Matchup #13 of the season vs. Thunder
Glens Falls, NY – The Reading Royals (30-20-3-0, 63 pts., 3rd North) start a season-long eight-game road trip at the Adirondack Thunder (29-20-2-3, 64 pts., 2nd North) Saturday at 7:00 p.m. Tonight’s broadcast starts at 6:45 p.m. on Rumba 1340, RumbaReading.com and BCTV (Channel 15 Comcast, Channel 19 Service Electric). Listen in during first intermission to the BCTV/Jimmy G’s Railroad House Trivia Question of the Night for a chance to win a gift card to Jimmy G’s. A Royals win earns the team at least a share of second place in the North.
Matt Willows scored the 8th straight game Friday (9g) and tied Joe Zappala’s team record for longest goal streak. Zappala accomplished the feat during the 2007-08 campaign. Willows has points in 14 straight.
The Royals are 5-1-1-0 this month and took out Worcester, 6-3, Thursday at Santander Arena. Over a four-game home stand, the Royals went 3-1-0-0 and outscored opponents, 24-9.
Adirondack returns home after a 3-2 overtime loss at Manchester Saturday. Brian Ward recorded a goal and two points, giving the leading scorer (22 goals) tallies in seven of eight contests.
The Royals and Thunder meet for the 13th of 14 matchups this campaign and Reading holds a 7-5-0-0 series advantage and has outscored Adirondack, 39-35. The last time the teams played Jan. 30, Adirondack won, 3-2, on a goal in the final minute by Ty Loney. The Royals opened the series with wins in the first six games. Adirondack has ripped four straight wins in the series and outscored Reading, 13-3. Drew Fielding has both of his shutouts this season vs. the Royals.
Reading is on the road to face Manchester on Sun., Feb. 25 at 3:00 p.m. After the game against the Monarchs, the Royals embark to Orlando for the first of three matchups in the Sunshine State. First, the Royals and Solar Bears meet on Thurs., Mar. 1 at 7:00 p.m. Reading travels north to Jacksonville for the second matchup of the season against the Icemen on Fri., Mar. 2 at 7:30 p.m. On Sun., Mar. 4 at 1:45 p.m., the Royals are back in Orlando for the season-series finale at the Solar Bears. 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.
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.
Wilkins-McCarthy-WillowsMatt Willows recorded at least a point for the 14th straight game (9g, 16a) in Thursday’s victory vs. Worcester. Willows has scored a goal in eight straight games (9g) and has put together four consecutive multi-point games. Willows’ point streak is three short of an ECHL high this season (Caleb Herbert, SC, 17 games). The eight straight with a goal is tied with Colorado’s Michael Joly for the longest streak in 2017-18.
Linemates Matt Wilkins (1a on Thursday) and Chris McCarthy (1g, 2a Thursday) tagged in with points last time out to extend their career-long point streaks. Wilkins is up to nine straight with at least a point (2g, 9a) and McCarthy has points in his last eight ECHL contests (4g, 11a).
Season seriesThe Royals can clinch the season series with a win Saturday, holding a 7-5-0-0 advantage in the 14-game set. Reading has outscored Adirondack, 39-35.
Matt Willows scored his fourth goal of the season series in the Jan. 30 loss to Adirondack and leads Reading with 12 points in the series. Michael Huntebrinker has five goals vs. Adirondack. Nolan Zajac has 11 of his 33 against the Thunder.
Pierre-Luc Mercier has a pair of three-point games in his career and both have been this season vs. Reading. After recording a goal and three points last time out, the rookie leads the Thunder with 15 points (4g) in the series. James Henry (6g in series) was held scoreless in the Jan. 30 meeting.
Branden Komm has appeared twice against the Thunder during his career and allowed four goals (1-0-0-0 record). In his only start against the Thunder, he made 29 saves and denied all four in the shootout to lead Idaho to a 4-3 win.
Mark Dekanich is 3-2-0-0 vs. the Thunder this campaign (16 GA in 6 games) and has made 19 appearances over the last three seasons against the Thunder (9-5-3-0). While with South Carolina in 2016, Dekanich started all seven games in the 2016 Eastern Conference Semifinals victory vs. Adirondack. With Reading, Dekanich is 5-2-1-0 in the series.
Drew Fielding is 4-1-0-0 vs. Reading, allowing 13 goals in six games. He had a shutout streak of 179:37 vs. Reading snapped in January. All time vs. the Royals, Fielding possesses a 6-2-1-1 mark.
Since we last metThe squads last met on Jan. 30, the third game of Reading’s six-game road trip. The Royals suffered one regulation defeat on that trip (4-1-1-0) and the team is 5-1-1-0 in the seven games since losing the Thunder last time.
Reading has outscored the opposition, 35-13, since falling to Adirondack by a goal last time.
The Thunder are 4-3-1-1 since the Jan. 30 meeting.
30 winsThe Royals are up to 30 wins for the ninth straight season. Reading has qualified for the postseason in eight consecutive seasons and hit at least 30 wins in all of them. Nineteen of the Royals’ 30 wins have been at Santander Arena (19-8-0-0 home mark). The team mark for best home record is 26-8-0-2 (54 pts.) in the 2013 Kelly Cup Championship season.
14 straightThe Royals lead the league by scoring the game’s opening goal 38 times and the team has struck first in 14 straight games. Over the past 14, the Royals are 10-3-1-0, outscoring opponents, 60-37. The Royals are 27-8-3-0 when tallying first, the most wins in the circuit.
Road trip diary: 300 miles down, 3,700 to goThe Royals travelled approximately 300 miles to Glens Falls, NY to start an eight-game road trip. Reading logs some more miles to Manchester, NH Saturday night before a Sunday afternoon showdown with the Monarchs.
The miles start to rack up when the squad flies to Orlando and then later heads to Brampton, ON.
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.