Jackals roll past Reading in preseason action
The Elmira Jackals used strong special teams play and sound goaltending to defeat the Reading Royals 4-1 in exhibition action on Monday night at the Sovereign Center. The Jackals will host the Royals to open the season at First Arena this Friday.
The Jackals were on the defensive early in the first period and were faced with a pair of Royals power plays. They killed off the first minor, Chris Wideman for high-sticking, but Reading made the Jackals pay for Corey Bellamy's hook. Rookie defenseman Garrett Clarke snuck a slap shot through traffic and beat goalie Nick Niedert along the ice to lift the Royals ahead 1-0. Elmira, though, started to build momentum over the second half of the stanza and its work paid off in the waning moments. Working the tail end of their second power play, the Jackals had some nifty puck movement from high to low. It ended with Dustin Gazley setting up a wide-open Andrew Rowe on the back door and he lifted it high over Reading goalie Philipp Grubbauer to knot the score with 11 seconds to play.
Niedert was busy in Elmira's net during the second frame as he faced 11 shots. The Jackals' netminder was up to task each time, though, and allowed for his club to take its first lead of the night and then build on it. Just before the midway point rookie Brandon Blandina collected a loose puck in the slot and wristed it through Grubbauer's pads for the 2-1 advantage. Jean Bourbeau and Wideman assisted. Then Wideman got into the goal scoring act by jamming in a backdoor feed from Alec Kirschner just under three minutes after Blandina's goal. Brandon Anderson came on to replace Grubbauer after the third goal and thwarted each of the three shots he saw.
The goaltending continued to shine for Elmira in the third period as Niedert posted 16 saves and held Reading off of the scoreboard despite two 5-on-3 chances for the Royals. He made a strong individual effort in the first 5-on-3 to turn in saves on back-to-back shots in tight and shortly after collect a loose puck and clear it himself to kill off the first penalty. Gazley, who set up a power play goal earlier, cashed in a shorthanded breakaway on Anderson with 3:36 to play to ice the game for the Jackals.
Niedert turned in 30 saves in all to earn the victory while Elmira finished the contest 1-for-4 on the power play and 6-for-7 on the penalty kill.
Season tickets to see the Jackals in 2012-2013 are on sale now!
Packages start as low as $360 and include tickets to all 36 regular season and any preseason home games. Exclusive advantages available only to season ticket holders include a discount off the walk-up ticket price, the same seat all season long, access to the annual Blue/White scrimmage, discounts to select First Arena events, and special season ticket holder coupons.
Avoid lines at the box office on game day by purchasing season tickets to see the Jackals in 2012-2013. Fans may download the 2012-2013 season ticket form at www.firstarena.com or can order their tickets by calling (607) 734-PUCK (7825) or by visiting the First Arena Box Office.