Newfoundland Growlers (17-11-3-0) vs Reading Royals (20-9-5-1)Friday, February 4 – St. John’s, Newfoundland
OFFICIAL GAME SHEETGame Story
The Newfoundland Growlers snapped a four game pointless streak but ultimately picked up a loss as they fell 4-3 to the Reading Royals in overtime on Friday night at Mary Brown’s Centre.
Reading opened the scoring seven minutes into the first period as Frank DiChiara redirected a pass into the slot from Jacob Pritchard, fooling Evan Cormier in the Growlers goal to make it 1-0 Royals.
Filling in at forward for this one, Growlers defenseman Riley McCourt replied for the hosts three minutes later as he drove hard to the net and deflected a pass from Evan Neugold beyond Hayden Hawkey to level things at 1-1 after 20 minutes.
Newfoundland grabbed an early second period lead less than three minutes into the middle frame as Zach O’Brien showed great patience on a 2-on-1 rush, finding Jeremy McKenna at the backdoor who made no mistake to put the Growlers up 2-1.
Jackson Cressey made sure the Royals got back to all square once again heading into the third period as he beat Cormier from in tight with five minutes left in the 2nd to level it at 2-2.
Early in the third period, the Growlers got their first powerplay opportunity of the evening and made no mistake on the man advantage as Noel Hoefenmayer blasted one home after a frantic few moments in front of the Reading net to make it 3-2 Newfoundland with 16:17 left in regulation.
The Royals would however once again find a response as Dominic Cormier beat his namesake in the Growlers goal to tie things at 3-3 with 4:15 left go in the 3rd.
After Cormier made a massive stop in 3-on-3 overtime to try and keep Newfoundland alive, he couldn’t prevent Pritchard from depositing the rebound as the Royals snatched a 4-3 overtime victory.
These two teams finish up their three-game series in the rubber match on Saturday evening at Mary Brown’s Centre with puck drop set for 7 pm.
- Riley McCourt has scored in all three games he’s featured as a forward this season.
- Zach O’Brien returned from injured reserve after missing the past seven games.
- The loss was Newfoundland's first contest to go to overtime in 2022.
Three Stars1. REA – J. Pritchard2. NFL – Z. O’Brien3. REA – D. Cormier