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Game 33 Preview: Reading at Worcester

Wednesday, January 3rd
Game 33 Preview: Reading at Worcester

Royals and Railers start busy series stretch        

Worcester, MA – The Reading Royals (16-14-2-0, 34 pts., T-3rd North) look for their second straight win against the Worcester Railers (12-13-2-2, 28 points, 6th North) Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. from DCU Center. The Royals demolished the Railers, 6-2, in Reading last Thursday.

The teams match four times in the next week. The Royals play four of the next five against the Railers. Reading is 2-3-0-0 against the Railers and the squads play 14 times this season.

Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on Rumba 1340 and BCTV with Royals Pregame. Watch BCTV on Channel 15 Comcast and Channel 19 Service Electric. Answer our BCTV Royals Trivia Question of the Night, presented by Jimmy G’s Railroad House in Sinking Spring, PA for your chance to win a Jimmy G’s gift card.

Reading is 2-1-0-0 since returning from the holiday break. Last time out, Reading split a weekend series with the Adirondack and lost, 3-0, Sunday. Worcester has lost three straight games – one to Reading and two against Manchester.

The Royals play three home games Jan. 5-7 and start a five-game home stand. On Fri., Jan. 5, meet Jerry “The King” Lawler as the Royals host the Brampton Beast at 7:00 p.m.

Muse strong in ReadingRoyals goaltender John Muse has won consecutive starts since returning from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms last week. Muse defeated Worcester with 37 saves Thurs., Dec. 28. Possessing an 8-3-1-0 record, Muse is sixth in the league with a .924 save percentage and 10th with a 2.51 goals against average. The “Moose” is 7-1-0-0 at home this season. Overall, the Royals provide him with 3.67 goals/game when he starts. On the road, Reading has scored nine goals in four starts to aid Muse.

A native of East Falmouth, MA, Muse was a two-time national champion at Boston College (2008, 2010) and the 2012 Kelly Cup Playoffs MVP with Florida.    

Willows leads in scoring and PIMsMatt Willows is Reading’s “triple crown” scoring leader (goals, assists, points) and has taken the team’s active lead in penalty minutes (36). Outside of games against Adirondack, the third-year professional has taken just four minor penalties (8 minutes). Willows is tied for a team-high 11 goals with rookie Michael Huntebrinker and has 16 assists for 27 points.

Last time against Worcester, Willows tied a season high with three points (1g, 2a). He has one career four-point game, one hat trick and ten games with at least three points.

The 2015-16 ECHL Rookie of the Year, Willows has 43 multi-point games in 166 ECHL games.

Brown is backThe Royals expect Tyler Brown to return from an injury absence over the next few games. He has played in 21 games for Reading this season (2g, 3a) and missed the last ten.Head-to-head seriesReading is 2-3-0-0 against the Railers. The Royals have won two of three matchups since dropping the opening two meetings. Reading is 1-3-0-0 in games at Worcester. On Dec. 20, the Railers received a goal from Barry Almeida and won, 1-0, despite 28 saves from Mark Dekanich.

Royals goaltenders (Dekanich, John Muse) are allowing two goals/start against the Railers. Dekanich is 1-2-0-0 in three appearances (2.05 goals against average, .928 save percentage). John Muse is 1-1-0-0 (2.04 GAA, .941 save percentage).

Worcester’s Mitch Gillam shut out the Royals Dec. 20 and has stopped 59 of 61 shots against Reading in three appearances (2-0-0-0 record). The Railers pulled Eamon McAdam after two periods Dec. 28 when the Penn State graduate allowed five goals on 23 shots. The Perkasie, PA native has given up nine goals in three starts against Reading.

Ten Royals have goals against the Railers. Chris McCarthy (2g), Mark Naclerio (2g) and Matt Willows (1g) lead Reading with four points in the series. Ryan Penny and Adam Schmidt have one goal and three points against Worcester.

Woody Hudson has three of his ten goals against the Royals. Barry Almeida and Matty Gaudreau each have two goals and three points against the Royals. Matt Lane (3a) also has three points. Frank DiChaira and Jeff Kubiak have one goal and two points.

Scouting WorcesterRailers defenseman Pat McNally has been suspended from the team, leaving Worcester without its leading scorer (12g, 24 pts). McNally led ECHL blueliners in goals.

Without McNally, Chris Langkow is next in line (24 points), but he was loaned to Hartford on Dec. 28. Woody Hudson leads active Railers with 10 goals. Former Royals forward Barry Almeida is third on the team behind McNally and Langkow with 19 points (8g).

Eamon McAdam is 7-7-2-2 with a 2.93 goals against average and .909 save percentage. Mitch Gillam turned aside 35 shots last game, but he dropped sixth game of the season in a 4-2 loss at Manchester. The rookie and Cornell graduate has a 5-6-0-0 record, 2.57 goals against average and .905 save percentage.

Meet Jerry “The King” Lawler on 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. Mental Health Night is presented by the Berks County Office Of Mental Health And Developmental Disabilities.

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.

Tickets to three of our biggest games for $30Get 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.

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.