READING, Pa. — The Walleye had a disappointing end to a good beginning of an evening.
Taking a 4-1 lead less than three minutes into the third period, Toledo only came away with a shootout loss to host Reading falling 5-4 at the Sovereign Center.
It was the fourth straight shootout Toledo has been involved in, and the second loss in a row.
Walleye forward Derek Brochu scored twice as Toledo (26-28-6) collected a point in the loss.
“We are in a battle for our playoff lives,” said coach Nick Vitucci. “Our effort was terrific all throughout this game. It’s disappointing that we couldn’t finish the game in the third period.”
The Walleye sit in 11th place of the ECHL Eastern Conference standings, seven points out side of the cutoff line and eighth place Florida with 12 games remaining in the regular season.
The win gives Reading (28-26-7) another two points in its chase for the playoffs. The Royals are in ninth place, two points behind the Everblades.
In the first period, Toledo started the scoring less than six minutes in when Kyle Rogers blasted a slap shot through Reading goaltender Mark Owuya for his 20th goal of the season.
The Walleye went up 2-0 about 10 minutes later as Brochu scored.
The Royals responded 24 seconds later as Kyle Neuber beat Alec Richards (35 saves).
Brochu tipped a David Toews pass into the Reading net with 1:04 left in the second period for his second goal of the game and third of the season to re-establish a two-goal cushion.
Toledo went in front 4-1 with a power play goal by Todd Griffith just 2:58 into the third before Reading started a comeback, including a disputed goal with less than a minute left in regulation.
The Royals won the shootout 1-0 as Matt Caruana was the fifth shooter on Richards.
Mark Owuya stopped 21 shots to get the win in net for Reading.