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Game 48 Preview: Brampton at Reading

Sunday, February 10th
Game 48 Preview: Brampton at Reading

Royals start work week with Beast on agenda

Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (21-18-3-5, 50 pts., 5th North), proud ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, can tie the Brampton Beast (24-20-3-1, 52 pts., 4th North) for the fourth and final playoff spot in the North Division Monday at 7:00 p.m. at Santander Arena. The Royals have 25 games left in the regular season.The Beast have won back-to-back games against the Royals to begin the five-game season series. Monday is Reading’s last home game of the regular season against Brampton.Following Monday’s showdown, the Royals play three straight games against the Western Conference, starting with a battle at rival Wheeling Wed., Feb. 13 at 7:05 p.m. Reading and Allen spar Saturday and Sunday in the Royals’ only trip to Texas this season.  Reading has three home games remaining this month and the squad’s next home game is Wed., Feb. 20 vs. Maine at 7:00 p.m.The Royals are completing a back-to-back with Brampton; Saturday, Beast goaltender Étienne Marcoux blocked 41 shots for his second-career shutout and Reading dropped, 4-0.Next Home GamesWed., Feb. 20: Player Cards and Player Autograph session vs. Maine at 7:00 p.m.Postgame player autograph session and player card giveaway, pres. by Rieck's PrintingSun., Feb. 24 at 4:00 p.m.: Faith and Family Night + Battle of the Badges with a Berks Schuylkill Oil Heat Puck Giveaway vs. Adirondack1) Pregame Battle of the Badges for the FirstStates Cup game (Allentown police and fire vs. Reading police and fire departments)2) Royals will give away a Berks Schuylkill Oil Heat Puck.3) Faith & Family NightGroup tickets start at $11 for all Royals home games.Listen to today’s game at mixlr.com/readingroyals or watch on ECHL.tv. Coverage starts 15 minutes before puck drop.‘Notha order of tenders The Royals and Beast have each had six netminders play for them this season, tied for the most goaltenders to suit up for one team this ECHL campaign. The Royals have three goaltenders on the active roster; Devin Buffalo, Andrew D’Agostini and Branden Komm. Buffalo has not played for Reading yet.The Beast have used Étienne Marcoux (21 GP) and Jake Paterson (20 GP) and in 41 of the team’s 48 games. Austin Lotz (6 GP), Marcus Hogberg (1 GP), Michael McNiven (1 GP) and Daniel Altshuller (2 GP) have also seen time in cage. When Marcoux or Paterson get the decision, the club is 18-17-2-1. When the other four have played, Brampton is 6-3-1-0.By contrast, the Royals have seen most success when the team’s workhorses play. With Callum Booth (16 GP), Branden Komm (13 GP) and Andrew D’Agostini (8 GP) in between the pipes, the Royals are 19-11-2-2.Reading played six goaltenders last season and four in 2016-17. The club has used at least seven netminders in a single season five times, most recently during the 2012-13 championship season when eight goaltenders played. Reading has needed eight netminders to play in a season twice (2009-10, 2012-13).Monday #2  Reading has played 16 Monday games in 17 seasons, the fewest times the Royals have played on any day of the week. This is the Royals’ second Monday contest of the season and the Royals suffered a 3-0 shutout loss to Wheeling Dec. 31 in the first Monday contest. Reading is 6-7-3 on the first day of the work week.The Royals have only played on Monday three times the last three seasons. Since Kirk MacDonald became a member of the Royals coaching staff (Assistant Coach 2014-17, Head Coach 2017-present), Reading is 4-2-1 in Monday contests.D’Agostini’s Beast career Andrew D’Agostini started his Royals career 5-0-1-0, the first netminder in team history to start his Reading career with points in his first six decisions. From 2016-18, D’Agostini played for Brampton and went 21-18-2-3 in 47 games. Among some notable accomplishments, the native of Scarborough, ON had his first winning season in his rookie season (2016-17), going 13-8-1-1. He ended the 2016-17 regular season with wins in five of his last seven games and Brampton qualified for the 2017 Kelly Cup Playoffs for the first time in team history. D’Agostini started Game 1 of the North Division Semifinals vs. Reading (loss, 34/36), the only playoff game of his career.After playing again for Brampton in 2017-18, D’Agostini started this campaign in the SPHL before earning a call-up to Reading in mid-December.Running into the heat In the past two games, the Royals have attempted 89 shots and scored twice. Ty Reichenbach made 45 saves and allowed a pair of goals Friday in Norfolk and Étienne Marcoux denied all 41 Royals shots Saturday. It marks the first time since November opposing netminders have had back-to-back, 40-plus-save performances against Reading.Reading has taken 127 shots on goal in the last three games and scored four times. By contrast, opponents have taken 66 shots (9 GA). The Royals attempt 33 shots a game this season, closely trailing fourth-place Brampton (33.1 shots/game).Frank DiChiara leads Reading with 151 shots on goal and is second among active Royals with 13 goals. In the first period Saturday, DiChiara whipped five on cage and was awarded the game’s Deibler Dental third star generating a team-high eight shots. He has 14 shots on goal in his last two contests.Head to headReading’s only series goal came Jan. 19 from Chris McCarthy, who is tops on the Royals with 50 points this season. Netminder Branden Komm has allowed five goals in the two series games. The fifth-year professional is 1-2-0-0 against the Beast in his career.Étienne Marcoux is 2-0-0-0 against the Royals, making 70 saves on 71 shots.David Vallorani has scored both game-winning goals against Reading and leads all players with three goals and four points in the series. The former Royals Kelly Cup Champion is one of four Beast players that recorded multiple points Saturday vs. Reading. Matt Petgrave, Jackson Leef, Artur Tianulin and Austin McEneny have all scored once vs. Reading.The final matchups of the season series come Sat., Mar. 9 and Sun., Mar. 10 at Brampton. The Royals have not visited the CAA Centre yet this season.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.