Reading, PA- The Reading Royals completed the regular season with a 5-2 win over the Norfolk Admirals in front of a season-high 6,317 fans Saturday at Santander Arena. Chris McCarthy (1g, 2a) topped the Royals on the score sheet and Reading ripped three goals in the third period. Chase Golightly (2a) and Matt Willows (1g, 1a) had multi-point games. Jack Riley scored for the second straight game for insurance in the third period.
The Royals were 39-24-9-0 this regular season, good for 87 points. Reading is second in the North Division, one point in front of Manchester. The Monarchs play Sunday at Worcester and need at least one point to jump the Royals for home-ice advantage.
Willows scored the game’s first goal in the opening period. He completed the regular season with 32 goals and 74 points, best on the team.
Mark Dekanich blocked 38 shots for his second straight win, including 19 in the third. On the other side, the Royals set a season high with 48 shots. Jamie Murray finished with a no-decision and was pulled after the second period (36 saves, 38 shots). Dillon Kelley replaced Murray and made seven saves on nine shots and took the loss in his first professional appearance. Matt Wilkins potted an empty-net goal, his 20th of the season, to ice the game in the final minute.
Royals Kelly Cup Playoff Tickets are now on sale! Call 610-898-7825 and the Royals will offer curbside service to deliver your tickets next to the Lion’s Den Team Store near the corner of Penn Street and 8th Avenue. Reading will know its playoff dates by Sunday.
Portions of the Royals ticket proceeds from Saturday’s game supported victims of the Humboldt Broncos tragedy.
For the second straight game, Willows deposited the opening goal. With less than three minutes to go in the first McCarthy curled it to Viktor Liljegren at the left slot and Liljegren fired it net front. After batting off Murray, Willows quickly flashed the rebound in from the left post at 17:09 of the frame.
McCarthy extended the lead to 2-0 at :56 of the second. He drove up the right wing and into the zone, picked the far post and shot it across Murray’s body and in. Willows and Chase Golightly took the helpers.
Dom Alberga intercepted a cross-ice pass and scored on Admirals’ next shot 38 seconds later, cutting Reading’s advantage to 2-1.
The offenses were dormant until Steven Swavely scored his 13th of the season at 12:42 of the third, assisted by Adam Schmidt and Matias Cleland. Swavely cradled bottom of the left circle and lasered it over Kelley.
Max Cook cut the Reading edge back to one, 3-2, with a tip in at the left post three minutes later.
At 15:57, just 32 seconds later, Golightly fired it from the right point and Jack Riley deflected it high over Kelley’s shoulder for his second professional goal. Riley scored his first career goal Friday at Norfolk. Steven Johnson took credit for his Royals point, netting the secondary assist.
Royals Head Coach Kirk MacDonald called out Wilkins in the final minute with Wilkins sitting on 19 goals in the regular season. Wilkins eyed the empty net with 15 seconds left and lofted it from the Royals line and into the Admirals goal. Wilkins had ten goals last season and completed this season with 20 goals and 47 points.
2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs Tickets On SaleLock down your Kelly Cup Playoff tickets by calling 610-898-7825. A Royals team member will provide you with curbside service outside the Lion’s Den Team Store at the corner of 8th and Penn Street; just call 610-898-7825 and we will deliver your tickets without leaving your car.
The Royals are offering five playoff vouchers for $85. Use the five vouchers at any home playoff games!
Miniplans available for 2018-19!Call 610-898-7825 to learn more about 9, 12 and 18 game mini-plans for the 2018-19 season!
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.
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.