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Steelheads score first, but fall to Reading; series ends in a split

Friday, January 9th
Steelheads score first, but fall to Reading; series ends in a split

The Idaho Steelheads (20-13-2) scored first just like they did last night- on a goal from Garett Bembridge- but could not hold off the Reading Royals (11-25-2), who battled to a weekend series split. They Royals knocked off the Steelheads tonight at Qwest Arena by a 5-4 score in front of 4,180 fans. Bembridge scored at 4:20, his eighth, to open the scoring. The tally was a rebound goal after a Kory Scoran shot; Scoran earned his first of three assists this evening on Bembridge?s second goal in as many nights. Just over seven minutes later, Tim Branham scored his second of the season on the power play to tie the game for Reading; Peder Skinner and Tyler Doig assisted on the goal. Tyler Shelast, though, put the Steelheads up by a goal heading into the first intermission; he scored at 17:12, assisted by Matt McKnight. The second period yielded the bulk of the scoring this evening. Tyler Doig scored to tie the game at two goals apiece at 2:32 of the second period; assists went to Steve Ward and Branham. Gerard Miller, about two minutes later, put the Royals up 3-2 on a shot from the slot, with assists going to Kirk MacDonald and Brock Hooton. Tyler Shelast tied the game at 7:07 with his fourth of the season and second of the game, assisted by Scoran and ECHL All Star Matt Stephenson. About 10 minutes later, Chris Stevens scored his first of the contest to put the Royals up 4-3; MacDonald and Hooton assisted once again. But at 17:39, Ben Nelson scored one of the nicest goals of the season, as he put the puck through the legs of Royals defenseman Matt Curley and past the blocker of James Reimer in the Reading net. The goal made the game a 4-4 tie heading into the third period. But the third period included only one goal, and it came from Chris Stevens at 6:25. It was the game-winner, assisted by MacDonald, who had three assists for the Royals tonight. Matt Climie took the loss in net for Idaho, falling to 12-7-0. He stopped 20 of 25. James Reimer stopped 31 of 35 for Reading, and improved to 6-4-1 on the season.

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