Reading, PA – The Reading Royals of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, today announced that the team has signed forward Matt Hatch to an ECHL Standard Players Contract.
This is the second stint with the Royals for Hatch (5’11/191) (25), a second year pro from Massena, New York. Last year, Hatch scored nine goals and assisted on six others (fifteen points) and registered fourteen penalty minutes in thirty-nine games for Reading. His nine goals tied for the team lead in goals by a rookie (with Jordan Heywood). He also led all first year pros on the team by playing to a plus-eight. His fourteen penalty minutes included two fighting majors. Hatch, who was loaned to Reading early last season from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the AHL, also played two games with Lehigh Valley without registering any points or penalty minutes. In the post-season Hatch played four games in the Royals’ first round East Division Semi-Final playoff series against the South Carolina Stingrays, recording one assist and four penalty minutes.
Prior to turning pro, Hatch had a stellar collegiate career at Union College. In his senior season, he scored thirteen goals and added nine assists (twenty-two points) and was assessed with thirty-nine penalty minutes while playing all forty-two games it took for the Dutchmen to capture the school’s first ever NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey National Championship. Hatch, who scored Union’s first goal at the start of the team’s magical tournament run that year, was tied for fourth in the ECAC with three game winning goals over the course of the season. During his tenure at Union, the Dutchmen won three ECAC Tournament Titles, appeared in the NCAA Tournament four times, made it to the Frozen Four Twice, and compiled an overall record of 104-37-20. In 148 career collegiate games, Hatch recorded seventy-three points (34g-39a) and 198 penalty minutes, while playing to a collective plus-65 (+65)—second best among his four year class.
The Royals next take the ice on Friday (October 23), when the team will travel to First Arena in Elmira, New York, to face the Elmira Jackals @ 7:05 pm. The game day broadcast will start at 6:35 on CBS Sports Radio 1240 am / 98.5 in Reading with the pre-game warmup show presented by Highmark Blue Shield. Please note that Friday’s game will not be televised on BCTV because of their annual Octoberfest fundraiser. If possible, Royals’ fans are encouraged to participate in the fundraising auction. Streaming video will be available on ECHL.TV on a pay-per-view basis. Free internet audio is available at www.royalshockey.com.
Reading opens the home portion of the team’s schedule on Saturday, October 24, (7:00 pm) when the Jackals visit Santander Arena. The home opener will be preceded by a Block Party complete with a FREE concert by the Gin Blossoms. Season Tickets for the 2015-16 Reading Royals ECHL season are currently available. Call 610-898-7825 for more information or log onto www.royalshockey.com.