Charlie Gerard scored with 3:54 left in the third period to lift the Reading Royals to a 2-1 win over the Maine Mariners in Game 1 of their ECHL first-round playoff series on Friday in Reading, Pennsylvania.

After two scoreless periods, Solag Bakich gave Reading a 1-0 lead 21 seconds into the third, with an assist from Gerard.

Maine tied it with 6:45 left when Curtis Hall scored, with assists from Fedor Gordeev and Reid Stefanson.

Garrett McFadden and Bakich had assists on the winner.

Pat Nagle stopped 25 shots for Reading, while Michael DiPietro stopped 31 shots for Maine.

Reading won four of six games against Maine during the regular season. The Royals also beat the Mariners in the first-round of the playoffs last season, winning the series 4-2.

Maine is coming off its most successful season of its five in the ECHL, finishing 42-27-2-1.

Game 2 is 7 p.m. Saturday at Reading. The series will shift to Cross Insurance Arena in Portland for Games 3 and 4 on Monday and Tuesday.

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