READING, PA – April 9, 2022 – A strong second period push was not enough as the Mariners came up just short in a 5-3 loss to the Reading Royals in the penultimate road game of the regular season on Saturday night at Santander Arena.
The Royals opened the scoring at 11:54 of the opening period when Thomas Ebbing ripped a perfect shot off the crossbar behind Mariners netminder Callum Booth. Just about three minutes later, a tic-tac-toe play off a faceoff doubled the Reading lead with Brad Morrison scoring his 16th goal of the season, from Garret Cockerill and Patrick Bajkov.
Ebbing scored his second of the night early in the 2nd with a coast-to-coast effort to put the Royals up 3-0, but the Mariners would get three of the next four goals to get back in the game. Just 20 seconds after Ebbing’s goal, Zach Malatesta ripped a shot from the left point that banked in off the skate of a Royal defender. Reading got its three goal advantage back at the 7:00 mark of the period on a nice setup from Dominic Cormier across the slot to Patrick Bajkov. Again, the Mariners answered quickly, Keltie Jeri-Leon scoring 1:02 later to bring it to 4-2. With just 1:32 left in the period, Mariners captain Connor Doherty took a pass from Tyler Hinam at the goal line and beat Logan Flodell’s glove to make it 4-3, which was the score after two.
Patrick McNally tossed home an empty net goal at 18:28 of the third period to give Reading the 5-3 win. The Mariners fell to fifth place in the North Division as Worcester defeated Trois-Rivieres, 3-2 in overtime.