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Reading’s 7-game winning streak snapped at Worcester, 5-3

Sunday, December 23rd
Reading’s 7-game winning streak snapped at Worcester, 5-3

Worcester, MA – Josh MacDonald bagged a pair of goals and Jack Riley put the Royals up by one with 8:42 left, but the Worcester Railers struck back with three goals in the final four minutes to end Reading’s seven-game winning streak, 5-3, Saturday at the DCU Center.Josh Holmstrom deflected in a left-point shot from Tyler Mueller with 1:16 remaining for the go-ahead goal that made it 4-3 Railers. Three minutes earlier, Matt Schmalz tied it, 3-3, seconds after Royals forward Frank DiChiara was smacked with a stick across the face. The play continued without a penalty and the Railers scored to tie. Tyler Barnes netted Worcester’s empty-net goal with 55 seconds left.Callum Booth took the loss with 23 saves (4 GA). Mitch Gillam denied 36 and allowed three in victory.Reading’s top line of Alex Roos – Chris McCarthy (2a) – and MacDonald (2g) continued their weekend excellence. Friday, the trio combined for all five of Reading’s goals. McCarthy has 19 points (6g) in his last eight games.MacDonald’s second of the game allowed Reading to take a 2-1 lead halfway through the second. Worcester tied it five minutes later and it was tied at two entering the third.  Reading is tied for second in the North Division  (34 pts.) with Adirondack entering the holiday break.The Royals return from the break and are at home Fri., Dec. 28 and Sat., Dec. 29 for back-to-back games vs. the Newfoundland Growlers. APHILLYATION night is Dec. 29 as the Royals honor their affiliation with the Philadelphia Flyers. Four purple zone tickets are available at $15 each. Plus, an opportunity to high five the Royals players in our High Five Tunnel before the game by calling 610-898-7825!Box ScoreWorcester’s Tyler Barnes scored the first goal of the game, slapping home a left-post feed from Ryan MacKinnon at 1:29 of the first.Reading answered with a strike from MacDonald and 10.1 seconds left in the first. McCarthy fed Joe Houk, who lowered his shoulder and drove the right-wing circle. MacDonald set up back door and received a through-traffic, cross-slot pass for a shovel-in goal. MacDonald is on a season-long four-game point streak (5g, 4a).   A water-bottle-popping, 4-on-4 goal from MacDonald provided Reading a 2-1 lead at 8:11 of the second. Houk and McCarthy netted the assists again. Houk dropped it for MacDonald on a stuttered entrance at the high slot. MacDonald pirhouetted and lifted it to the top shelf, knocking off Gillam’s water bottle.Later in the period, at four skaters aside, Nick Sorkin tied it with 6:15 remaining in the second. Sorkin one-timed it to the top-right corner, assisted by Matty Gaudreau and Mike Cornell.  Both teams were 0-for-3 on the man up.Riley’s fifth of the season provided Reading a 3-2 edge, set up by Kevin Goumas (season debut) and Adam Schmidt. Goumas shot it from the right slot off Gillam’s blocker and Riley slid in to register his eighth point of the month (1g).The Railers scored the next three to win and move back to hockey .500 (13-13-3-1).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.