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Game 17 Preview: Wheeling at Reading

Sunday, November 26th
Game 17 Preview: Wheeling at Reading

Royals need win for best home start ever

Family Day, mini-stick giveaway, postgame skate

Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (10-5-1-0, 21 pts., 3rd North) seek their best home start ever against the Wheeling Nailers (10-5-2-0, 22 pts., 2nd North) on a “4 for $44 Family Day” Sunday at 4 p.m. It’s also a mini-stick giveaway (first 1,000 kids 14U), presented by Deibler Dental, and a free postgame skate (Body Zone). Tickets are available here.

The Royals are 7-0-0-0 at home, matching the team’s best home start (7-0-0-0 in 2005-06). Reading has outscored opponents, 32-15, at Santander Arena.

The Royals defeated Adirondack in the first two games of the three-in-three. Last night, Mark Dekanich made 39 saves and Matt Willows had the game-winning goal in the 3-2 win.

Reading embarks on a three-game road trip after Sunday’s game. The Royals are at Cincinnati on Wed., Nov. 28 and Wheeling twice next weekend.

Home dominance – 2017-18 vs. 2005-06

Reading is 7-0-0-0 at home, matching the 2005-06 team for the best start. Royals averages 4.6 goals a game at home and allows 2.1.  In 2005-06, Reading outscored opponents, 34-13, in the 7-0-0-0 start. This time, Reading is outscoring opponents, 32-15.

The 2005-06 team did not lose at Santander Arena until Dec. 2 vs. Dayton. The dominant run included an early-season sweep of a six-game home stand.

This season, Royals goaltender John Muse is 5-0-0-0 at home, allowing eight total goals. Friday, he recorded his first ECHL regular season shutout since 2011-12 with 30 saves vs. Adirondack.

In 2005-06, despite the 7-0-0-0 start, the team picked up its play on the road but slumped at home, falling to a 10-7-1 record around February. Reading had 22 wins at home in 2005-06, including a six-game win streak later in the season.The ECHL record for most home wins is 30, accomplished by three teams (Louisiana, 2001-02 | San Diego, 2003-04 | Alaska 2005-06).

Matt Willows GWGs

Matt Willows scored the game-winning goal Friday and Saturday vs. Adirondack, the first time he has GWGs in consecutive contests. He has ten winners in his career, with a professional high five coming during the 2015-16 season. Willows won ECHL Rookie of the Year that season with 23 goals and 66 points.

A native of Congers, NY, Willows is tied for second on the team with six goals and 14 points. The third-year professional stands 5-foot-9 and weighs 186 pounds.

Last Time OutMatt Willows sparked the Royals to a 3-1 lead with six minutes left and Reading held on for a 3-2 win at Adirondack Saturday in Glens Falls, NY. Reading scored a pair of goals on the breakaway; from Ryan Penny (six goals this season) and Willows. Mark Dekanich made 39 saves for his fifth win of the season (5-3-0-0).

Adam Schmidt opened the scoring in the first. Reading allowed two power-play goals to the Thunder (2-for-5). The Royals were 0-for-3 on the man up.Season Series

In the only game of the season series, Nolan Zajac scored at 1:12 of overtime to defeat the Wheeling Nailers, 2-1, Oct. 22 at Santander Arena. The Royals moved to 2-0-0-0 with the win. Mark Naclerio assisted on both Reading goals. Matt Willows (1g) and Adam Comrie (1a) also earned a point.

Reid Gardiner scored the only goal for Wheeling, assisted by Cody Wydo and Nick Sorkin.

Goaltender John Muse (Win, 37 saves) outdueled Colin Stevens (OTL, 28 saves).

All-time vs. Wheeling

Wheeling is Reading’s most-common active opponent. The Royals have 90 wins and the Nailers have 72 victories in the 17-year history (REA: 90-58-14 record).  Reading went 5-2-0-0 against Wheeling last season.

Back on the roadThe Royals play their seventh straight home game against a division opponent Sunday against Wheeling. In the first six games, Reading is 3-2-0-0.

Reading is 6-0-0-0 against Adirondack, Manchester and Wheeling this season, three of the top-four teams in the North Division.

Cyber Monday!

Purchase a Purple Pride Five-Game Pack through Nov. 30 and add any two games for free from the list of following dates: Jan. 10 vs. Worcester, Jan. 24 vs. Toledo, Feb. 22 vs. Worcester, Mar. 14th vs. Fort Wayne and Apr. 4th vs. Worcester. Dinner is on us for the five-game pack!

It’s $69.95 for the pack plus five free dinners to each game of the Purple Pride Five-Game Pack.

Call (610) 898-PUCK (7825) and ask for your ticket guys to learn about the best deal in sports! Details for the Purple Pride Five-Game Pack can be found here https://royalshockey.com/purple-pride-5-game-pack/.

About the RoyalsThe 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 AppHead 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 CoverageAll 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 locally on BCTV.