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Dominant Dekanich, Royals race to 5-1 Thunder demolition

Friday, December 8th
Dominant Dekanich, Royals race to 5-1 Thunder demolition

Glens Falls, NY – The Reading Royals (13-7-2-0, 28 points) stunned the Adirondack Thunder with three goals in the first period and stayed at first place in the North Division with a 5-1 victory Friday at Cool Insuring Arena. Mark Dekanich made a season-high 47 saves and had 21 stops in the second period.

Nolan Zajac, Derek Whitmore and Matt Wilkins scored in the first. The Royals are 6-0-0-0 against the Thunder this season, their best start in the head-to-head series ever. Reading has outscored Adirondack, 28-13, in the series.

Nic Riopel was pulled after the first, making eight saves. Drew Fielding allowed one goal in relief (18 saves).

After piling on the goals, the Royals left it to Dekanich to anchor. He made 16 saves in the first and then added the season-best 21 in the second.  Through two periods, he matched his previous season high with 37 denials. The 10th-year pro came three saves shy of a career high.

Reading is at Manchester Saturday for a 6 p.m. puck drop. The teams are tied atop the North Division with 28 points.

Box Score

Zajac and Whitmore scored 1:20 apart to place the Royals ahead, 2-0. Zajac scored the Royals’ first short-handed goal of the season by head faking, cutting to the slot and sliding it through Riopel at 6:59 of the first. Adam Schmidt and Wilkins assisted. Next, Whitmore scored in his first game back from injury. After receiving a 140-foot pass from Ryan Penny, Whitmore was all alone and lifted one over Riopel’s right shoulder. The Captain had missed the last 12 games due to the injury.

Wilkins extended the lead with 2:29 remaining in the frame. Chris McCarthy and Matt Willows played catch at the right circle, allowing Wilkins to sneak undisturbed to the left post. Willows passed to him and Wilkins deked and shot it through. Dekanich made 16 saves in the first.

Adirondack outshot the Royals, 21-10, in the second. They had 17 shots in the opening ten minutes of the second.

Mark Naclerio slammed home a goal at the slot for his tenth of the season at :39 of the third, assisted by Alex Krushelnyski. The Royals allowed a short-handed goal 3:12 into the third to James Henry, cutting the edge to 4-1.

Michael Huntebrinker added an empty-net marker with 1.4 seconds left.

Reading’s man up was 0-for-4. The Royals were 4-for-4 on the penalty kill. Both teams netted short-handed markers.

The Royals host Wheeling for a pair of games Fri., Dec. 15 and Sat. Dec 16. Next Saturday, it’s the annual Teddy Bear Toss game and Ugly Sweater Jerseys. Plus, the first 2,000 fans receive a Royals Christmas ornament, presented by Met-Ed.Santa Sacks Holiday GiftStuff the stocking with Santa Sacks! Get an autographed Royals puck and come out to three of our biggest games for just $30.- Sat., Jan. 20 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Brampton (Slapshot bobblehead giveaway, THON Night, Star Wars jerseys)- Fri., Feb. 17 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Brampton (Pink in the Rink, knit scarf giveaway)- Sat., Mar. 17 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Brampton (Yannick Tifu number retired, Meet WWE Million Dollar Man)- Sat., Mar. 24 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Worcester (Kelly Cup Tribute puck giveaway, Autism Awareness jerseys)- Sat., Apr. 7 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Norfolk (FANdemonium, fan appreciation, fan’s choice giveaway)- Call 610-898-PUCK and tickets are available here.

More $5 TicketsThe Royals are pleased to announce $5 tickets in the Green Zone to two more upcoming games in December!- Sun., Dec. 17 at 4:00 p.m. vs. Adirondack (dollar dogs and player photo) | Thurs., Dec. 28 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Worcester (special Flyers jerseys, aPHILLYation night)- Call 610-898-PUCK (7825) and tickets are available here.

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 App

Head 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 Coverage

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, channel 15 Comcast, channel 19 Service Electric.