Last home game for 3 weeks
Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (29-20-3-0, 61 pts., T-3rd North) host the Worcester Railers (23-21-4-3, 53 pts., 5th North) with a postgame autograph session (Rieck’s Printing) Thursday at 7:00 p.m. The Royals complete a four-game home stand and the team is 2-1-0-0 through the first three, outscoring opponents, 18-6.
Reading’s Branden Komm made 25 saves Sunday to shut out Wheeling, 6-0, and become the first Royals goalie to debut with back-to-back shutouts. Komm was named CCM ECHL Goaltender of the Week after starting off 2-0-0-0 with 60 saves, two shutouts and a pair of assists. The native of Williamsville, NY set a career high with the two-assist effort in Friday’s 8-0 shutout win over Cincinnati.
The Royals are on the road for eight straight games after Thursday, beginning Saturday at 7:00 p.m. vs. Adirondack. Reading is on the road to face Manchester on Sun., Feb. 25 at 3:00 p.m. Royals Pregame starts 15 minutes before puck drop on RumbaReading.com and BCTV for all Royals road games. Check out the BCTV broadcast during first intermission for the Jimmy G’s Railroad House Trivia Question of the Night for a chance to win a gift card to Jimmy G’s.
The last time the Royals saw the Railers was Feb. 7 at the DCU Center in a 3-2 overtime loss. Reading is 5-4-1-0 vs. Worcester with four games at Santander Arena remaining.
Worcester is in game five of a seven-game road trip, accruing a 2-1-0-1 mark through the first four. Wednesday at Adirondack, the Railers’ Tommy Kelley potted the shootout winner in the 4th round to defeat the Thunder, 4-3.
Reading is next at home on Wed., Mar. 14 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Fort Wayne, with four players hosting a postgame photo and autograph session, courtesy of Rieck’s Printing.
Royals legend Yannick Tifu will have his #10 retired to the Diamond Credit Union Wall of Honor on Sat., Mar. 17 vs. the Brampton Beast at 7:00 p.m. Plus, meet WWE’s Million Dollar Man and celebrate St. HatTrick’s Day with the Royals, presented by Met-Ed! The first 5,000 fans will receive a Yannick Tifu poster, courtesy of Rieck’s Printing and Diamond Credit Union. The Royals will wear special St. Patrick’s Day jerseys. Tifu captained Reading to the team’s first Kelly Cup in 2013 and played in 245 Royals games, third-most in team history. Tickets are available here.
Summarizing the Komm brillianceKomm is the fifth Reading netminder to record shutouts in consecutive games, joining Cody Rudkowsky (Nov. 2004), Riley Gill (2013 Playoffs), Mark Owuya (2013 Playoffs) and Adam Morrison (Dec. 2015). The Royals defeated Morrison Sunday and Komm had 25 saves. He has made his first 60 saves with the Royals and started his Reading career with a 35-save blanking over Cincinnati Friday. The fourth-year professional from Williamsville, NY played parts of three seasons with Idaho. With the Steelheads last season, he ranked tenth in the league with a 2.69 GAA and sixth with a .917 save percentage.
He has six professional shutouts and three were last season. Also of note, the Royals have six shutouts this season, the most of any ECHL team. Komm notched a pair of assists Friday, the most a netminder has accrued in a game this season. He is one of 12 goalies to record at least two points this season and South Carolina’s Parker Milner leads the goalie guild with four points. Earlier this season, Royals goalie John Muse tallied three points (3a).
Career-long lineMatt Willows (13-game point streak), Matt Wilkins (8-game point streak) and Chris McCarthy (7-game point streak) play on a line together and have all notched career-long point streaks. Willows has goals in seven straight games (8g) and leads the bunch in scoring with 55 points. Over the last 13 games, Willows has eight goals and 23 points, second in the league over that span.
Wilkins has exceeded his point total from last season (28 vs. 24) and has two goals and ten points during his streak. McCarthy returned from the AHL Feb. 1 and has ten points in six games since returning. He recorded two points vs. Manchester Jan. 14 before getting called up to Lehigh Valley, technically giving him at least a point in seven straight.
A lot of goals but a lot of balanceDuring the Royals past three games, 14 players have recorded a point and 11 have more than one. Six Reading skaters had multi-point games in Friday’s win over the Cyclones. Another five mashed in two points or more Sunday in a 6-0 win. Matt Willows led the group with seven points (3g) and defenseman Nolan Zajac knotted four goals.
13 straightThe Royals lead the league by scoring the game’s opening goal 37 times and the team has struck first in 13 straight games. Over the past 13, the Royals are 9-3-1-0, outscoring opponents, 54-34. Matt Willows has had a point in each of those games. The Royals are 26-8-3-0 when tallying first, the most wins in the circuit.
Power-play heating upAfter scoring six power-play goals between Jan. 5-Feb. 7, the Royals have scored six (6-for-12) in their last three games. The run started Friday vs. Cincinnati, when the squad scored four power-play goals (4-for-4) and used just 1:08 of man-up clock. Saturday, the Royals struck for one on five chances. Head Coach Kirk MacDonald credited the team’s practice a week ago (Thurs., Feb. 15) as the best the team has had on the man-up all season.
This is the second time this season Reading’s man-up has notched man-up goals in three straight. Meanwhile, the Reading penalty kill has denied one power-play goal in ten games (30-for-31).
Reading on the roadThe Royals begin a season-long eight-game road trip after Thursday’s game. The Royals will make their first stop in Adirondack Saturday. Reading leads the series 7-5-0-0 with two road games remaining. On Oct. 29, Reading defeated Adirondack 9-4, the most goals scored by Reading in a game this season. The Royals, Thunder and Wheeling Nailers have battled for second in the North Division for the majority of the last two months.
The Royals will travel to Manchester for the sixth of nine meetings Sunday. The Monarchs lead the season series, 3-2-0-0.
After that, the Royals swing to Florida for three games in four days, starting with the first of two against the Orlando Solar Bears Thurs., Mar. 1 Reading will face the Orlando Solar Bears for the first time since Oct. 2015.
Reading also has games against Jacksonville, Wheeling (2x) and Brampton.
Postgame autograph session Wed., Mar. 14 vs. FW at 7:00 p.m.Stay after the game for a special postgame autograph session on Wed., Mar. 14 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Fort Wayne, presented by Rieck’s Printing. It’s the only chance of the season to see the Komets.
Next Big Night: Yannick Tifu Number Retirment, Ted DiBiase “Million Dollar Man” appearance, St. HatTrick’s Day on Sat., Mar. 17 vs. BRM at 7:00 p.m.Royals legend Yannick Tifu will have his #10 retired to the Diamond Credit Union Wall of Honor on Sat., Mar. 17 vs. the Brampton Beast at 7:00 p.m. Plus, meet WWE’s Million Dollar Man and celebrate St. HatTrick’s Day with the Royals, presented by Met-Ed! The first 5,000 fans will receive a Yannick Tifu poster, courtesy of Rieck’s Printing. The Royals will wear special St. Patrick’s Day jerseys. Tifu captained Reading to the team’s first Kelly Cup in 2013 and played in 245 Royals games, third-most in team history.
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.