Game 39 Preview: Wheeling at Reading Jam-packed promotional game starts at 7:00 p.m.
Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (17-13-3-5, 42 pts., 4th North), proud ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, play the team’s final game before the 2019 CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic, hosting the Wheeling Nailers (19-18-2-0, 40 pts., 5th Central) Saturday at 7:00 p.m.Here are a list of Saturday’s promotions:1) Mascot Mania, with local mascots attending the game2) Family Four Pack game: get four burgers, sodas and tickets for $483) Pediatric Cancer Awareness Night4) The first 2,500 fans will receive a PA Lottery Voucher, pres., by the PA Lottery5) Mini-THON dance party at the game6) Enter for a chance to win a 2017 Toyota Camry, courtesy of AutoRide of Reading7) Join Royals players at the DoubleTree across the street for a party at Cheers! Restaurant.It’s the fifth game of the season series and Reading is 2-1-0-1 halfway through the eight-game series. Reading earned points in its first three games of the series before suffering a 4-0 loss on New Year’s Eve.Following Saturday’s game, the Royals enjoy the all-star break and will return on the road at Wheeling Jan. 26 at 7:05 p.m.In Reading’s last game Friday vs. Brampton, the Royals received a goal from Chris McCarthy in a 3-1 loss.Wheeling played Friday at Adirondack and surrendered four in the second period, dropping, 6-2. Listen to today’s game on the Mixlr App and Mixlr.com/ReadingRoyals, with pregame coverage starting 15 minutes before puck drop.Season SeriesReading’s 4-0 loss to Wheeling Dec. 31 snapped a seven-game series point streak against the Nailers. Prior to the defeat, Reading had earned at least a point in nine straight in West Virginia.The Royals have outscored the Nailers, 12-9, over the four meetings and netted five goals in two of the games. Wheeling is making its first visit to Santander Arena since Oct. 27-28, when the Royals went 1-0-0-1 against Wheeling.Michael Huntebrinker and Steven Swavely, both currently in Lehigh Valley, have recorded four points against Wheeling this season, tied for the team lead. Troy Josephs leads the Nailers with four points in games against the Royals.Four Royals have three points against Wheeling – Josh MacDonald (2g), Frank DiChiara (1g), Adam Schmidt (1g) and Chris McCarthy (1g).Komm back in cageBranden Komm made his first Royals start since Nov. 9 Friday, stopping 33 of 35 in defeat. The Bentley University graduate was recalled from loan by Lehigh Valley in December and returned to Reading Thursday. With the Royals this season, the fifth-year professional is 5-2-1-1 with a 2.53 goals against average and .923 save percentage. He has blocked at least 30 shots in five games this season and Reading is 3-1-1-0 when he makes at least 30 saves.In his month-long stint with the Phantoms, Komm went 0-1-0-0 in two games and allowed six goals.McCarthy and SchmidtAdam Schmidt has scored 11 goals this campaign, tied for third on the team. In games he scores, Reading is 9-0-0-1. In two seasons, Reading has claimed wins in 21 of 26 games when he’s scored.The Royals’ brilliance when Schmidt scores mirrors what the team has done when Chris McCarthy nets a goal. In his three seasons, Reading is 33-8-3 when he scores and the Royals have earned a 30-3-2 mark in games he registers multiple points.Scouting the NailersThe Nailers have dropped back-to-back games in regulation, dropping the team’s record to 3-5-0-0 since the calendar flipped to 2019.Zac Lynch leads the team in points with 39, while sniper Troy Josephs leads the Nailers with 17 goals in only 22 games. Lynch is also the dish-master of the team, with 28 assists. The Robert Morris graduate netted a pair of helpers in Wheeling’s loss Friday at Adirondack.Former Royals goaltender John Muse has gone 7-9-0-0 with an .890 save percentage (3.16 GAA). Against the Royals in four games (2-2-0-0 record), he has a 2.70 goals-against average and .912 save percentage. Last time out, he shut out Reading with 28 saves.Two wins from 100 all-timeSince the Royals and Nailers played in the 2016 Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Royals hold a 14-5-3-1 record over the Nailers. The winning has increased the Royals all-time series edge 98-61-17. At Santander Arena, the Royals have 54 wins and 35 losses.Over the last five seasons, Reading has beaten Wheeling 23 times and dropped 22 games (23-18-3-1 record). Kevin Goumas and Nick Luukko are the only two active Royals left from the 2016 playoffs. In that series, Goumas scored two goals and eight points.Wheeling and Reading are the most-common opponents in each team’s history with Friday’s 177th all-time meeting. Trenton and Reading played each other 147 times, the second-most in Royals history.Former Royals netminder John Muse is the 30th goaltender in Reading history to play both for and against Reading.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.