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Game 35 Preview: Worcester at Reading

Saturday, January 6th
Game 35 Preview: Worcester at Reading

Division foes play two to finish weekend        

Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (18-14-2-0, 38 pts., 3rd North) are 12-5-0-0 at home and set for a divisional battle against the Worcester Railers (13-13-3-2, 31 pts., T-5th North) Saturday at 7:00 p.m. It’s Mental Health Awareness Night, presented by the Berks County Office Of Mental Health And Developmental Disabilities. Fans can get tickets by visiting royalshockey.com, ticketmaster.com or calling 610-898-7825.

Reading is starting a stretch of three straight games against the Railers. The Royals rematch Worcester at 4:00 p.m. on Sun., Jan. 7 for dollar dogs and a postgame skate, presented by Body Zone. The $1 hot dogs are presented by Safe Berks, Berks Packing and Coca-Cola.

The Royals denied Brampton, 3-2, Friday to move within one point of Adirondack for second in the North Division. The Railers overcame the Thunder in a shootout, 4-3, Friday despite allowing the tying goal in the final minute of regulation.

The season series is tied, 3-3. There are eight games left in the head-to-head matchups.

Last time the squads met, the Royals washed the Railers with a 2-1 overtime win on Wednesday. John Muse made 32 saves, James de Haas scored two points (1g, 1a) and Matt Willows tallied the overtime goal. Worcester’s Woody Hudson scored with 52 seconds left in the third to even the game.

Goulbourne up with the FlyersFormer Reading Royals forward Tyrell Goulbourne was recalled to the Philadelphia Flyers from Lehigh Valley Wednesday and the Flyers have a Saturday matchup vs. St Louis. Should he crack the lineup, he’d become the first former Royals player to make the Flyers since the team became affiliated with Philadelphia in 2014. Thirty-two former Royals have played in the NHL, most recently Stanislav Galiev in Apr. 2015.

In 34 games this season with Lehigh Valley, Goulbourne has six goals, 11 points and 38 penalty minutes.

Goulbourne skated in 36 games with Reading last season, scoring eight goals and 19 points. He made his Reading debut on Nov. 18, 2016 against Manchester. He recorded four multi-point games and five fighting majors.

Scouting WorcesterThe Railers snapped a four-game losing streak with a 4-3 shootout win against Adirondack on Friday. Worcester travelled through the east-coast snowstorm on Thursday to get to the game.

The squad is without defenseman Pat McNally, who left the team earlier in the week to play in Sweden. McNally topped the Railers with 12 goals before electing to play overseas.

Former Royals forward Barry Almeida is the active club leader with 20 points (8g). Woody Hudson has 12 goals and no assists this season, tied for most on the squad. Yanick Turcotte leads all rookies with 104 PIMs and 10 major penalties this season. He has yet to spar against the Royals.

Eamon McAdam is a native of Perkasie, PA and has a 7-7-3-2 record (2.88 GAA, .910 sv%). Mitch Gillam has a 6-6-0-0 record, 2.59 GAA and .903 save percentage.

The Railers are coached by Jamie Russell, the former head man of the Elmira Jackals (2014-16). Russell also was an assistant coach at Providence and Michigan Tech Head Coach from 2003-11. Russell also played collegiately at Michigan Tech.

Head-to-head meetingsThe Royals have won consecutive meetings against the Railers and the series is tied, 3-3. Reading dropped the first two games of the series in Worcester. Saturday’s meeting is the second time the Railers visit Santander Arena. In the first home game, the Royals lit up the Railers, 6-2. Chris McCarthy and Matt Willows each had three points (1g, 2a).

Reading has outscored the Railers, 15-10, in the series.

Mark Naclerio and Willows have two goals and five points in the series.

Four of Woody Hudson’s 12 goals have been against the Royals.

John Muse has surrendered five goals in three starts against Worcester and holds a 2-1-0-0 record. Mark Dekanich is 1-2-0-0 in three appearances (2.05 GAA, .928 sv%).

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. He has given up 11 goals in four starts against Reading.

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 $30 – Purple and Black PackGet 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.