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Game 46 Preview: Reading at Adirondack

Tuesday, January 30th
Game 46 Preview: Reading at Adirondack

Rivals dual for first-place tie

Glens Falls, NY – The winner of the Reading Royals (25-18-2-0, 52 pts., T-3rd North) and Adirondack Thunder (24-17-2-2, 52 pts., T-3rd North) ties for first place in the North Division and the squads duke it out Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. from Cool Insuring Arena.

Reading and Adirondack are each two points out of first place. Manchester and Wheeling have 54 points. The top-four teams in the North Division qualify for the 2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs. Brampton and Worcester sit in a fifth-place tie and are 11 points out of the four-seed.

The Royals won their fifth straight game past regulation Sunday, defeating the Brampton Beast, 4-3, in comeback fashion. Reading has taken the first two games of their six-game road trip. The last three Royals games have been tied after 60 minutes; Reading has a pair of overtime wins and a shootout victory.

Reading is 7-4-0-0 against Adirondack this season. The Thunder has won three straight series battles, outscoring Reading, 10-1.

Adirondack completes a five-game home stand Tuesday and the Thunder are 2-1-1-0 through the first four. Last weekend, Adirondack earned points in three straight games (2-0-1) against the Eastern-Conference-leading Florida Everblades. Last game, Gus Young scored in overtime for the ‘Blades to drop Adirondack, 4-3.

Royals Pregame coverage starts at 6:45 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.

Check out the Royals at Santander Arena Feb. 16-18 for three straight days of fun. 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.

de Haas ties and delivers OT winnerRoyals defenseman James de Haas scored his first overtime-winning goal to sink Brampton in Sunday, giving the defenseman three goals and seven points over his last six games. He also recorded his first professional multi-goal game, tying the game with less than eight minutes to go in regulation.

de Haas scored his first professional goal for Lehigh Valley and returned to Reading Dec. 31. Combined between the squads, he has five goals and 24 points in 38 contests.

The Clarkson graduate scored 29 points last season, the most by a Golden Knights defenseman in 14 seasons.

Schmidt emergesRoyals forward Adam Schmidt recorded his first three-point game (1g, 2a) in North America Sunday against Brampton. Since returning from a ten-game injury absence against the Beast Jan. 21, Schmidt has registered two goals and five points. He earned the primary assist on Reading’s tying goal Sunday and then passed to James de Haas again for the overtime-winning goal.

The native of Warrington, PA has tallied seven goals and 23 points in 32 contests.

Schmidt spent the last three seasons overseas after graduating from Holy Cross in 2014.

Overtime ballersThe Royals have won eight games past regulation (8-2) and six in overtime, tied for the most ECHL OT victories. Reading has won five straight games decided past regulation, its longest streak of the season. The Royals opened the season with three straight overtime victories.

Your daily Muse updateJohn Muse moved to 12-1-0-0 over his last 13 decisions with 28 saves Sunday. The goaltender allowed two in the first period to the Beast, but made 19 saves on his final 20 shots.

The goaltender is tied for the league lead with a .934 save percentage. He is 17-4-1 this campaign with a 2.21 goals against average. He has won five straight starts. His only loss since returning from Lehigh Valley in late December was against Adirondack  (18 saves, 2 GA on Jan. 12).

Scouting the Series: Reading leads, 7-4-0-0The Royals have outscored the Thunder in the series, 37-32, but Adirondack has allowed one goal in the last three meetings. Most recently, Brian Morgan beat goaltender Drew Fielding on Jan. 13 in a 4-1 Reading loss.

Reading’s Matt Willows and Nolan Zajac top the Royals with 10 points in the series. Michael Huntebrinker has five goals, seven points and a team-best plus-seven rating in the series. Huntebrinker registered his first professional hat trick (3g, 1a) when the Royals defeated the Thunder, 5-3.

Captain Derek Whitmore (4g) and forward Adam Schmidt (3g) each have seven points against the Thunder.

James Henry leads all players with six goals and ten points. The last two series games, Henry has beaten the Royals for three goals and five points. Pierre-Luc Mercier tops Adirondack with 12 points (3g) vs. Reading.

John Muse has recorded a 4-1-0-0 record against Adirondack and allowed 11 goals in five games. Mark Dekanich is 3-2-0-0 vs. the Thunder (16 GA in 6 games).

Drew Fielding has shut out the Royals twice (3-1-0-0 record overall). Reading snapped his series shutout streak at  179:37 last game on Morgan’s strike. Fielding has surrendered two goals to the Royals in his last four appearances.

All-time seriesReading is 19-12-3-0 in the all-time series against Adirondack. This is the Thunder’s 3rd ECHL season. Reading is 2-2-0-0 this season in Glens Falls and 8-6-2 overall at Adirondack. Last season, the Royals took three of five games at the Thunder and finished with a 7-2-2-0 mark in the series.

The Royals started off this season 6-0-0-0 against the Thunder, with points in eight straight games dating back to last campaign’s matchups.

The series aheadThe last two series games are in Glens Falls and the Royals and Thunder next play Feb. 24. The final contest of the series is March 31.

Scouting AdirondackJames Henry leads the Thunder with 40 points in 45 games played. In four games at Adirondack against the Royals, Henry has five points. The Winnipeg, MB native scored twice Jan. 12th in Reading. Henry represented the North Division at the 2018 All-Star Classic along with Reading’s Michael Huntebrinker. Henry is six points shy of 200 at the ECHL level. Last season, he set a professional high with 20 goals and 54 points.

Ty Loney, recently returned from the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch, leads the Thunder with 18 goals.

Shane Conacher has 28 assists, best on the squad.

In cage, Drew Fielding tops the Thunder in wins with an 11-5-1-0 record. The former Royals netminder has two shutouts (both vs. Reading), a 2.97 goals against average and .902 save percentage.

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.