Manchester, NH – Michael Huntebrinker (1g, 1a) scored his first professional goal and the Reading Royals galloped past the Manchester Monarchs, 5-3, Wednesday at SNHU Arena.
Huntebrinker scored at the right post, deflecting it in on a pass from Loic Leduc (2a). The strike gave the Royals a 3-1 edge with 8:35 to go in the second. A 2017 graduate of Minnesota State, Huntebrinker has three points this season. With the Royals up a goal, Huntebrinker assisted on Reading’s empty-net goal by Matt Willows to ice the contest in the final minute.
Reading’s Nolan Zajac extended the edge to 4-1 in the third. The Monarchs scored the last two goals, but Mark Dekanich (win, 4-2-0-0 record) made 30 saves.
Nick Luukko had three assists to lead the Royals in points. Tyler Brown and Matt Wilkins (1g, 1a) also scored.
Evan Cowley blocked 30 Reading shots.
Slightly more than a minute in, Dekanich denied the Monarchs’ Zac Lynch on a penalty shot. It was the first penalty shot against the Royals this season.
Brown scored the opening goal at 10:54 of the first, assisted by Wilkins and Luukko. Luukko passed in front of the penalty box and the puck nicked off of Wilkins. Rolling to the high slot, Brown had a breakaway and stuffed it in at the right post on the backhand. The 7th-year professional has points in consecutive games.
The Royals added two more in the second. Wilkins scored his second of the season, assisted by Steven Swavely, to provide the Royals a 2-0 lead. Wilkins hit the brakes at the right circle and sniped one to the top shelf. He has goals in consecutive games. The Monarchs scored 23 seconds later on a right-point shot from Colton Saucerman.
Huntebrinker’s goal regained the two-goal edge. Leduc and Luukko earned the helpers. After the play, Leduc fought Matt Schmalz after Jordan Smotherman took down Wilkins.
Leduc then sprung Zajac out of the penalty box for another breakaway goal at 3:24 of the third. Schmalz scored with 1:35 left to cut the edge to 4-3. Willows secured the win with an empty-net goal at 19:21 of the third. The Royals are in Brampton for two games against the Beast on Fri., Nov. 17 and Sun., Nov. 19.
Watch the Royals on Tues., Nov. 21 at 7:00 p.m. against Adirondack and meet the players after the game with special postgame autographs, brought to you by Rieck’s Printing. Tickets are available here.
Following Thanksgiving, the Royals are home on Black Friday, Nov. 24, for another game against Adirondack. It’s Penny Days, where select Royals items will be on sale as “buy one, get one for a penny” (details forthcoming). Also, it’s a PA lottery voucher giveaway game to the first 2,500 fans 18+.
The Best Deal in SportsCall the Royals office at 610-898-PUCK (7825) and ask for your ticket guy to learn about the best deal in sports! It’s a five-game pack to Reading’s five-biggest games for $69.95, plus we’ll buy you dinner. Information: 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.
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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.