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Game 51 Preview: Brampton at Reading

Saturday, February 17th
Game 51 Preview: Brampton at Reading

Pink is the color of the day vs. Beast after astounding Friday win

Reading, PA – It’s a pink out on Pink In the Rink night – pink ice, special pink jerseys and a pink knit scarf giveaway (Sweet Street Desserts) – as the Reading Royals (28-19-3-0, 59 pts., 4th North) host the Brampton Beast (19-22-5-3, 46 pts., 6th North) Saturday at 7:00 p.m.

The Royals are coming off the most-lopsided victory in team history, an 8-0 win Friday vs. Cincinnati. Eleven Royals had points, Reading smoked the Cyclones for four man-up goals (4-for-4) and the Royals scored five in the second frame. The Royals are playing the middle game of a “home 3-in-3”, with home games Friday-Sunday at Santander Arena. Michael Huntebrinker (2g, 1a) and Matt Willows (1g, 2a) led the squad in points Friday. Willows is on a career-long 11-game point streak.

Branden Komm shut out Cincinnati in his Royals debut with 35 saves Friday and also added two assists.

Brampton has won consecutive games since snapping a nine-game losing streak (0-5-4-0) Tuesday vs. Toledo. The Beast tripped up Adirondack, 5-1, Friday. The team is 2-5-4-0 since defeating the Royals on Jan. 21.

Royals Pregame coverage starts at 6:45 p.m. on RumbaReading.com and Rumba 1340 (iHeartRadio).

Sunday’s game is at 4:00 p.m. vs. Wheeling. The fun starts at 12:30 p.m. with the Battle of the Badges for the FirstStates Cup XIII. The game pits Reading Police and Fire vs. Allentown Police and Fire. At 4:00 p.m., Reading hosts Wheeling for PAW Patrol Night, Jerry “The King” Lawler Wrestling Night and Faith and Family Night. One ticket gains admission to both the Royals game and Battle of the Badges. Tickets are available at royalshockey.com/tickets or by calling 610-898-7825.

The staggering numbersFriday’s 8-0 win over Cincinnati was the second time this season the Royals scored five goals in a period. Reading clicked for five strikes in the second, the tenth time in team history the Royals managed five in a frame. The other time this campaign was Jan. 14 vs. Manchester in the game before the ECHL All-Star break.

The last time the Royals won by seven was March 24, 2012 vs. the Trenton Titans. Reading triumphed, 7-0, in that blowout.

Reading’s power-play effort (4-for-4) came two short of the club record for man-up goals in a game. The Royals scored power-play goals eight seconds, six seconds, 19 seconds and 33 seconds into their man ups, meaning the tallies came in a combined 1:08 of 5-on-4 time. The last time the Royals scored four power-play goals in a contest was at Elmira on Jan. 13, 2017. The Royals have scored a team-record six man-up tallies twice.

Reading’s man-up jumped to 16.1% on the campaign after entering the on an 0-for-19 stretch over the six-game road trip.

Willows to career-long eleven game point streak, Wilkins ties high|Matt Willows extended an eleven-game point steak Friday night (1g, 2a) while Matt Wilkins added an assist to tie a career-long six-game point streak. Willows leads the Royals by a 19-point margin with 51 (19g, 32a) in 50 games. In his professional career Willows has not had a point drought longer than four games. He’s registered a point in 31 of 50 games this season (62%).  Wilkins has tallied a point in 18 of 32 games played (56%).

Wilkins has points in ten of 11 games (5g, 9a), jumping to nine goals and 26 points this campaign.

87 babyThe Royals denied all three Cyclones power-play chances Friday, pushing the Reading penalty kill to an 87.2% success rate. This is the first time this campaign the Royal have ended a game above 87% on the kill. The Royals are on a season-high 24-for-24 stretch of stopping opponent man-up chances.

The series: Royals tied, 3-3-0-0The Royals have won three of four games vs. the Beast since dropping the opening two meetings. All of Reading’s wins have been one-goal victories.

Last time out, Jan. 28, Reading triumphed in OT, 4-3, and James de Haas recorded a professional-best two goals. He leads the Royals with three tallies in the season series and has goals in his last two vs. Brampton. Matt Willows tops Reading with five points (5a) in the series.

Brampton’s Willie Corrin (3g, 3a) and Alex Foster (4g, 2a) are the points leaders against the Royals. Corrin knocked in two goals and three points vs. Reading in the Beast’s last series victory Jan. 21.

Former Royals forward David Vallorani has a pair of helpers in two games vs. Reading.

John Muse, now in the AHL, has been in cage for the three Reading victories in the series (3-1-0-0 record, 11 GA). His efforts include a pair of 40+ save victories. The Beast have trotted out Marcus Hogberg (2-0-0-0, 5 GA), Andrew D’Agostini (0-2-0-0, 6 GA) and Zach Fucale (1-1-0-0, 6 GA) in the series.

Reading’s Mark Dekanich has allowed nine goals in two games vs. the Beast. Branden Komm has never faced the Beast in 92 career ECHL appearances.

One-goal updateThe Royals are 3-1-5 in one-goal games vs. Brampton since the Beast joined the ECHL in 2015. All 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 a 12-7-3-0 record in games decided by one, ranking in the league’s top half of one-goal wins.

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, 14 of 24 games against the Beast have been a one-goal decision. In games decided past regulation, the Royals are 2-7.

Reading is 8-5-5 all-time in the regular season series.

Scouting the BeastBrandon MacLean recorded a goal and three points Friday to give the Beast consecutive victories in a 5-1 whitewashing of the Adirondack Thunder. He is tied for a team-best 13 goals. Chris Driedger denied 24 shots for his second straight win since returning from the AHL. Driedger has allowed four goals in three games this season (3-0-0-0 record).

The Beast got out of a nine-game losing streak with a win at Toledo Feb. 13, 3-1.

During the 0-5-4-0 stretch, the Beast were outscored, 23-37. The squad surrendered at least five goals in four of those games. Brampton is 0-1-4-0 in one-goal decisions since the losing trend began. Prior to the overtime losses, the Beast were 2-1 in the extra session.

Brampton’s Brandon Marino, a native of Riverside, CA, leads the squad with 13 goals and 45 points.

Andrew D’Agostini has suffered the worst in cage with an 0-4-1-1 record since Jan. 20. He is 6-10-1-2 with a 3.70 goals against average and .870 save percentage in 20 games.

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.