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Game 32 Preview: Norfolk at Reading

Thursday, January 3rd
Game 32 Preview: Norfolk at Reading

Royals swept Admirals in last season’s series

Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (15-9-2-5, 37 pts., T-3rd North), proud ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, face the Norfolk Admirals (14-16-1-2, 31 pts., 5th South) at Santander Arena for the only time this season Friday at 7:00 p.m. The teams play five times this regular season.Friday’s game is Reading’s first of the 2019 calendar year. From Jan. 1 – Dec. 31, 2018, the Royals accrued a 38-19-9-5 mark, sustaining back-to-back regulation losses three times. This is a first in Royals history; prior to 2018, no Reading team had suffered back-to-back regulation defeats fewer than four times in a calendar year.Reading last played on New Year’s Eve at Wheeling and was shutout, 4-0, by John Muse. On Dec. 30 at Atlanta, Norfolk scored two goals in the second period to knock off the Gladiators, 4-3.On Sat., Jan. 5 at 6:00 p.m., Reading travels north to New Hampshire and for a battle against Manchester. The Royals are next at  home on Wed., Jan. 9 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Adirondack, featuring a postgame player autograph session pres. by Rieck’s Printing. Tickets are $5 on college night! Visit http://bit.ly/Jan9College and enter a valid college email address to access.Listen to today’s game on the Mixlr App and Mixlr.com/ReadingRoyals, with pregame coverage starting 15 minutes before puck drop.Last season series The Royals swept last season’s series and outscored the Admirals, 20-5. The wins included Mark Dekanich’s last professional shutout, 2-0 on Feb. 3, 2018. Dekanich announced his retirement earlier this season.Chris McCarthy registered his first career four-point game vs. Norfolk and led the Royals with ten points in four games.History vs. NorfolkThe Royals hold an 18-4-1-1 record all-time vs. the Admirals, last dropping Mar. 31, 2017 in overtime. The Royals have won seven straight games over the Ads and earned at least a point in eight consecutive. Reading has won five straight games at the Scope and the last two at Santander Arena. All-time, Reading is 8-2-1-0 vs. Norfolk in Pennsylvania and 10-2-0-1 against the Admirals in Virginia.In Norfolk’s first ECHL season (2015-16), Reading won the first six games of the series and pounded the Admirals in eight of nine games (8-0-0-1). The Royals earned points in their first 11 games vs. Norfolk (10-0-0-1).After the early dominance, the Admirals defeated the Royals in five of the next six before the most-recent Royals eight-game point streak.Scouting Norfolk The Admirals started the season 8-3-0-0, but have limped to a 6-13-1-2 mark over the last 22 game to fall out of a playoff position. Defense has been part of the issue, with Norfolk allowing at least three goals in all but three of the last 22. Norfolk surrenders 3.91 goals per game, 2nd worst in the league.Second-year netminder Ty Reichenbach led the league in saves last season and tops the category once again, denying an average of 31.3 a game. He is 11-12-1-1 with a 4.06 goals against average and an .889 save percentage.Offensively, Taylor Cammarata holds the team points lead (26) and is tied with Luke Nogard for a squad-best 11 goals.Norfolk has been outscored, 49-29, in the first period, the most goals allowed by any team in the opening frame.What’s wrong with the City of Positive Change?The Royals and Admirals face each other five times this season, but only once at Santander Arena. This season series structure nearly mirrors last season’s when Reading had one home game and travelled to Hampton Roads three times.Reading is at Norfolk Feb. 6, Feb. 8 and Mar. 1-2.In 2016-17, Reading hosted the Admirals five times of the 11 matchups.Travel within the divisionSantander Arena is located 300 miles away from the Admirals’ home rink (the Norfolk Scope), making it Norfolk’s geographical foe. Despite this, Norfolk is in the South Division, where its closest divisional opponents are Greenville (423 miles) and South Carolina (431 miles). Despite the mileage discrepancies, Norfolk is only at Santander Arena once this season.The Royals play 300 miles away from Norfolk, Adirondack and Wheeling.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.