Final road game before huge home weekend
Norfolk, VA – The Reading Royals (21-16-3-5, 50 pts., T-3rd North), proud ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, are in a three-way tie for third in the North Division as the club prepares to complete a back-to-back at the Norfolk Admirals (18-23-3-3, 42 pts., 5th South) Friday at 7:00 p.m. Reading is tied with Brampton and Manchester for third in the North. Following the game, the Royals will return home for a Saturday Pink in the Rink Showdown with Brampton. The Royals will donate $5 to Breast Cancer Support Services of Berks County or the American Cancer Society for every ticket sold to Saturday’s home game. Call 610-898-7825 for more information.Reading is 2-0-0-0 against the Admirals this season and has shut out Norfolk both games, 3-0. The last time out on Wednesday, Callum Booth earned his second career shutout and blocked 17 shots. Adam Schmidt scored his team-leading fourth game-winning goal of the season. Reading out shot Norfolk, 39-17.The Royals are playing their fifth game of the month (2-2-0-0 record) and the team’s sixth game in nine days.Next Home GamesSat., Feb. 9: Pink in the Rink vs. Brampton at 7:00 p.m.1) 2nd of 3 games honoring the American Cancer Society2) Royals will wear specialty pink jerseys3) Ladies Night4) Enter for a chance to win a 2017 Toyota Camry, courtesy of AutoRide of ReadingMon., Feb. 11: Player Cards and Player Autograph session vs. Brampton at 7:00 p.m.1) Postgame player autograph session and player card giveaway, pres. by Rieck's PrintingWed., Feb. 20: Player Cards and Player Autograph session vs. Maine at 7:00 p.m.1) Postgame player autograph session and player card giveaway, pres. by Rieck's PrintingLopsidedNorfolk joined the ECHL in the 2015-16 season and Reading is 20-4-2 all-time against the Admirals. In those games, the Royals have outscored the Admirals, 88-54. To illustrate the lopsided nature of the series, Reading has notched at least three goals in 18 of the 26 contests, while Norfolk has hit the same 3-goal milestone seven times. The last time the Admirals scored at least three in a game against Reading was the 2016-17 season and the Royals have outscored the Admirals, 42-14, since Kirk MacDonald became the Royals’ interim head coach for the last three games of the 2016-17 season. Since 2017-18, the Royals have posted 26 goals and allowed five to Norfolk.McCarthy bags itRoyals forward Chris McCarthy has a team-best 50 points (11g), a single-season best 39 assists and helped on all three Reading goals Wednesday. Since Nov. 28, he has a league-best 31 assists and is second in the league with 41 points.In particular, he has dominated the Admirals at the Scope Arena, scoring three goals and seven assists in five Royals games in Norfolk. He notched his first career four-point game when the Royals visited the Admirals one season ago in Feb. 2017. In eight career games against Norfolk, the fifth-year center has four goals and 15 points.Setting up the busy stretch Friday’s game starts a stretch of three games in four days after the Royals played a “four-in-five” last week. Including the Wednesday game vs. Norfolk, this is part of a four-game-in-six-day week.Head to head
Adam Schmidt (2g) and Chris McCarthy (3a) each have three points to lead all players in the series; Schmidt scored one goal and two points last game Wednesday. The Royals have received goals from Schmidt, Steve Johnson, Brayden Low, Alex Roos and Bo Pieper.In the first meeting Jan. 4 Schmidt recorded a short-handed tally while Roos beat Norfolk goaltender Merrick Madsen on a penalty shot.The Royals have out shot Norfolk, 69-40, through the first two games of the series. Callum Booth is 2-0-0-0 against Norfolk (0 GA, 100 minutes). Merrick Madsen (27 svs, 3 GA) and Ty Reichenbach (36 svs, 2 GA) have each lost toe Reading.Scouting Norfolk The Admirals have surrendered 181 goals, giving Norfolk the league’s worst defense at 3.85 goals allowed per game.Under Head Coach Robbie Ftorek, the Admirals have ranked in the bottom-ten of the league in shots allowed per game each season he’s been at the helm (since 2016-17). This campaign, the Ads give up 36.4 per contest, last in the circuit.Second-year netminder Ty Reichenbach (111 GA) has allowed the most goals and has made at least 35 saves in a game 13 times. He is 13-13-2-1 with a 3.75 goals against average and .897 save percentage.Norfolk forward Ben Duffy (13g, 37 pts.) leads the team in points and assists. He is tied with Chris Crane and Luke Nogard for a squad-high 13 goals.Quick Brampton hitterThe Royals and Brampton play twice at Santander Arena Jan. 9 and Jan. 11. The squads have met once and the Beast this season took a 3-1 win Jan. 18. Chris McCarthy cut Brampton’s lead in half to 2-1 early in the third. Branden Komm blocked 33 shots (2 GA), but Etienne Marcoux bettered him with 29 saves (1 GA).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.