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Large Sunday crowd watches Royals drop at home to Thunder, 4-2

Saturday, February 23rd
Large Sunday crowd watches Royals drop at home to Thunder, 4-2

Allentown Police and Fire defeat Reading squads in undercard FirstStates Cup battle

Reading, PA – The Reading Royals took 14 shots in the third period, but Adirondack Thunder goaltender Alex Sakellaropoulos stopped them all and finished with 29 saves to backstop the Thunder to a 4-2 win Sunday at Santander Arena. Reading drew a Sunday high in attendance of 4,540 fans for the Battle of the Badges for the FirstStates Cup.Alex Roos and Chris McCarthy scored 21 seconds apart in the first period to push the Royals to a 2-0 lead after one. Adirondack tallied the next three in the second to take the lead. The Royals surrendered seven shots in the final period and gave up an empty-net goal to Matt Salhany with 1:11 to go.Sunday kicked off the final quarter of the 2018-19 regular season and the Royals are four points behind Maine for the fourth and final playoff spot with 17 games to play.Branden Komm dropped despite 29 saves.In the undercard Battle of the Badges XIV for the FirstStates Cup game, the Allentown Police and Fire Departments defeated the Reading squads, 9-4. Allentown scored three straight in the final five minutes of the first to break the game open and lead, 5-1, after one. John Eddleman (Allentown Fire Department) was named Deibler Dental Star of the Game with five goals. Allentown scored their sixth goal early in the second and Reading never pulled within five after that tally. Allentown leads the all-time series, 2 games to 1, against Reading since the format switched in 2016-17.   Reading starts a season-long, six-game road trip Fri., Mar. 1 at 7:00 p.m. at Norfolk.Box ScoreThe Royals allowed four of first five shots and killed off a Thunder power play before enforcing their will once the six-minute mark hit. First, a Thunder blue liner bobbled the puck at the right circle and Adam Schmidt stole it. Schmidt flung it to Roos at the slot and the forward wristed it top-right corner on Sakellaropoulos at 6:19 of the frame. Twenty-one seconds later, McCarthy started a two-on-one with Josh MacDonald and McCarthy slammed a laser beam in over the glove. Reading led, 2-0, after one. Matt Pohlkamp received the primary assist and Nick Luukko got the secondary helper.At 7:30 of the second, Dylan Walchuk started a three-goal Thunder run.  Blake Thompson veered to the right circle and flipped it off Walchuk’s stick at the slot, allowing it to redirect in at the right post. Next, five minutes later, John Edwardh caught the puck from the left circle and quickly snapped it top shelf to tie the game, assisted by Sean Federow. Peter MacArthur scored for the second straight game and placed Adirondack in front, 3-2, with a power-play goal and 1:28 left in the middle period. Drifting to the left circle, MacArthur waited for a pass from James Henry. The feed came and MacArthur shot it high and in.The Thunder killed off two Reading power plays in the third and the Royals finished 0-for-3 in the game. Adirondack went 1-for-4 on the man up.Next Home GamesFri., Mar. 15: Mental Health Awareness Night vs. Indy at 7:00 p.m.Supporting mental health initiatives with the Royals Sat., Mar. 16: St. Hat Trick’s Day vs. Indy at 7:00 p.m.1) Chance to win $10,000 if Royals player gets a hat trick2) Ice Angels Dance Team card giveaway, pres. by Baja Beach Tanning Club3)  Enter for a chance to win a 2017 Toyota Camry, courtesy of AutoRide of ReadingFri., Mar. 22: Community Night at 7:00 p.m. vs. Newfoundland1) Celebrate the local groups and organizations that make Berks County special2) Enter for a chance to win a 2017 Toyota Camry, courtesy of AutoRide of Reading

Group tickets start at $11 for all Royals home games.In the Community: Royals “Bleed Purple,” donate blood with Miller Keystone Blood Center Mar. 26The Reading Royals have teamed up with the Miller Keystone Blood Center for the team’s “Bleed Purple Blood Drive” event, which will happen Mar. 26 from 2:00-7:00 p.m. at Santander Arena. Meet Royals players and mascot Slapshot. Sign up for a donation time slot at GiveaPint.org/Reading-Royals or by emailing community@royalshockey.com with contact information. Call 610-898-7253 with additional questions.

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.