Reading, PA – The Reading Royals of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, and the Greater Berks Food Bank remind fans that they will jointly present a FREE pre-season matchup between the Royals and the Elmira Jackals TONIGHT: Friday, October 7 (7:00 pm) at Santander Arena. In order to gain admittance to the pre-season game, fans are requested to simply bring and donate a non-perishable food item.
Tonight’s pre-season game kicks off a home-and-home pre-season set with the Jackals. The two teams will face-off in the back end of the two-game series tomorrow (Saturday, October 8 @ 7:05 pm) at First Arena in Elmira, New York.
In a transaction completed earlier today, goaltender Martin Ouellette was loaned by the Flyers from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the American Hockey to the Royals. In other transactions, forward Mike Pereira, who was previously released from the pre-season training camp of the Hartford Wolf Pack of the AHL, and defenseman Derik Johnson, who was previously released from the pre-season training camp of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL, have been added to the Royals Training Camp Roster.
In separate transactions previously completed, goaltender Nick Niedert was released from his ECHL Standard Players Contract with the Royals; and defenseman Bobby Domin was released from his Amateur Tryout Agreement with the team.
This marks the third stint in Reading for Ouellette (6’2/194) (24), a third year pro from Saint-Hippolyte, Quebec. Last year, Ouellette split the season between the Royals and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the AHL. While with Reading, he played a team-leading thirty-one games, during which he went 17-10-3-0 with a 2.10 goals against average—which was third-best in the ECHL—and a career-best .922 save percentage. Ouellette’s wins for the Royals last year included bagging a team-leading four shutouts. Over the course of the 2015-16 season, Ouellette made eight trips to Lehigh Valley, where he went 5-3-0 with a 2.36 goals against average and a .933 save percentage and racked up back-to-back shutouts in early April for the Phantoms. Ouellette returned to the Royals for playoffs, appearing in nine post-season games (4-2-2, 2.61, .919) in Reading’s playoff run that took the team to Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals against the Wheeling Nailers.
In his rookie season (2014-15), after being signed to an AHL contract by the Flyers, Ouellette was loaned to the Royals and played 29 games for Reading, compiling a record of 17-10-1-1 with a 2.91 goals against average and a .907 save percentage with one shutout. That year, Ouellette was recalled to Lehigh Valley on four separate occasions. He played in eight games for the Phantoms, compiling a record of 3-2-0 with a 2.90 goals against average and a .890 save percentage.
Over the past two seasons with Reading, Ouellette has played 60 regular season games for the Royals, which is fourth most all-time. His thirty-four wins as a Royal tie him (with Connor Knapp) for third all-time in team history.
Prior to turning pro, Ouellette had a stellar collegiate career at the University of Maine. In his senior season with the Black Bears (2013-14) he went 15-15-4 in thirty-four games, racking up four shutouts and compiling a 2.29 goals against average with a .925 save percentage, which is the second best (to Jimmy Howard of the Detroit Red Wings) in school history. Ouellette, a seventh round pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, received the Three Stars Award at Maine after his junior and senior seasons. In 82 career collegiate games, Ouellette compiled a record of 28-33-14 with a 2.52 goals against average, .913 save percentage, and seven career shutouts with the Black Bears.
Season Sixteen of “Hometown Hockey” kicks off for the Royals on Saturday, October 15, (7:00 pm) when the Elmira Jackals visit Santander Arena. Season Tickets and individual game tickets for the Royals’ 2016-17 ECHL season are currently available. Call 610-898-7825 for more information or log onto www.royalshockey.com.