The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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October 23, 2005

Reading spoils Chiefs’ home opener

Everything was in place for the Johnstown Chiefs on Saturday night. More than 3,100 fans passed through the gate, all happy for hockey to be back in season.

But after staking leads twice on the visiting Reading Royals, the Chiefs gave up a short-handed breakaway in the third period and lost 3-2 at Cambria County War Memorial Arena.

Reading’s Mike Pandolfo scored a pair of goals, including the short-handed game-winner, and Rich Peverely had a pair of assists in the victory, which could have been bigger if not for the play of Chiefs netminder Jon Boutin.

The third-round pick in the 2003 draft by the Lightning, Boutin stood on his head early, making several point-blank saves to keep the Chiefs from falling in a hole minutes into the contest.

It was enough to allow Johnstown to get its hockey legs after busing back from a season-opening loss in Columbia, S.C., on Friday.

Once the Chiefs opened up the offense, Tyler Kindle gave the hosts to a 1-0 lead, burying his own rebound past Royals goalie Cody Rudkowsky. Pittsburgh native J.B. Bittner made the chance possible by blocking a Reading odd-man rush, allowing Kindle to turn the puck up ice.

After a quick give-and-go with Joe Tallari along the right-wing boards, Kindle had a one-on-one chance against Rudkowsky. The first shot was saved, but Kindle kept coming and swept it in midway through the first period.

The game stayed in favor of Johnstown until Pandolfo scored his first of the night on the power play, just 1:55 into the second, as he took a pass from Peverely and wristed a shot over Boutin’s glove.

Johnstown’s Zbynek Hrdel pushed the Chiefs out to another lead early in the third period with his first professional tally. Hrdel was camped on the doorstep and took advantage of Tallari’s centering feed, which glanced off a skate to the top of the crease. Ian Manzano also received an assist on the play when he held the puck in at the blue line.

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