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Three unanswered in the first terminates Railers, 6-3

Thursday, February 22nd
Three unanswered in the first terminates Railers, 6-3

Reading has scored 24 in the last four games

Reading, PA – The Reading Royals registered three in the first period to stun the Worcester Railers, 6-3, Thursday at Santander Arena. Steven Swavely (2g), Nolan Zajac and Matt Willows (1g, 1a) struck in the opening frame to place Reading ahead by three. Branden Komm (win, 3-0-0-0, 21 saves) allowed a goal in the first’s final minute, ending his shutout streak at 139:11. Komm earned shutouts in his first two Royals games last weekend. Swavely nailed home his first multi-goal game of the season in the third period, providing Reading a 6-3 edge.

Willows’ multi-point game extends his point streak to 14 games (9g, 16a) and his goals streak to eight contests. Linemates Chris McCarthy (1g, 2a) and Matt Wilkins also found the scoresheet. McCarthy has points in eight straight and Wilkins has recorded at least a point in nine consecutive.

The Royals and Railers traded tallies in the middle period and Reading led, 4-2, after two.

Mitch Gillam suffered the defeat with 24 denials.

The Royals are on the road for eight straight games, 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.

Box Score

Swavely started the game off with a snipe from the right circle at 4:15. Tyler Brown sprung Swavely on a 2-on-1. The Muhlenberg High School graduate Swavely has points in four straight games.

Nine minutes later, Nolan Zajac struck for the second goal, unleashing a juke move through the legs of a Railers backchecking forward before aiming it above the glove of Gillam. McCarthy and Wilkins netted the assists.

Next, a trickling shot from the high slot defeated Gillam at 15:53 of the first. Matt Willows tossed it towards McCarthy at the left post and Gillam couldn’t see it. It missed McCarthy and the goaltender and was credited as Willows’ 22nd of the season.

Brock Beukeboom ripped in Worcester’s first goal with 49 seconds to go in the first.

The Royals pounded another back to rally the lead back to three, 4-1. A short two-on-one developed inside the Railers stripe after a Worcester turnover at the high slot. Matt Wilkins knifed it to Matt Willows. He drove the left post and created time and space for McCarthy. Willows passed it to McCarthy at the right slot and he head faked to force Gillam to stack the pads and slide out of position. McCarthy easily slid his first of the game into the cage. McCarthy has 16 tallies this season. Willows and Wilkins assisted.

With 1:40 left in the second, Worcester’s Chris Langkow scored a power-play goal to cut Reading’s lead to 4-2.

Brian Morgan insured the Royals, 5-2, with his second goal in as many games. Chase Golightly sprung Morgan on a breakaway feed. Morgan initially was denied by Gillam, but found a rebound and stuffed it in at the right post at 2:22 of the third.

Next, the Railers stung back seven minutes later on a strike from Nick Saracino.

Swavely gained a centering pass from Mark Bennett and slammed it in at 12:05 of the third.

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.

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, channel 15 Comcast, channel 19 Service Electric.