Reading, PA – To honor 17 seasons of Reading Royals hockey, here are the 17 best games from the 2017-18 regular season.
17 seasons, 17 best games
1) Royals overcome 3-0 deficit to clinch playoff berth vs. Manchester, 5-4 (SO) | Mar. 30
Ryan Penny scored twice, including a tying goal in the final three minutes, to help Reading come from behind and defeat Manchester, 5-4, in a shootout. Michael Huntebrinker scored in the shootout, his third game-winning shootout goal of the season.
2) Huntebrinker gets hat trick in emotional win over Adirondack, 5-3 | Dec. 30
Michael Huntebrinker recorded a professional-best four points and recorded a hat trick with an empty-net goal in the final minute to defeat the Thunder, 5-3. Brian Morgan also registered his best game of the season with three points (1g). The win moved the Royals to 7-1-0-0 vs. the Thunder on the season. The teams combined for 65 PIM.
3) Win before All-Star Break propels Royals, 6-2 | Jan. 14 vs. Manchester
After dropping consecutive games, the Royals headed to Manchester to complete a 3-in-3 and dominated the Monarchs with five goals in the second period. Including that game, the Royals went 19-7-7-0 to complete the regular season. The win also started Matt Willows’ 15-game point streak. Michael Huntebrinker scored twice before heading to Indy to represent the Royals at the All-Star Classic. Dillan Fox scored his first ECHL goal. John Muse denied 40 shots.
4) Royals open season with overtime win vs. Adirondack | Oct. 21
Derek Whitmore scored seven seconds into overtime and the Royals started 1-0-0-0 with a 5-4 victory over the Thunder in overtime. Reading scored the first four goals of the game before Adirondack came back. Chris McCarthy scored the first goal of the Royals season fewer than two minutes into the game.
5) Dekanich all over Nailers with 50-save shutout | Dec. 15
Mark Dekanich made 50 saves for the second time in his Royals career and carried the Royals to a 4-0 win over Wheeling. Dekanich blocked 21 shots in the second period, giving him 33 saves entering the final period. In the third, he denied another 17. Scott Tanski scored the game-winning goal.
6) Royals head to postseason with another win against Norfolk | Apr. 7
In front of the largest crowd of the season (6,317), the Royals cruised to a 5-2 victory against Norfolk. The win completed a weekend sweep against the Admirals in the final weekend of the regular season. Steven Swavely scored his first game-winning goal of the season.
7) Royals scorch to 4-0-0-0 start with 9-4 win vs. Thunder | Oct. 29
Reading won its first three games of the season in overtime. In the fourth, Reading matched its best start ever and Ryan Penny registered his first hat trick, 9-4, over Adirondack. The nine goals were the second-most the team scored in a game, one away from matching the record established vs. Greensboro in Jan. 2002. Matt Willows had three assists.
8) Royals retire Tifu’s #17 and Stolarz earns first Royals win vs. Brampton | Mar. 17
In a special pregame ceremony, the Royals retired Yannick Tifu’s #10. Meanwhile, Anthony Stolarz made his second straight start for the Royals on a rehab assignment from Lehigh Valley and pleased the crowd with 31 saves. Reading allowed the first goal seven minutes into the game but came back with five straight. More than 5,000 fans attended. Wrestler Jerry “The King” Lawler, Tifu and Mr. Pat Kelly signed autographs for fans before the game.
9) Dekanich prevents Railers from catching Reading, 3-0 | Mar. 24
In front of more than 5,700 fans at Santander Arena, Mark Dekanich blocked 28 shots for his third shutout of the season in a 3-0 win over Worcester. Entering that game, the Railers could have moved within four points of the Royals with six to play. Brian Morgan broke the scoring against Worcester netminder Mitch Gillam in the second period.
10) Brown gets road trip moving right direction at Brampton | Mar. 8
The Royals dropped three games in a row down in Florida during a season-long eight-game road trip. After flying from Orlando back north, the Royals fell behind, 3-1, in the first to Brampton. Tyler Brown scored a breakaway goal midway through the third period and Branden Komm denied 34 shots. He was perfect after allowing three in the first frame.
11) Komm records consecutive shutouts to begin Royals career with 6-0 shutout win vs. Wheeling | Feb. 18
Fresh off an 8-0 win two nights before vs. Cincinnati, Branden Komm secured consecutive shutouts to start his Reading career, making 25 saves to destroy Wheeling, 6-0. The Royals outscored opponents, 14-0, in Komm’s first two starts with Reading. The netminder began his Royals career with four straight wins.
12) The only loss on the list, but an important OTL vs. Wheeling | Dec. 2
A second-period brawl and injuries left the Royals with just three healthy defensemen in the lineup vs. the Nailers. The Royals managed to overcome it with goals in a sixteen-second span during the third period to force overtime. In the second, a knee check from Wheeling’s Garrett Meurs knocked D Chase Golightly out of the game. In his defense, Loic Leduc stood up for Golightly and Leduc was ejected. The Royals were down to three defensemen. F Steven Swavely, F Scott Tanski and others assisted on the blue line.
13) Royals fly high out of break with 6-2 throttling over Worcester | Dec. 28
Reading entered the holiday break one game above .500 and on a season-long five-game losing streak. Coming out of the break, the Royals scored the first three goals. Matt Willows and Chris McCarthy recorded three points. Back from Lehigh Valley, John Muse denied 37 shots.
14) Most-lopsided win in Royals history vs. Cincinnati, 8-0 | Feb. 16
The Royals had a nine-day break to prepare for the Cylcones and Reading went 4-for-4 on the power play, leading to the most-lopsided win in team history, 8-0, over Cincinnati. Branden Komm earned a shutout in his Royals debut. Reading scored the four power-play goals using just 1:08 of man-up time. Adam Schmidt triggered in a pair of goals, his first multi-goal game of the season. Michael Huntebrinker also wrapped in a pair.
15) Reading sweeps season series from Walleye with shootout win | Jan. 24
John Muse had more magic in the shootout, denying all three Walleye shooters for a 4-3 win on Jan. 24. At the time, the victory moved him to 9-1-0-0 with the Royals since returning from Lehigh Valley. Nick Luukko, Matt Wilkins and James de Haas scored in regulation.
16) Admirals no match for Royals, 7-1 | Feb. 2
Reading started a back-to-back at Norfolk in early February and dominated the Admirals with nine goals over the weekend. In the first game, Chris McCarthy poured in a professional-high four points (2g). Mark Dekanich blocked 49 of 50 shots over the weekend and was named CCM ECHL Goaltender of the Week for his efforts. Matt Willows scored consecutive game-winning goals over the weekend.
17) Royals rock Icemen, 5-1 | Nov. 11
In the first meeting ever between Reading and Jacksonville, defenseman James de Haas tallied four assists and a plus-five rating, sparking Reading to a 5-1 win. Paired on the blue line with Frank Hora (+5), each recorded the best plus-minus efforts of the Royals regular season. Adam Schmidt scored his first goal with the Royals.
2017-18 In Review:
39-24-9-0, 87 points (3rd North) | Home: 24-10-2-0 | Away: 15-14-7-0:
3.22 GF/gm (12th) | 2.76 GA/gm (6th)
Power play 16.0% (20th) | Penalty Kill 84.4% (8th)
Miniplans available for 2018-19!
Call 610-898-7825 to learn more about 9, 12 and 18 game mini-plans for the 2018-19 season!
2018-19 season tickets now available
Top full-season benefits include: exclusive Reading Hockey Club per seat gift, discounted rate off regular ticket prices, ticket exchange, preseason meet and greet, exclusive season ticket holder events, advanced entry and a chance to win and the Royals Owner’s Suite for a game. Call 610-898-7825 and visit to join the Royals family or renew season tickets for the 2018-19 season. Visit royalshockey.com/tickets/season-tickets to learn more.
About the Royals
The Royals have been owned by serial entrepreneur Jack Gulati since 2014 and are in their 17th ECHL season. Proudly affiliated with the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers and AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms, Reading plays in the Santander Arena, located in downtown Reading, PA at 700 Penn Street. The Royals won the Kelly Cup in 2013, have made the playoffs in nine straight seasons and are four-time division champions.