ECHL: Sellar’s Natural Hat-Trick Strengthens Reading’s Win Against Worcester

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

The Reading Royals took an exhilarating win over the Worcester Railers. The win is the first back-to-back win for the Royals this season, making for a bit of hope for fans just before the holiday season.

Royal’s goalie Parker Gahagen stops 26 shots from Worcester (Photo Credit: Sarah Pietrowski/Reading Royals)

The Royals got their first back-to-back wins as they took both games against the Worcester Railers and made sure to do so in an outstanding way. Though Worcester was the first to score at 17:14 in the first period with a rather questionable goal by their captain, Anthony Repaci, the goal didn’t break the Royals’ spirit as they moved on into the second period. The Worcester lead was quickly broken by Royals’ forward, Shane Sellar, who pulled out all the stops and took over the second period with his first professional hat-trick. But for Sellar, it wasn’t just any hat-trick as he pushed forward with three back-to-back goals in the period, his first at 5:21, his second at 6:05, and his third at 13:06 giving no momentum for Worcester to fight back as he took the natural hat-trick with a loud roar of the crowd around him. Things went from bad to worse for the Railers as after the goal, Railers netminder Tristan Lennox would have to leave the game as he was unable to put any weight on his left leg, and the Railers would have to go to Joel Eisenhower, their EBUG for the night. Eisenhower last played two games in the FPHL during the 2021-22 season and would stop eight of the ten shots he faced in 24:20.

The Royals kept that strong momentum going as Tag Bertuzzi took the fourth goal of the night, assisted by Joseph Nardi and gave the fans one last burst of excitement with an empty net goal by Brayden Guy. This game not only marks the second win in a row for the Royals, which is the first back-to-back win so far this season, but also the second game in a row where five goals were scored. The Royals dominated possession in the game with a total of 31 shots on goal and allowed neither of the two penalty kills to become successful for Worcester.

With this win in the books, the Royals now stand at a 7-12 regulation record with one additional loss in overtime and one in a shootout. Two of their wins came from overtime which raises the question of if the overtime wins are coming to an end and more regulation wins are at hand. The Royals could use the points, especially with the season slowly approaching its transition into the new year, and any amount of points would surely be helpful, but the importance of getting those regulation wins can make or break when the end of the season crunch starts to take place.

Currently, the North standings have the Norfolk Admirals sitting in first place, followed by Adirondack, then Newfoundland, then Trois-Rivières, then Worcester, then Maine, then in last place sits Reading. These next few weeks can prove critical for the Royals, especially if they continue to gather these strong multiple-goal games. The Royals have proven that they can build strong momentum in the game if they can get just a few goals ahead. Once the momentum is built, it continues to build as the game progresses. These last two games have proven that they are still a strong team no matter the competitor so is it possible the Royals have found their missing piece?

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