CINCINNATI, Ohio – The Reading Royals (2-1) lit the lamp once in each period as they defeated the Cincinnati Cyclones (1-2) in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals by a 3-0 count in front of 2,602 at U.S. Bank Arena on Friday night. With the victory, Reading jumps ahead in the best-of-five series, 2-1.
For the second time in this series, the Royals jumped out to a 1-0 lead as Matt Caruana batted a bouncing puck in the slot over Cyclones goalie Brian Foster's (L, 13 saves, 1-1) shoulder and into the net at the 4:57 mark. And despite the Cyclones winning most of the physical battles in the final half of the frame, Reading carried the one-goal cushion into the first intermission.
Reading made it a 2-0 game at 10:02 of the middle frame when Ryan Cruthers potted his second goal of the postseason by spinning a turn-around wrist shot past Foster's right pad. And even though the Cyclones outshot the Royals 9-3 in the second period, the Royals had a two goal advantage after 40 minutes.
In the third period, Reading was content on playing conservatively in its own end as it weathered eight more Cincinnati shots. Still trailing by two in the final minutes, the Cyclones pulled Foster for the extra attacker; however, Andrew Sarauer picked up a loose puck at center ice and sent it into the empty net to cap off the scoring at 3-0. As the seconds ticked away, Cincinnati was unable to dent the scoreboard and Royals goalie Matt Dalton (W, 28 saves, 2-1) preserved his first shutout of the postseason. Dalton has held Cincinnati scoreless in the last 93:54.