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Game 36 Preview: Worcester at Reading

Sunday, January 7th
Game 36 Preview: Worcester at Reading

Reading hits halfway mark of season with Railers rematch       

Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (18-15-2-0, 38 pts., 3rd North) have $5 Green Zone Tickets and are looking to get even with the Worcester Railers (14-13-3-2, 33 pts., 5th North) Sunday at 4:00 p.m. after dropping a 3-2 contest Saturday at Santander Arena. The Royals host the Railers on Dollar Dog Night presented by Safe Berks, Berks Packing and Coca-Cola. Also, check out the postgame skate, presented by Body Zone. Fans can get tickets by visiting royalshockey.com, ticketmaster.com or calling 610-898-7825.

5,902 fans packed Santander Arena Saturday night, the biggest crowd of the season.

In Royals affiliation news, Tyrell Goulbourne made his NHL debut for the Flyers Saturday and became the 32nd Reading alum to reach the NHL.

This is the second of three straight games against the Railers. All the games are at Santander Arena and Worcester holds the series edge, 4-3. The Royals have won two of the last three meetings with the Railers.

After Sunday, the Royals have two home games next week. Wed., Jan. 10 against Worcester at 7:00 p.m., the Royals are home for postgame autographs with four players, presented by Rieck’s Printing. It’s also another $5 Green Zone ticket game.

Penny 100Ryan Penny scored for the second straight game and recorded his 100th professional point in Saturday’s contest against Worcester. He scored 25 goals last season and has ten this campaign. Seventy-four of his 100 points have come with Reading.

A 23-year-old from Fall River, Nova Scotia, Penny is in his second full season with Reading. He started his career with Evansville (ECHL) and Binghamton (AHL) in 2015-16.

Prior to his professional career, Penny skated for Moncton and Rouyn-Noranda in the QMJHL. His final junior season, he recorded 32 goals and 68 points, both bests for his major-junior career.

Goulbourne debutsFormer Reading Royals forward Tyrell Goulbourne made his NHL debut Saturday in the Flyers’ 6-3 win over the St. Louis Blues, becoming 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 and Goulbourne was the first to make it since Stanislav Galiev in Apr. 2015.

He was a plus-one rating and recorded 5:23 of ice time in his debut.

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.

Royals start strongThe Royals can attribute much of their success to getting on the board early, ranking fourth in the ECHL with 37 goals scored in the first. Worcester, in contrast, is last with 18 first-period goals this season.

Saturday’s game supported the stats as Ryan Penny opened up scoring for the Royals in the first period and the Railers were held scoreless.

The Royals have scored first in 23 games this season, second in the league to Colorado (24).

First-Year CoachesBoth Royals Head Coach Kirk MacDonald and Worcester Head Coach Jamie Russell are in their first seasons coaching their clubs. MacDonald was named full-time head man in May 2017. He first appeared with the Royals in July of 2014 as an assistant under Larry Courville

He multiple seasons in the American Hockey League, playing for the Albany, Providence, and Iowa. MacDonald sported a Royals jersey for the first time during the 2008-09 season and returned in 2012-13 to win the Kelly Cup.

After clinching the Cup, MacDonald served as assistant coach to his collegiate alma mater Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York during the 2013-14 season.

Russell was named Railers head man in 2016 after spending two seasons coaching the now-defunct Elmira Jackets of the ECHL (2014-16). Russell also spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Providence College. He began his coaching career in the 1994-95 season as an assistant coach for Ferris State University.

His first head coaching gig came during the 2003-04 season at Michigan Tech where he spent a total of eight seasons and coached 304 games.

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.

$5 Green Zone Tickets, Post-game photo and autographs Jan. 10Wed., Jan 10 vs WOR at 7 p.m.: Post-game photo and autograph session with four players (players TBA) thanks to Rieck’s Printing.

Gym Bag giveaway on Jan. 12 vs. ADK at 7 p.m.– First 2,000 fans receive a gym bag (Tower Health).

THON, Scout and Star Wars Night Jan. 20Sat., Jan. 20 vs BRM at 7 p.m.:THON, Scout, and Star Wars night. First 2,000 fans will receive a Slapshot bobblehead. Star Wars jerseys.

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.