READING, Pa. -- Make sure you check out this video of highlights, including the game-winning goal by Shawn Szydlowski in the Komets' 2-1 victory over the defending-champion Reading Royals in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
It was quite the controversy here, though I thought it was a legal play, in the sense that much worse stuff had been let go in the period.
"We made a good play to get it out of our zone. (Mike) Embach made a good chip to get it past the defense. Then, I just got on my horse," said Szydlowski, who scored with 8.1 seconds left. "I knew there was only 20 seconds left and I wanted to get a last chance. Luckily, I had a good battle with the defenseman and he ended up falling down. We had a 2-on-1 and Hartman driving the net freed me up to shoot the puck. It went over his pad and into the net."
The Royals berated referee Andrew Wilk for not calling an interference penalty on Szydlowski.
"From what I saw and watching the video after, sure, it's a penalty. A guy grabs Banwell from the shoulder and forces him to go down. It's a scoring opportunity. I don't know why it wasn't called," said Royals coach Larry Courville, whose team won 3 of 4 against the Komets in the regular season.
I thought the Komets' best player tonight was Jordon Southorn, who aside from one bad turnover, really led the sharp defense. Goalie Ben Meisner was also good, considering he didn't face a lot of shots and had to stay focused.
"It was unique, but it's not hard to stay into a playoff game or a game like this. You just want to win," Meisner said." Even though I wasn't getting a lot of shots, they were buzzing in our end sometimes, so it's easy to stay in the game. But it's true, the more shots you face, you do kind of get in a rhythm too."
Game 2 of the series is Saturday night.
It was the first playoff game for the Komets since they captured the CHL championship in Game 5 against the Wichita Thunder in 2012. In that series, the Komets stole the first two games on the road.