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Royals Sign Six to ECHL Tryout Agreements

Wednesday, October 1st
Royals Sign Six to ECHL Tryout Agreements

Reading, PA – The Reading Royals of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League and Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the American Hockey League, today announced that the team has signed six players to ECHL Tryout Agreements: (i) Dmitry Antipin (forward); (ii) Ryan Devine (defenseman); (iii)  Justin Kemmerer (forward); (iv) Sam Marotta (goaltender); (v) Nick Niedert (goaltender); and (vi) Kyler Nixon (defenseman).

Devine and Nixon were invited to the Royals’ 2014-15 Training Camp as a result of their performance in the team’s Free Agent Camp held at the Middletown Sports Complex and Howell Ice World (Middletown, NJ) in late August.

The Royals now have twenty-two players signed to ECHL agreements for the 2014-15 season. In addition to the six added today, the others are: forwards Brandon Blandina, Kyle Bodie, Ryan Cruthers, Brock Higgs, Adam Hughesman, Olivier Labelle, David Marshall, Domenic Monardo, Cam Reid, Kevin Walrod, Ian Watters, and Sean Wiles and defensemen Dan Ford, Jordan Heywood, Mike Marcou and Bryant Molle. Eight players are currently in AHL training camps: Higgs, Heywood, Hughesman, Marcou, Marshall, Monardo, Reid, and Wiles.

Antipin (6’3/197) (23), who hails from Novosibirsk, Russia, will be entering his first full season of pro. Last year, Antipin registered eleven points (8g-3a) and nineteen penalty minutes in twenty-five games with the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. At the conclusion of his season at UMass, Antipin joined the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL, where he recorded his first pro assist in four games. In 2012-13 at U-Mass Dartmouth, Antipin was part of a team that captured the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference championship and qualified for the NCAA Division III Tournament.

Devine (6’4/213) (213) (22), a defenseman from Wayne, Pennsylvania, racked up eighty points (25g-55a) and 142 penalty minutes in thirty-nine games with the Toronto Blue Ice Jets of the Greater Metro Junior ‘A’ Hockey League. In 2010-11, Devine recorded six points (3g-3a) in eight games with the ACHA team West Chester (PA) University.

Kemmerer (6’3/207) (27), who resides in Hershey, Pennsylvania, played six games for the Royals in 2011-12, recording an assist in his first pro game (a 6-3 win for Reading over the Wheeling Nailers in Johnstown, Pennsylvania on December 16, 2011). Kemmerer played three years of college hockey at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Marotta (6’4/209) (23), who hails from Bridgewater, Massachusetts, completed his four year career at Merrimack College last year, going 1-8-0 with a 3.16 goals against average, and a .870 in eleven games for the Warriors. Over the course of his time at Merrimack, Marotta, who played for two Massachusetts state championship teams at Boston College High School, played forty-seven total games for the Warriors, compiling a record of 14-19-4 during his collegiate career. His 2.37 career goals against average is the second lowest in Merrimack history and his career .917 save percentage is seventh best in school history.

Niedert (5’8/185) (32), a twelfth year pro from Hudson, Iowa, has had several stints with the Royals, which included playing in two games for the team during the championship 2012-13 season. Neidert, who has served as a back-up goaltender for the Royals on multiple occasions over several seasons dating back to 2007, has played with as many as twenty-nine different teams in eight different leagues during his pro career. Last year, Neidert played for five different teams, including the Utah Grizzlies and Gwinnett Gladiators in the ECHL.

Nixon (5’10/191) (21), who was born in Hanover, Ontario, led defensemen in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League with seventy assists (and eighty-two points) (12g-70a) in forty-nine games for the Caledonia Corvairs. For his efforts, Nixon was selected as the league’s Most Valuable Defenseman. The Corvairs, who set a league record with a 45-3-1 during the regular season, went on to the hoist the Sutherland Cup as the league champions.

The Royals open the 2014-15 season on Saturday, October 18, at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling, West Virginia, where the team will face the Wheeling Nailers. The home portion of the schedule will kick off the following Saturday (October 25, 2014 @ 7:05 pm) when the Elmira Jackals travel to Santander Arena. Royals’ season tickets are currently available. Call 610-898-7825 for more information or log onto www.royalshockey.com.