ECHL: Reading Royals Fall 1-0 Against Trois-Rivières, Gahagen Stops 39

(Photo Credit: Sarah Pietrowski/Reading Royals) (Photo Credit: Sarah Pietrowski/Reading Royals)

The Reading Royals faced Trois-Rivières in a heartbreaking showdown that brought its second loss of the week for the Royals. The Royals only lost by one goal, but goaltender Parker Gahagen put on quite the show in his first home game.

Though the Royals fell to the Lions, there are still some takeaways from this game that are critical to consider moving forward. One of the most impactful parts of this game was the ferocious goaltending by Parker Gahagen. Gahagen faced a total of 40 shots throughout the game and only let in one of those goals. This was Gahagen’s second game with the team, and though it is his second loss, he still has only let in five goals out of a total of 68 shots against him. When it comes to the goaltending of this team, there is no question that it stands firm in its execution. With the four goalies the Royals have played this season, there has been a total of 617 shots against, with 70 goals scored. Goaltending is the least of the Royals’ problem this season, and if anything, thus far, it has been proven to be its greatest asset.

Another takeaway from this game is the power play. The power play has proven in the last two seasons with the Royals to not exactly be the strongest. The Royals had four opportunities tonight against the Lions and scored on none of those chances. Currently, the power play percentage for the team sits at 15%, while the penalty kill sits at 84%. The question, much like last season, arises of what is the missing piece to have a more successful power play? Do the lines need to be changed? Do we need to pass less and shoot more? There is a missing piece that has now been ongoing for two seasons in a row that needs to be solved.

The last takeaway from this game is the offensive pressure. This game seemed to lack heavily on offense, pushing through to get into the offensive zone. There were long periods in time where there was simply no action in the offensive zone while in the defensive zone, the defense was struggling hard to keep the pressure. Any chance the offense had at moving the puck into the offensive zone seemed to be immediately stripped away and brought right back to the goaltender, which can’t be put on him for if he can’t make every one of those saves. There were games in the earlier parts of the season that would extend past four goals, but looking at this game, it’s hard to think those games even happened. So what needs to be done in order to get back to those higher-scoring games or, even more simply, those games that had more action in the offensive zone?

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