Luukko’s first of season is game-winning strike
Worcester, MA – Nick Luukko gave the Reading Royals (5-2-0-0, 10 points) a two-goal advantage early in the third to power the club to a 3-1 win over the Worcester Railers Sunday at the DCU Center.
Joining the rush, the defenseman found a rebound and whipped it in from the right post at 4:39 of the third, assisted by Steven Swavely. The Royals allowed a goal with six minutes left, but Mark Naclerio (1g, 1a) earned his second point with an empty-net goal at 18:41 of the third.
Matt Willows scored in the first period to give the Royals a 1-0 edge. Mark Dekanich (3-1-0-0) stopped 25 shots and savored the win with nine stops in the third. Eamon McAdam lost despite 33 saves.
The Royals will fly to South Carolina Monday and take on the Stingrays at the North Charleston Coliseum on Tues., Nov. 7 and Wed., Nov. 8 for 7:05 p.m. puck drops.
Reading struck first on a fortunate bounce at 11:49 of the first. Alex Krushelnyski centered the puck from the top of the right circle and it ricocheted off Willows and went in to the left post. Naclerio received the secondary assist. Krushelnyski leads the Royals with nine points. Willows has three goals and eight points this season.
Twenty seconds after the goal, Worcester’s Mike Cornell was assessed a two-minute minor penalty for cross checking, a five-minute major penalty for fighting and a game misconduct. The Royals did not score on the ensuing seven-minute power play. Both teams were 0-for-3 on the man up.
Mark Dekanich made 11 saves in the second, denying 16 through two periods.
The goaltender’s strong performance set the stage for the Royals to take a 2-0 lead. Luukko’s game-winning tally was the third of his career and first in 366 days (11/4/16 at Rapid City).
After Matty Gaudreau’s goal with six minutes left, the Royals iced the game with 1:20 to go. Naclerio shot it from the outside of the left circle and in.
The next Royals home game is Sat., Nov. 11 vs. Jacksonville at 7 p.m. for Veteran’s Appreciation Night and a Royals rally towel giveaway to the first 2,500 fans, courtesy of U.G.I. Utilities. Tickets: http://www.ticketmaster.com/Reading-Royals-tickets/artist/838174
The Best Deal in SportsCall the Royals office at 610-989-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.