Game 24 Preview: Allen at Reading

First meeting between Allen and Reading with Clothing Drive, 4-for-48 pack

Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (10-7-2-4, 26 pts., 4th North), proud ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, host the Allen Americans (6-19-0-2, 14 pts., 7th Mountain) for the first of three straight games Friday at 7:00 p.m. The Royals kick off the Weekend of Giving, presented by Met-Ed and the Salvation Army, with a clothing drive and 4-for-48 Family Pack. Get four tickets, four burgers and four sodas for $48. The Salvation Army will be at all three games this weekend collecting goods for those in need. Saturday is the team’s Teddy Bear Toss with $5 Tickets, plus a food drive. Sunday’s SpongeBob Squarepants Nickelodeon Game features a toy drive at Santander Arena.

Reading has tied a season-long three-game winning streak after sweeping the conference-leading Newfoundland Growlers last weekend in St. John’s. The Royals combined for 12 goals, the most the team has accumulated in back-to-back games this season. Despite winning the last three road games, Reading will look to snap a six-game slide at Santander Arena. Coincidentally, the Royals possess the top road record in the league (8-1-0-3), but are tied with Allen for the fewest home victories (2) in the league.

The Americans have the fewest points in the league and lost Wednesday, 3-1, at Wheeling.

Weekend of Giving Schedule
Fri., Dec. 14 at 7:00 p.m.: Clothing Drive, 4-for-48 Family Pack (4 tickets, 4 burgers, 4 sodas for $48)

Sat., Dec. 15 at 7:00 p.m.: Community Night with $5 tickets (all proceeds to Salvation Army), Teddy Bear Toss, Food Drive, Holiday Ornament Giveaway to the first 2,000 fans, Royals will wear Ugly Christmas Sweater jerseys

Sun., Dec. 16 at 5:00 p.m.: Toy Drive at Santander Arena, plus have a personal meet-and-greet with SpongeBob SquarePants with the Royals’ SpongeBob VIP Package as he visits Santander Arena. The Royals will wear SpongeBob jerseys and Allen will wear Patrick Star jerseys.

Listen to today’s game at Mixlr.com/ReadingRoyals, with coverage starting 15 minutes before puck drop.

Winning streak, with a chance to match MacDonald’s best
The Royals have won three straight contests and outscored opponents, 15-9, over the trio of victories. Every Royals victory has been by two goals, making the team 6-4-0-0 in games decided by a pair.

A Royals win Friday would tie for the longest winning streak in the Kirk MacDonald era. The last time the Royals won four in a row was the first four games of the 2017-18 campaign. Reading started 4-0-0-0 for the first time in team history. All four of those victories were at home and Reading established a team record by beginning last season 7-0-0-0 at Santander Arena.

The Royals have ripped off four straight victories twice since MacDonald became interim Head Coach in Apr. 2017. Reading won the last three games of the 2016-17 regular season under MacDonald, then took the first game of the 2017 North Division Semifinals vs. Brampton. MacDonald started off with wins in his first seven regular season games of his head coaching career, taking the last three in 2016-17 and the first four in 2017-18.

MacDonald has coached in 98 career games for the Royals, going 52-31-15 for a points percentage of .607.

Schmidt catches fire in Canada
Warrington, PA native Adam Schmidt authored his first multi-goal game of the season (2g) Saturday in Newfoundland, giving the fifth-year professional seven goals and 18 points. Schmidt has had three multi-goal games with Reading, with his last coming on Yannick Tifu’s retirement night Mar. 17, 2018 vs. Brampton. The Royals are 3-0-0-0 when Schmidt notches multiple goals in a game.

The 28-year-old has goals in three straight games (4g) for the second time in his Royals career, matching a career-long streak.

Given the team’s “Heart Award” by Royals Head Coach Kirk MacDonald at the end of the 2017-18 season, Schmidt has scored 62 points (24g) in 81 ECHL games.

Scouting Allen
The Americans rank last in the league in team defense, allowing a league-worst 3.93 goals per game. The club has surrendered at least four goals in 18 of 27 contests. The Americans have allowed 106 goals, the only team in the Western Conference to give up more than 100. On offense, the club last manufactured four or more in a game on Nov. 30 vs. Wichita. The club has split its last four home games after starting 0-6-0-0 at the Allen Events Center.

Allen has found the majority of its success when bagging the game’s first goal (4-3-0-0).

Zach Pochiro scored Allen’s only goal Wednesday at Wheeling to extend to a team-high 11 (22 GP). Braylon Shmyr and Spencer Asuchak are tied for the team lead with 19 points.

Finding the first
The Royals have scored the first goal in each of their last three games and Reading has won all three. The streak marks the first time this season Reading has scored the first goal in three straight contests. Reading is 5-2-1-2 when striking first.

The Royals topped the ECHL by scoring the first goal in 46 contests last season (32 wins). At this point last season, Reading had struck first in 17 of 23 games.

Despite “scoring first” fewer times than 2017-18, Reading has notched six of its ten wins in come-from-behind fashion. Comparatively, at this point last season, the Royals had come back twice. The Royals record for come-from-behind wins is 20, accomplished during the 2012-13 Kelly Cup championship season.

About the Royals
The Royals have been owned by serial entrepreneur Jack Gulati since 2014 and are entering their 18th 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.

Listen to all Royals broadcasts at Mixlr.com/ReadingRoyals or by downloading the Mixlr App from the App Store or Google Play.