Game 38 Preview: Adirondack at Reading

Royals start 3-in-3 with back-to-back vs. Thunder

Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (20-15-2-0, 42 pts., 3rd North) seek continued success against the Adirondack Thunder (20-15-1-2, 43 pts., 2nd North) and give away gym bags to the first 2,000 fans Friday at 7:00 p.m. from Santander Arena. The gym bags are presented by Tower Health.

Reading is starting a back-to-back against the Thunder and takes on Adirondack in Glens Falls, NY Saturday. The Royals are 7-2-0-0 against Adirondack this season. The last time the teams met, the Thunder shut out Reading, 3-0, Dec. 31.

Wednesday, the Royals came back from a pair of one-goal deficits to defeat the Railers, 4-2. Matt Willows had a goal and two points, Alex Krushelnyski scored the game-winning goal and John Muse recorded a professional-high seventh straight win. Adirondack had a five-game point streak snapped Wednesday in Wheeling, 6-3.

After scoring the game-winning goal, Lehigh Valley recalled Krushelnyski from loan Jan. 11.

The Royals play three games this weekend. Sunday, the team finishes the road trip at Manchester for a 3:00 p.m. showdown, with Royals Pregame coverage starting at 2:45 p.m. on BCTV and Rumba 1340. Listen in to the BCTV Jimmy G’s Trivia Question of the game for your chance to win a gift card to Jimmy G’s Railroad House in Sinking Spring, PA.

Already done with you at home
The Royals are 5-1-0-0 at Santander Arena against the Thunder and Friday’s contest marks Reading’s final home game of the series. The Royals have won by multiple goals in four of the six home games. Last home contest, Michael Huntebrinker recorded a professional high four points and his first hat trick in a 5-3 win. Reading is outscoring Adirondack, 28-19, at home. The home efforts included a 9-4 beat down on Oct. 29, the third-most goals Reading has ever scored in a game.

The final four games of the series are on the road, beginning Sat., Jan. 13 in Glens Falls. The Royals are 2-1-0-0 at Cool Insuring Arena.

Reading and Adirondack battle 14 times in the season series.

Captain coming up clutch against Thunder
Derek Whitmore has five goals and four have been against Adirondack. The Royals began the season against the Thunder Oct. 21 and Whitmore scored the overtime winner at :07. Next, he had three points (1g, 2a) Oct. 29, plus another goal in the third and fourth game of the series. Both of his game-winning goals have been against Adirondack, plus seven of his 11 points.

Reigning forward vs. reigning goaltender
John Muse is the reigning CCM/ECHL Goaltender of the Week and Adirondack’s Shane Conacher was awarded the Sher-Wood Hockey/ECHL Player of the Week Tuesday. Muse has won seven straight games and was 3-0-0-0 last week with a shutout. Conacher had three goals and seven points last week and is first Adirondack player to win the award since Michael Kirkpatrick in April 2016.

Muse denied 19 shots last game in a 4-2 win over Worcester. He is 6-0-0-0 since returning from Lehigh Valley (Dec. 27) with a 1.66 goals against average and .950 save percentage. In 16 games, Muse is 12-3-1-0 and is third in the league with a 2.19 goals against average and .933 save percentage. He is 10-1-0-0 at home, where the Royals support him with 4.09 goals a game.

Conacher is riding a career-best six-game point streak (4g, 5a). During three seasons at Canisius College, Conacher totaled 106 points in 108 games. He was the second forward in team history to earn a spot on the All-Atlantic Hockey First Team. This season, Conacher has played 29 games with the Thunder and has eight goals and a team-best 22 assists.


Head-to-head series: Royals lead, 7-2
The Royals started the series 6-0-0-0 against the Thunder but Adirondack has clapped back with wins in two of three. Matt Willows leads all players in the series with 10 points (3g) and Reading’s Nolan Zajac has nine (3g). Pierre-Luc Mercier recorded an assist last game against the Royals (Dec. 31) and tops the Thunder with seven assists and nine points in the series.

Reading’s Michael Huntebrinker has five goals against Adirondack, best on both sides. The rookie has tallied 11 times this season.

John Muse is 4-0-0-0 against the Thunder with a 2.25 goals against average and .933 save percentage. Mark Dekanich is 3-1-0-0 with a 2.60 goals against average and .927 save percentage.

Drew Fielding is the only active Thunder goalie with a victory in the series, attaining a 1-1-0-0 record in four games (2.29 GAA, .924 save percentage).

THON, Scout and Star Wars Night Jan. 20
Sat., Jan. 20 vs BRM at 7 p.m.: THON Night, Scout Night, and Star Wars Night. First 2,000 fans will receive a Slapshot bobblehead. The Royals will wear Star Wars jerseys.

Mascot Mania, 4 for $44 Family Day and $5 Green Zone Tickets Jan. 21
Sun., Jan 21 vs BRM at 4 p.m.: Slapshot’s Birthday/ Mascot Mania. 4 for $44 Family Days presented by Safe Berks, Berks Packing and Coca-Cola. Post-game Autograph session, and kids will receive an autograph book (first 1,000 kids 14 and Under) courtesy of Prospectus Berco & M.P. Butterworth and Associates.

$5 Green Zone Tickets and postgame player photo and autograph session Wed., Jan. 24 vs. Toledo
Wed., Jan 24 vs TOL at 7 p.m. Postgame photo and autograph session with four players. (Players TBA) Thanks to, Rieck’s Printing.

Tickets to three of our biggest games for $30 – Purple and Black Pack
Get an autographed Royals puck and come out to three of our biggest games for just $30.
– Sat., Jan. 20 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Brampton (Slapshot bobblehead giveaway, THON Night, Star Wars jerseys)
– Fri., Feb. 17 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Brampton (Pink in the Rink, knit scarf giveaway)
– Sat., Mar. 17 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Brampton (Yannick Tifu number retired, Meet WWE Million Dollar Man)
– Sat., Mar. 24 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Worcester (Kelly Cup Tribute puck giveaway, Autism Awareness jerseys)
– Sat., Apr. 7 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Norfolk (FANdemonium, fan appreciation, fan’s choice giveaway)
– Call 610-898-PUCK and tickets are available here.

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 eight straight seasons and are four-time division champions.

Reading Royals Mobile App
Head to the App Store and Google Play to download the new Reading Royals app on your smartphone! Stay up-to-date with team news, receive notifications and purchase tickets for your next experience at Santander Arena.

Broadcast Coverage
All Royals game can be heard on Rumba 1340 AM and the iHeartRadio app by searching “Rumba 1340”. The pregame show starts 15 minutes before puck drop. Watch Royals games on ECHL.tv. Reading away games are shown locally on BCTV.