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Teddy Bear Toss Preview: Wheeling at Reading

Saturday, December 16th
Teddy Bear Toss Preview: Wheeling at Reading

Teddy Bear Toss, Christmas Ornament Giveaway, Ugly Sweater Jerseys

Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (14-8-2-0, 30 pts., T-2nd North) hold their annual teddy bear toss, hand out 2,000 Christmas ornaments and wear ugly sweater jerseys in a Saturday showdown with the Wheeling Nailers (14-10-2-0, 30 pts., T-2nd North) Saturday at 7 p.m. The Christmas ornaments are courtesy of Met-Ed.

Fans are encouraged to bring teddy bears to throw on the ice after the Royals score their first goal, with bears going to more than a dozen local children’s charities. Next Monday, Dec. 18, Royals players will be handing out the bears to kids in need, including at Tower Health.

Last night, Reading shut out Wheeling, 4-0, and Mark Dekanich tied a career high with 50 saves. The Royals are 4-1-1-0 in the 11-game season series against the Nailers. Reading scored three goals in the first period.

Reading is also home Sunday vs. Adirondack for a 4 p.m. puck drop. It’s $5 Green Zone tickets, magnet photo frame giveaway and dollar dogs, presented by Tower Health.

Dex PowerMark Dekanich’s 50-save performance was his 19th career shutout and first of the season. He had last earned a perfect performance against Elmira in Feb. 2017 while with the Royals. Over the last 3 games, he has made 50, 41 and 47 saves and allowed six goals.

50 saves – where do they stack up?Dekanich’s 50 saves rank as the second-most saves a Royals goaltender has earned in a shutout. The top-three performances have been against Wheeling.

1) Mark Owuya – 55 saves vs. WHL 3/28/2012

2) Mark Dekanich – 50 saves vs. WHL 12/15/2017

3) Matt Dalton – 48 saves vs. WHL 2/18/2011

Teddy Bear Toss historyThe Royals have won their last three teddy bear toss games and four of five. Last season, the Royals defeated Indy, 3-1, and Chris McCarthy scored the tossing goal halfway through the first. The Royals have scored in the first period of their teddy bear toss in four of the last five, alleviating the stress of having to hold on to the bears.

In 2014, the Royals beat South Carolina, 2-0, but didn’t score until 1:38 of the third period on a goal by David Marshall.

Give us a breakThe Royals will face the Nailers for the sixth time in nine games Saturday but receive a respite after the Teddy Bear Toss matchup; they do not play again until Jan. 26. The next Reading home game against the Nailers is Feb. 18.

The teams play back-to-back games once more in the 11-game series: March 9-10 in West Virginia.Flyers Flash

The Flyers have won five straight games and last defeated the Buffalo Sabres, 2-1, on Thursday. The win streak comes after Philadelphia dropped ten consecutive contests. The Flyers are 13-11-7, good for 33 points.

Jakub Voracek leads the team with 31 assists and 38 points. He has eight assists in his last five games.  Sean Couturier has 15 goals to lead the squad. The Flyers match the Dallas Stars from the Wells Fargo Center Saturday.

Phantoms update

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms dropped their last game at Charlotte and return home Saturday to face the red-hot Syracuse Crunch (ten-game win streak).

Phantoms forward Phil Varone has 30 points and ranks in the league’s top-five. Despite being recalled earlier in the season, Danick Martel is still the league leader with 15 goals.

John Muse has played in two games with the Phantoms since his recall (1-1-0-0 record). Dustin Tokarski is 7-2-2-1 in 14 appearances with a 3.36 goals against average and .888 save percentage.Head-to-Head

The Royals have points in four straight games against the Nailers (3-0-1-0) and the team has had balanced scoring.

Matt Willows has four goals and seven points against the Nailers. He is coming off a two-goal night Friday. Mark Naclerio also has seven points. Eight Reading players have goals against the Nailers.

Mark Dekanich has allowed six goals in three starts against the Nailers (2-0-1-0 record).

Hunter Fejes has a series-best five goals and seven points for the Nailers in the series. Cody Wydo has three goals and five points.

Last Time OutRoyals goaltender Mark Dekanich tied a career high with 50 saves and Reading scored three quick goals in the first to shut out the Wheeling Nailers, 4-0, Friday at Santander Arena. Four Royals notched multi-point games.

Scott Tanski (1g, 1a) scored with eight minutes left in the first. Matt Willows (2g) and Michael Huntebrinker (1g, 1a) scored eight seconds apart to jet the Royals to a 3-0 edge with 1:25 to go in the frame.

Dekanich made 21 saves in the second frame, matching his season-best in a period. Through two periods, Dekanich was perfect with 33 denials. In the third, he denied 17 shots. Dekanich last had 50 stops in Game 5 of the 2017 North Division Semifinals, a 2-1 OT loss to Brampton.

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 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 (orange Royals jerseys to pay tribute to the Flyers on 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 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 are shown locally on BCTV.