Thomas Ebbing scored with 7:26 remaining to give the Reading Royals a 3-2 victory over the Maine Mariners on Saturday night and a 3-2 lead in their best-of-seven ECHL playoff series.

The loss snaps a franchise-best, eight-game winning streak for the Mariners at Cross Insurance Arena.

The series now shifts back to Reading, Pennsylvania, for Game 6 at 7 p.m. Monday. Game 7, if necessary, would be Wednesday night in Reading, where the Mariners have yet to win during the regular season or playoffs.

Ebbing scored on a deflection in the slot, assisted by Brennan Saulnier and Mason Millman. It was a power-play goal, with Maine’s Keltie Jeri-Leon in the box for a hooking penalty.

Maine never led, as each team scored in the first and second periods. Twice, the Mariners had a chance to take the lead, but Marc-Olivier Duquette hit a post in the second period and Andrew Peski hit the post early in the third.

The Royals had 32 shots on goal to 27 for Maine.


The game was tied at 1-1 after one period. Reading’s Patrick Bajkov scored at 10:25 off a backhand pass by Trevor Gooch. It was the first goal of the series for Bajkov, the Royals’ leading scorer during the regular season.

Maine answered with Cameron Askew’s power-play goal with 1:14 left in the period. Reading goalie Logan Flodell made a save on Michael Kim, but Askew knocked in the rebound. Askew scored in all three playoff games in Portland.

Mariners goalie Callum Booth, who made 32 saves in a 4-0 victory over Reading on Friday night, came up with several key stops in the second period. But he was caught out of the goal after a save on Patrick McNally, and Frank DiChiara deposited the puck into an empty net to give Reading a 2-1 lead 3:27 into the period.

Two minutes later, Alex Kile scored on wrist shot from the slot to tie the game. Zach Malatesta and Duquette assisted on the goal at 5:55.

The Royals won the first two games in Reading, 3-2 and 3-0. After the series moved to Portland on Thursday, the Mariners rallied in the third period for a 5-4 win in Game 3 on Mathew Santos’ goal with 2:26 remaining.

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