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Game 41 Preview: Maine at Reading

Tuesday, January 29th
Game 41 Preview: Maine at Reading

Game 41 Preview: Maine at Reading   Royals host Mariners for second time this season

Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (18-14-3-5, 44 pts., 5th North), proud ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, take on the Maine Mariners (21-20-0-1, 43 pts., T-6th North) at Santander Arena to begin a stretch of four games in five days Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. Reading is 2-2-0-0 at Santander Arena and the clubs last played Nov. 28 at Cross Insurance Arena (4-1 MNE victory). Wednesday’s game features a postgame autograph session, pres. by Rieck’s Printing, with four Royals players.The Royals are at Adirondack and Friday and play Saturday and Sunday at home vs. Manchester.Reading earned an out-of-conference win against Wheeling Saturday, 6-5 (SO), in the club’s last game. Chris McCarthy generated four points for the third time in his career and scored the game-winning goal in the shootout. Brayden Low scored twice and completed his first-ever point game. Andrew D’Agostini made a Royals-high 39 saves.The Mariners are in their inaugural ECHL season and have only been to Santander Arena once; Reading’s Charlie Vasaturo scored in the third to pull the Royals within one, but an insurance marker from Sean Day a minute later gave Maine a 4-2 win Nov. 7.Maine has dropped its first three games out of the all-star break, most recently falling, 4-2, at home Sunday vs. Adirondack. The Mariners have lost five of six games.Next Home GamesSat., Feb. 2, 7:00 p.m. vs. Manchester: MARVEL Super Hero Night and Diamond Credit Union Wall of Honor Night. The Royals will wear Black Panther jerseys and honor broadcasters Mark Thompson and Pat Richards. The team will give away Thompson/Richards puck to the first 2,000 fans.Sun., Feb. 3, 2:00 p.m. vs. Manchester: Family Four Pack (4 burgers, 4 sodas and 4 tickets for $44).Listen to today’s game on the Mixlr App and Mixlr.com/ReadingRoyals, with pregame coverage starting 15 minutes before puck drop.Brayden bops a couple in Often a fixture on the team’s third line, forward Brayden Low moved up to the Royals’ top unit Saturday at Wheeling and finished with a career-high four points (2g) to help the Royals to a 6-5 shootout win. He scored Reading’s first two goals of the game in a 2:13 span, tying the contest, 2-2.It was the second time in his career Low scored multiple goals in a game, with the last effort coming Feb. 22, 2018 at Indy when Low played for Quad City. Last season, he combined for a professional-best 18 goals with Quad City and Wichita.The Steveston, BC native is in his third professional season and has scored 15 points (7g) and has 64 career points in 134 games.Nov. 28 significanceThe last meeting between these clubs Nov. 28, a Mariners 4-1 win, dropped Reading to 7-6-4-2 and fourth in the North. Despite the defeat, on Dec. 1, the Royals began a season-long seven-game win streak highlighted by a weekend sweep at first-place Newfoundland and a three-game sweep of the Allen Americans Dec. 14-16.Maine has gone 11-13-0-0 since the last season series meeting.D’Agostini continues to winThe Royals have points in the first five games Andrew D’Agostini has started (4-0-1-0 record), keeping with a recent trend of netminders starting their Royals careers in sterling fashion. Callum Booth began this season 4-0-0-0, which included a 31-save performance (1 GA) in his debut Dec. 1 at Adirondack and a weekend sweep of division-leading Newfoundland. Branden Komm and Booth are the only two Royals netminders to begin their Reading careers with four straight wins. Komm accomplished the feat last season when the Royals acquired him from Manchester. Komm began this campaign with a 5-1-1-1 mark in his first ten games (2.58 GAA, .921 sv.%).D’Agostini made 39 saves Saturday to secure a 6-5 shootout win against Wheeling. His career high for saves is 43, accomplished vs. Adirdondack Nov. 12, 2017 when the Scarborough, ON native played for Brampton.The Royals acquired D’Agostini from the SPHL’s Macon Mayhem on Dec. 14. With a game that night against Allen, he flew to Philadelphia that morning, drove to Reading and made 27 saves (3 GA) to secure the win. He then played the next two days vs. Allen to complete the three-in-three with a 3-0-0-0 mark. For his efforts, ESPN writer Greg Wyshynski named D’Agostini the “Best Hockey Player in the World of the Week” on Dec. 18.Keeping it North Reading’s longest streak of consecutive games vs. the North Division is nine, which goes from Mar. 17 to the end of the regular season. The Royals play North Division opponents in 51 of the 72 games this season, which is the second-fewest among division rivals (Brampton 46 in-division games).By contrast, the Mariners have only played one game outside the North Division (vs. Orlando Nov. 14) and are nearing the end of a stretch of 33 straight against division foes that began Nov. 16 at Brampton. Through 29 of the 33, the club is 15-14-0-0. Morgan Adams-Moisan leads Maine with 15 goals over the span, while fellow rookie Michael McNicholas has tagged opponents for a team-best 27 points (7g).Maine faces the North Division in 60 of its 72 contests. Eleven of its twelve games out of the division come in a 16-game stretch from Feb. 8 – Mar. 9.We do business trips during the weekThe Mariners visit Santander Arena four times this season, all on Wednesdays. By contrast, Reading has been at Maine thrice this season, with two Friday showdowns and one Wednesday. The Royals visit Maine once more this season, on Wed., Apr. 3.Scouting the MarinersRookie Morgan Adams-Moisan leads the team in goals with 15 and scored his first professional goal against the Royals Nov. 28. He is followed closely by Alex Kile (13).Rookie Michael McNicholas tops the team in points (30). Drew Melanson, another rookie, is second with 23 points.Maine is 2-0 in OT and 3-1 in the shootout. Brandon Halverson made 35 saves and allowed only one Royals goal in the last series meeting. He currently holds a 14-11-0-1 record with a 2.67 goals against average and a .925 save percentage.In the Mariners last game against the Thunder, rookie Edwin Minney made 26 saves and allowed four goals. He currently holds a 0-1-1-0 record on the season, sporting a 4.94 goals against average and .840 save percentage.Special teams battleBoth teams rank in the middle of the pack on the power play and the bottom half on the penalty kill. The Royals sit at 18.1% (11th) on the power play and kill off 78.0% (26th) of opponents chances. The Mariners’ man up converts at 15.6% (19th) and kills off opponent chances 81.0% of the time (22nd).Frank DiChiara continues to lead the Royals in power-play goals, with five. Rookie Ryan Ferrill leads Maine in power-play goals with four, followed by Alex Kile and Michael McNicholas who each have three.Captain Nick Luukko and Adam Schmidt have Reading’s only short-handed goals this season. Nine different players on Maine have one short-handed marker. In Maine’s most recent game, Jan. 27 against the Adirondack Thunder, the team allowed two power-play tallies and one short-handed goal in the 4-2 loss. Both Mariners goals were at even strength.In Reading’s most recent game against Wheeling, Reading scored on the power play for the second straight game.Reading has had 18 power play and 18 penalty kill chances against Maine this season. The team has scored on three of the 18 power-play chances (16.7%) and has allowed four goals on Maine’s 18 opportunities.About the RoyalsThe Royals are in their 18th ECHL season and 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.