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March 20, 2010

Royals, Dalton blank Chiefs

READING — The Johnstown Chiefs lost the season series to the Reading Royals for the first time in three seasons as they fell 4-0 at the Sovereign Center on Saturday night.

In the final chapter of the battle for Pennsylvania, the Royals grabbed the early lead just past halfway through the first period.

On a solid breakout, former Chief Andrew Sarauer raced into the Chiefs’ zone on the right wing. He was able to turn the corner on defenseman Brian Kaufman and fired a wrist shot low on the blocker side on John Murray for the goal at 12:05.

Shortly after the goal, a dust-up between Daniel Steiner and Murray brought 14 minutes of penalty time between the teams and resulted in a Reading power play.

Ben Gordon doubled the Royals’ lead with a goal at 14:52 on a slap shot from the center point.

Johnstown had a great chance early on its first power play, but Dan Gendur was robbed on a blocker save by Matt Dalton.

Reading’s offense remained opportunistic in the second period and doubled up its advantage by the time intermission rolled around.

At 8:46, Ryan Cruthers walked off the left-wing wall and blasted a wrist shot behind Murray for his 19th of the season.

Shortly after Cruthers’ goal, the Chiefs were awarded a power play on a hooking call against Rob Kwiet. Johnstown couldn’t capitalize on the chance, though, and remained down by three.

Sarauer picked up an unassisted goal on a partial breakaway at 14:20 and added more padding to Reading’s lead.

Left to kill off just under two minutes of Reading power play time at the onset of the third period, the Chiefs weren’t able to generate enough momentum to start a comeback effort. Johnstown twice came close to breaking through against Dalton and ending his shutout bid. Gendur and Jonathan Ralph, however, each hit the crossbar and the Royals’ four-goal lead remained in tact.

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