Royals head up to Empire State after epic battle last weekend
Glens Falls, NY – The Reading Royals (7-7-2-4, 20 pts., 4th North), proud ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, visit the Adirondack Thunder (12-7-0-1, 25 pts., 2nd North) for the second time in the last eight days Saturday at Cool Insuring Arena with 7:00 p.m. puck drop.This is the fifth matchup of the season series. Last Saturday in New York, Reading earned a come-from-behind victory, 2-1, as Nick Niedert made 38 saves for his first ECHL win in 1032 days. Over the last week, Niedert has been profiled on NBC Sports and Barstool Sports' Spittin' Chiclets podcast for his performance. Reading is 1-2-0-1 in the season series vs. the Thunder.Friday vs. Kalamazoo, Reading overcame a three-goal deficit to tie the game at four in the third, but surrendered the last two goals in a 6-4 defeat.The next Royals home game is Fri., Dec. 14 vs. Allen at 7:00 p.m., featuring a 4-for-48 Family Four Pack. Get four tickets, four burgers and four sodas for $48.The Royals travel to St. John's, NL for a battle at the Newfoundland Growlers next Fri., Dec. 7 and Sat., Dec. 8. The puck drops at 5:30 p.m. EST for both contests.Listen to today’s game at Mixlr.com/ReadingRoyals, with coverage starting 15 minutes before puck drop.Huntebrinker’s way in ADKRoyals forward Michael Huntebrinker registered his first professional hat trick and four-point game against the Adirondack Thunder on December 30, 2017. He continues the pressure Adirondack into the 2018-19 season by registering three points (2g, 1a) in three games against the Thunder. Huntebrinker has 11 points (6g, 5a) in 16 series games over the last two seasons. Last campaign he was the leading rookie scorer for the Royals with 20 goals in 65 games. Huntebrinker scored Saturday for his sixth goal of the season. He has at least point in 15 of 16 games he’s played this season (6g, 12a) and ranks second on the team with 18 points.Head-to-Head Jack Riley scored his first-ever game-winning goal early in the third in the last meeting Saturday, giving the Royals their first victory at Cool Insuring Arena in more than 300 days. Riley is one of seven Royals to score at least one goal in the series. Alex Krushlenyski tops Reading with two goals. Krushlenyski, Michael Huntebrinker and Scott Dornbrock are tied for the squad lead against the Thunder with three points. Reading has used three netminders against the Thunder. Austin Lotz has yet to play Adirondack this season. He is 1-0-0-0 with Reading against Adirondack, earning a victory as a rookie two seasons ago. Alex Sakellaropoulos has earned back-to-back victories in the series, last defeating Reading with 23 saves (3 GA) Nov. 23. The second-year goalie has allowed four goals and owns a .938 save percentage. Ten Thunder players have scored vs. Reading and Dennis Kravchenko (2g), Mike Szamatula (2g), John Edwardh (1g) and Shane Conacher (4a) top the Thunder with four points in the season series.Scouting AdirondackThe Thunder have played once since the last season-series matchup, downing Manchester, 5-2, Friday in New Hampshire. The Thunder are 12-7-0-1 in North-Division battles, tied with Newfoundland for the most wins vs. the North Division. Adirondack plays the North 63 times this season and the Thunder's first out-of-division game is Jan. 5 at Norfolk.With netminder Cam Johnson recalled to Binghamton (AHL), Alex Sakellaropoulos blocked 36 shots (2 GA) at Manchester Friday. He is 5-1-0-0 with a 2.29 goals against average and .923 save percentage. Leading scorer James Henry (20 pts.) scored 17 points in the first nine games of the season. In the month of November, he registered one goal and two assists in 11 games.Conor Riley tops the team with 11 goals, two of which have come vs. Reading.Series of runsReading's win over Adirondack last Saturday encapsulates how the history between these two teams have often been lopsided victories and season-series streaks.From the start of Dec. 23, 2016 to Dec. 30, 2017, the Royals went 13-2-1-1 vs. Adirondack. That included a seven-game winning streak vs. the Thunder. Since New Year's Eve last year, the Royals have dropped nine of ten to Adirondack. The Thunder joined the ECHL at the start of the 2015-16 season. Reading is 20-16-2-3 all-time vs. the Thunder. After today's matchup, the teams next battle for the sixth time of 12 meetings on Jan. 9 at Santander Arena.
About the RoyalsThe Royals have been owned by serial entrepreneur Jack Gulati since 2014 and are entering their 18th 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 nine straight seasons and are four-time division champions.Listen to all Royals broadcasts at Mixlr.com/ReadingRoyals or by downloading the Mixlr App from the App Store or Google Play.