Jackals trump Royals
The Elmira Jackals celebrated their return home from a seven game road trip with a 5-3 win over the Reading Royals at First Arena on Friday night. The win improved Elmira's record to 16-14-3 on the season.
In their first home game since December 16, the Jackals wasted no time in bringing their fans to their feet. Darren Kramer, who had missed the last 14 games with an injury, dropped the gloves with Reading's Kirk MacDonald at the opening faceoff and injected life into the fans and his teammates. After the teams exchanged scoring chances early on, Rob Bellamy dented the back of the net first with his fifth goal of the season. Kramer and Jordan Pietrus worked the puck through center to set up Bellamy's rush to the net from the right wing. Jean Bourbeau followed Bellamy's marker with a power play strike with 48 seconds remaining in the stanza. Jordon Southorn and Jack Downing collected the helpers. Maxime Clermont turned away each of the 12 shots he saw from the Royals to keep the Jackals ahead by a pair heading to the second.
Near the midway point of the second Bourbeau and Downing reversed the roles from the first-period power play goal as Bourbeau, and Louie Caporusso, set up Downing for a doorstep goal and a 3--0 Jackals lead. Reading picked up its first power play of the night two minutes after Downing's goal and while the Royals didn't score on the advantage Barry Almeida did find the back of the net a few seconds after the Jackals were back at full strength. The scoring slowed a bit as the minutes ran off the clock but in the final 60 seconds the pace picked up drastically. Matt Pope pulled Reading within one with 39 seconds left before the intermission, but the Jackals responded quickly. The line of Artem Demkov, Dustin Gazley, and Andrew Rowe came over the wall for the final shift of the period and produced. Demkov and Rowe set up Gazley's 10th of the season with only eight seconds left on the clock.
Gazley's late goal proved to be a crucial one because the Royals fought to bring it back to a one-goal game early in the third. Almeida, working toward the net from the right wing, attempted a centering pass that deflected off a Jackal and past Clermont. In the face of a budding comeback the Jackals locked things down in their zone and limited Reading to only eight shots in the final frame, and didn't give the Royals a single power play opportunity. Reading pulled goalie Philipp Grubauer for the extra attacker with just over a minute to play, but the only goal that resulted was Downing hitting the empty net with nine seconds to play.
Clermont earned his fourth consecutive victory by stopping 31 of the shots Reading sent his way. The Jackals ended the night 1-for-3 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill.
Mark your calendars! The Jackals are back on First Arena ice on Sunday, January 6, 2013 to take on the Reading Royals at 4:05 p.m. Join the Jackals for Blade's Birthday and a Post-Game Skate with the Jackals! Groups of 10 or more are eligible for discounted tickets and preferred seating based on availability.Call 607-734-7825 to book your group outing. Pro-rated season ticket packages are on sale, as well. Season tickets offer the best value for Jackals fans.