just 0:56 into the frame. Norfolk quickly answered back to get on the board. Domenic Alberga continued his career-season intercepting a pass just inside the blue line before placing a wrist shot low to the glove side of Mark Dekanich, to cut the lead to 2-1.
Reading’s lead grew once again midway through the period. On the power play Steven Swavely capitalized in front of the net, scoring what ended up being the game-winning goal, and giving the Royals a 3-1 lead. Norfolk found a last bit of offense late in the period, cutting the lead back to one. With traffic in front of the net Max Cook wristed a shot that snuck its way past Dekanich and into the back of the net. The one-goal deficit would last for less than a minute however. Jack Riley redirected a puck in front, sending it past Dillon Kelley to give the Royals a 4-2 lead. Reading would add an empty net goal in the final minute of play to round out the scoring at 5-2.
Jamie Murray started the game making 36 saves on 38 shots. Rookie Dillon Kelley made his professional debut, stopping seven of nine shots faced. Mark Dekanich stopped 38 of 40 shots in the victory for the Royals.
Norfolk concludes the 2017-18 season with a record of 26-39-6-1. Their 59 points is one better than last season, and puts the team in sixth place in the South Division.