Reading in heated division race
Brampton, ON – The Reading Royals (24-18-2-0, 50 pts., 4th North) travel north of the border for their third game of the season at the Brampton Beast (17-18-3-3, 40 pts., 5th North) Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Reading has played the Beast five times this season with a 2-3-0-0 record. The Royals are looking for their first win in Canada this season.
Brampton is 10 points behind Reading for the fourth and final playoff spot in the North Division. Reading trails Manchester by four points for first in the North Division. The Royals are two points behind Wheeling and Adirondack for second place. Adirondack is off today, giving the Royals a chance to tie the Thunder before the teams square off Tuesday.
The Royals are on their first road winning streak of the season after defeating the Wheeling Nailers, 2-1, in overtime Friday. Adam Schmidt scored in the first period and Michael Huntebrinker tallied at :28 of overtime. John Muse recorded 36 saves.
The Beast finished a back-to-back against Toledo Saturday night in Ohio and fell in overtime, 3-2.
Royals Pregame coverage starts at 1:45 p.m. on RumbaReading.com, Rumba 1340 (iHeartRadio) and BCTV. Listen for a chance to win a gift card to Jimmy G’s Railroad House with the Trivia Question of the Night during 1st intermission.
Come check out the Royals at Santander Arena Feb. 16-18 for three straight days of fun at Santander Arena. The weekend includes Pink in the Rink, Paw Patrol, Jerry “The King” Lawler Wrestling Night, Faith and Family and the Battle of the Badges. Tickets are available at royalshockey.com/tickets or by calling 610-898-7825.
Huntebrinker’s fabulous weekMichael Huntebrinker has recorded two shootout-winning goals and an overtime tally in the last week. Jan. 20 against Brampton and Wednesday vs. Toledo, Huntebrinker scored in the first round of the shootout. John Muse shut down all five opponent shootout attempts, netting Huntebrinker a pair of winners.
Friday at Wheeling, Huntebrinker banged in a slap shot from the slot early in the extra session to net the Royals two points.
The rookie leads the Royals with 14 goals and is tied for the league lead in shootout winners (2). His plus-nine rating is best among Reading forwards.
While the shootout goals don’t count as game-winners, Huntebrinker has two decisive tallies and is one behind the team lead.
First to 40Matt Willows is the first Royals player to 40 points this season and has assists in five straight games (8a). It’s the longest point streak of Willows’ season and the second-longest of his career. In the 2015-16 season, Willows won ECHL Rookie of the Year with Florida and ripped a career-high six-game point streak (5g, 3a).
From Jan. 28, 2017 to Feb. 4, 2017, Willows recorded points in five straight games (5g, 5a), the most he’s had in a five-game stretch.
The UNH graduate has never gone more than four games without recording a point.
Only team offWith the team traveling to Brampton and the Beast in Ohio for a matchup against Toledo, the Royals were the only team off from playing Saturday. The ECHL has 27 teams.
Brampton player to watchBrandon Marino leads the Beast in points with 39 (11g, 28a) and is in his third season with the club. His best game against Reading this season was Jan. 21, registering two points (1g, 1a) in a 5-2 win. The oldest player in the league David Ling, 43, also put up a two-point (1g, 1a) effort. Marino has five points vs. the Royals this season (1g, 4a).
Scouting the Series: Reading trails, 2-3-0-0John Muse has won his last two starts against the Beast, making 42 saves (44 shots) Jan. 5 and denying a professional-best 47 last Sat., Jan. 20 in a 4-3 shootout win. He has allowed eight goals in three starts, good for a 2-1-0-0 record.
The last time the Royals saw the Beast was one week ago at Santander Arena and the Royals dropped a 5-2 contest. Brampton’s Zach Fucale (35 saves) bested Mark Dekanich (loss, 34 saves, 4 GA) Fucale was named the second star of the game.
Derek Whitmore has two goals against the Beast and Matt Willows has four assists.
The Royals will face the Beast in four more games this season, twice at Santander Arena.
At BramptonFrom 1998-2013, the Brampton Battalion were members of the OHL. Royals forwards Scott Tanski and Tyler Brown each played in the OHL from 2007-11 and competed against each other at Powerade Centre when Tanski skated for Brampton.
Over four full seasons in Brampton, Tanski scored 53 goals and 133 points in 219 games. In 2008-09, the Battalion made it to the OHL final and lost to Windsor. Tanski served as Battalion alternate captain in 2010-11.
Brown skated for Plymouth in the OHL and was linemates with current Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin.
Tanski is from Athabasca, AB. Brown, born in Hamilton, ON, grew up in Wasage Bay, ON.
The OHL’s Battalion moved to North Bay, ON following the 2012-13 season.
1-goal gamesThe Royals are 2-1-5 in one-goal games vs. Brampton since the Beast joined the ECHL in 2015. Both of Reading’s one-goal wins in the regular season series have come this season, including a shootout win Jan. 20. This season, Reading has an 11-6-2-0 record in games decided by one, the fourth-most wins in the circuit.
In the 2017 North Division Semifinals against the Beast, the first five games of the playoff series were decided by a goal and Reading won a pair of them. The Beast eliminated the Royals in game six of the first-round series.
Including the playoff series, 13 of 23 games against the Beast have been a one-goal decision. In games decided past regulation, the Royals are 1-7.
Reading is 7-5-5 all-time in the regular season series.
Hockey ‘N Heels and Princess Night on Fri., Feb 16 vs CIN at 7:00 p.m.First 1,500 women will receive a pink knit hat, thanks to Sweet Street Desserts.
Pink in the Rink, Pink Ice, special jerseys on Sat., Feb 17 vs BRM at 7:00 p.m.Pink knit scarf giveaway to the first 1,500 women, courtesy of Sweet Street Desserts. The Royals will wear special jerseys and play on pink ice.
Paw Patrol, Battle of the Badges, Faith and Family and Jerry “The King” Lawler on Sun., Feb 18 vs. WHL at 4:00 p.m.It’s Paw Patrol night! The Royals will wear special Paw Patrol jerseys from the popular Nickelodeon show.
Before the Royals drop the puck with the Nailers, the Reading Police and Fire Departments match up against the Allentown Police and Fire at 12:30 p.m. in the Battle for the FirstStates Cup XIII at 12:30 p.m. Tickets are available here to help raise money for the children of policemen and firefighters.
Meet WWE Hall-of-Famer Jerry “The King” Lawler on Pro Wrestling Night (Tower Health). Plus, it’s Faith and Family Night and dollar dog day, presented by Safe Berks, Berks Packing and Coca-Cola. First 1,000 kids (14 & under) will receive a Slapshot T-shirt thanks to Bethany Children’s Home. Also check out a postgame skate presented by Body Zone.
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.