READING, Pa. - It appeared the game was about to become a laugher.
It appeared it was about to become a night in which the Reading Royals could pad their stats and breathe easy on the way to a comfortable victory.
But the Toledo Storm didn't find its deficit to be at all
And just like that, Toledo turned that laugher into no laughing matter for Reading.
Still, despite making it interesting, Toledo couldn't erase its big deficit and lost to the Royals 6-4 in an ECHL game last night at the Sovereign Center
"We did fight and compete and play our way back into the game, which is a positive," Storm coach Nick Vitucci said.
"We just had breakdowns everywhere. But we have been a resilient team all season and we have fought back from things like this.
''We'll put this one behind us."
Toledo remains in fifth place in the North Division standings with 75 points.
Reading moved into first with 81 points.
The Royals got on the board first when a Toledo turnover led to a goal by Mike Sandbeck with 8:42 left in the first period.
The Storm bounced right back when Nick Parillo redirected a shot by P.J. Martin to tie it 30 seconds later.
A little more than five minutes later Toledo's Sylvain Dufresne ripped a wrister past Reading goalie Cody Rudkowsky for a power-play goal and a 2-1 lead.
Reading scored two power-play goals in the final 1:57 to take a 3-2 lead after a period.
Cail MacLean tied it when he finished off a cross-ice feed from Eric Fortier, and Fortier put the Royals in front when scored off a rebound 1:33 later.
David Masse scored goals less than three minutes apart to give the Royals a 5-2 lead with 11:31 left in the second period.
But Toledo stormed back, getting goals by Doug Andress and Rob Snowball less than a minute apart to make it 5-4 with 8:32 left in the second.
Pat O'Leary scored his first goal in a Royals uniform to give Reading a 6-4 lead with 1:28 left in the second.
Toledo's Logan Koopmans replaced Scott Fankhouser in net at the start of the third period.