Reading, PA – Michael Huntebrinker recorded his first professional hat trick and four-point game to jolt the Reading Royals to a 5-3 win over the Adirondack Thunder Saturday at Santander Arena. Brian Morgan had his first multi-goal game and finished with three points (2g, 1a). The Royals are 7-1-0-0 against Adirondack this season. The teams combined for 17 infractions and 65 penalty minutes. Reading took 24 penalty minutes.
Huntebrinker scored twice in the second period and added an empty-net goal in the third. His first strike gave the Royals the lead on the power play at 7:38 of the second with Adirondack’s Mike Bergin out of the game after a five-minute penalty for elbowing and a game misconduct.
Next, the power play expired but the Thunder did not have a man in the penalty box to serve the Bergin major infraction, allowing the “5-on-4” to proceed. Huntebrinker deflected a slot pass from Morgan at 11:54 of the frame and gave the Royals a 3-1 advantage. It was the Minnesota State graduate’s first multi-goal game since Dec. 15, 2015 in his junior year of college against Alabama-Huntsville.
Morgan scored in the first and the third. His third-period goal gave Reading a 4-1 edge.
John Muse denied all shots in the second and took his third straight victory (31 saves). Chris Nell took the loss with 21 saves.
The Royals start a five-game homestand Jan. 5 at 7:00 p.m. with Jerry “The King” Lawlerr coming to Santander Arena on Pro Wrestling Night against the Brampton Beast.
Adirondack scored the opening strike. Desmond Bergin aimed in the first goal at 5:20 of the first on a left-circle shot.
The Royals responded with 45.7 seconds to go in the frame. Derek Whitmore fell entering across the right blue line, but slithered it on net while falling. After striking off Nell’s pads, it rebounded to Morgan at the top of the crease and he backhanded it through the legs.
Bergin was ejected at 6:15 of the second after elbowing Adam Schmidt. Reading went on a five-minute power play.
Huntebrinker put the Royals in front a minute later by angling his skate and deflecting it in, assisted by Chris McCarthy and Luukko.
The power play ended and Reading pressed. Thirty-nine seconds after the man up ended, Huntebrinker helped command the Royals to a two-goal lead with a great deflection off a Morgan pass. Mark Naclerio had the secondary assist.
Morgan rung the puck past Nell at 6:10 of the third to provide a 4-1 edge.
Terrance Wallin scored consecutive goals in the third to make it a 4-3 Reading edge.
Huntebrinker found himself alone with 12 seconds to go and tallied the icing empty-net goal.
The Royals were 1-for-3 on the man up. Adirondack scored twice on five power-play chances.
Meet Jerry “The King” Lawler on Pro Wrestling Night Jan. 5Meet wrestling legend Jerry “The King” Lawler at Santander Arena and watch the Royals battle the Brampton Beast on Fri., Jan. 5 at 7:00 p.m.
Mental Health Awareness Night and Kelly Cup Puck Giveaway Jan. 6Sat., Jan 6 vs. WOR at 7 p.m.: Kelly Cup Tribute Championship puck to the first 2,000 fans courtesy of Berks-Schuylkill Oil Heat Association.Dollar Dogs and Postgame skate Jan. 7Sun., Jan 7 vs. WOR at 4 p.m.: Dollar dog day presented by Safe Berks, Berks Packing and Coca-Cola, and a postgame skate presented by Body Zone.
Royals three-game pack on sale!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.
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, channel 15 Comcast, channel 19 Service Electric.