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Game 66 Preview: Worcester at Reading

Saturday, March 24th
Game 66 Preview: Worcester at Reading

Season series is tied and teams square off on Autism Awareness Night

Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (34-23-8-0, 76 pts., 3rd North) finish the weekend with specialty jerseys on Autism Awareness Night Saturday vs. the Worcester Railers (31-25-4-4, 70 pts., 5th North) at 7:00 p.m. Purchase tickets here.

The Royals will hand out a one-time-only giveaway: a puck with Head Coach Kirk MacDonald and Assistant Coach Pat Wellar to commemorate the 5th anniversary of Reading winning the Kelly Cup, presented by Tower Health.

View the specialty jerseys | See the specialty pucks

Reading is coming off a 4-1 loss to Worcester Friday. The Royals are two points ahead of Wheeling for third in the North Division. Worcester is four points back of the fourth and final North playoff spot.

The Royals have hosted Autism Awareness Night for four years, supporting the Autism Society of Berks County and Unending Promise. Reading has five more home games this regular season.

The Railers have tied a season-long six-game point streak (5-0-0-1). Since the last meeting between the clubs on Feb. 22, Worcester is 8-3-0-1 (36 GF, 25 GA).

Reading and the Railers each have six wins through the first 12 games of the season. At Santander Arena, the Royals are 4-2-0-0 against the Railers.

Killing them again  - Willows vs. the NorthMatt Willows has 67 points this season and 52 have been against North Division foes. He leads the Royals in points outright against three of the five opponents – Adirondack (13), Wheeling (13), and Brampton (9). He is tied for a team-high five points against Manchester and 12 against Worcester.

Three of Willows’ team-high five game-winning goals have been against the North, including an overtime strike vs. Worcester Jan. 3. Of his 23 multi-point efforts, 15 have been against North opponents. Willows has 29 goals this season and 21 have been against Adirondack, Worcester, Brampton, Wheeling and Manchester.

Against the Railers, Willows has five goals and four multi-point games.

Here’s the breakdown:Adirondack: 4g, 9a, 2 GWG, 3 multi-point games

Worcester: 5g, 7a, 1 GWG, 4 multi-point gamesBrampton: 2g, 7a, 3 multi-point gamesWheeling: 7g, 6a, 4 multi-point gamesManchester: 3g, 2a 1 multi-point game

Former SharksMatt Willows and Adam Schmidt are former Worcester Sharks, the team that played at the DCU Center until 2015. Willows skated for the Sharks after completing his NCAA career at New Hampshire and had three goals and five points in his first 11 professional games. The rookie used that experience going into his first full professional season and was named ECHL Rookie of the Year the next year with Florida in 2015-16.

Schmidt beat Willows to Worcester by a season; Schmidt completed his senior season in town at Holy Cross and then joined the Sharks (1g, 2a in 14 GP).

Magic 57 – SaturdayThe Railers and Royals each play 57 games against the North Division, the most of any team in the North. Worcester has eight straight games against the North to finish the season. Reading has the most divisional wins of its five most-common opponents (28-20-4-0) and finishes the campaign with five of seven vs. the North.

Worcester is 24-19-3-3 vs. the North this season.

Postgame photo and autograph session, Wed., Mar. 28 vs. MAN at 7:00 p.m.Join us after the game for a postgame photo autograph session with four players, thanks to Rieck’s printing.

Tickets are available here.

Pucks N’ Paws Night, Fri., Mar. 30 vs. MAN at 7:00 p.m.The first 2,500 fans receive a Royals team picture. It’s also Pucks ‘N Paws Night and Wiener Dog Races. There will be a special puck drop and a team poster giveaway, courtesy of Tower Health and Rieck’s Printing. It’s also Girl Scout Night, benefitting Eastern PA Girl Scouts.

Tickets are available here.2018-19 season tickets now availableTop full-season benefits include: exclusive Reading Hockey Club per seat gift, discounted rate off regular ticket prices, ticket exchange, preseason meet and greet, exclusive season ticket holder events, advanced entry and a chance to win and the Royals Owner’s Suite for a game. Call 610-898-7825 and visit to join the Royals family or renew season tickets for the 2018-19 season. Visit royalshockey.com/tickets/season-tickets to learn more.

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.