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Game 56 Preview: Reading at Norfolk

Thursday, February 28th
Game 56 Preview: Reading at Norfolk

Southern feel to start six-game road trip

Norfolk, VA – The Reading Royals (23-23-4-5, 55 pts., 7th North), proud ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, kick off a season-long, six-game road trip against the South Division’s Norfolk Admirals (23-26-4-3, 53 pts., 6th South) Friday at 7:00 p.m.The Royals trip, which will cover approximately 3,300 miles, takes the team to Norfolk for two games this weekend, Newfoundland for a pair Mar. 5-6 and to Ontario for a pair of battles at Brampton Mar. 9-10. Prior to this trip, the Royals have not had a trip longer than three games this season. The Royals are 13-9-2-3 away from Santander Arena.Reading last played Feb. 24 vs. Adirondack and scored the first two goals in a 4-2 defeat. Branden Komm has started three straight games for the Royals since returning from Lehigh Valley and has allowed eight goals (1-2-0-0).The team’s offense received a boost Tuesday; Michael Huntebrinker (25 pts., 20 GP) was returned on loan from Lehigh Valley. He was named to the 2018 CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic.Norfolk had a three-game winning streak snapped vs. Jacksonville Feb. 24 in the club’s last game. The Royals and Admirals rematch in Hampton Roads on Sat., Mar. 2 at 7:00 p.m.The next Royals home game after Sunday is Fri., Mar. 15 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Indy, which is Mental Health Awareness Night. Tickets are available by calling 610-898-7825 or visiting royalshockey.com/tickets.  Next Home GamesFri., Mar. 15: Mental Health Awareness Night vs. Indy at 7:00 p.m.1) 4-for-48 Family Four Pack: 4 tickets, 4 burgers and 4 sodas for $48 2) Supporting mental health initiatives with the Royals 3) Enter for a chance to win a 2017 Toyota Camry, courtesy of AutoRide of Reading 4) Special Mental Health Awareness Jerseys5) Meet Royals players after the game at DoubleTree's Cheers! Restaurant (701 Penn St.)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) Free kids ticket game: Receive 1 free kids ticket (14 and under) for every adult ticket purchased3) Ice Angels Dance Team poster giveaway and postgame autographs, pres. by Rieck's Printing4) Enter for a chance to win a 2017 Toyota Camry, courtesy of AutoRide of Reading5) Special St. Hat Trick's Day JerseysFri., Mar. 22: $1 Beer Night at 7:00 p.m. vs. Newfoundland1) $1 Draft Beer2) Enter for a chance to win a 2017 Toyota Camry, courtesy of AutoRide of ReadingListen to today’s game at mixlr.com/readingroyals or watch on ECHL.tv. Coverage starts 15 minutes before puck drop.Huntebrinker returningReading received point-per-game talent Michael Huntebrinker Tuesday on loan from Lehigh Valley. At the time of his mid-December call-up, Huntebrinker was tied for Reading’s team lead with 11 goals and second on the squad with 24 points. 

With the Phantoms, Huntebrinker played in his first 21 AHL games and scored two goals, plus a shootout-winning goal Jan. 19 vs. Rochester. The native of Chesterfield, MO is in his second full season with the Flyers organization. He signed with the Royals following a four-season career at Minnesota State in 2017.Prior to his time in the AHL, Huntebrinker was on pace for 39 goals.As the Royals go on a season-long six-game road trip, Huntebrinker enters on a seven-game point streak and with at least a point in 19 of 20 ECHL games. His lone pointless game came Nov. 17 vs. Newfoundland after he opened on a league-best 12-game streak. Huntebrinker has scored a goal in six of his last seven Royals games.

Outgunning The Royals have out shot opponents, 399-299, over the club’s last 11 games (36.2 shots/game, 27.2 shots allowed/game). Reading has attempted more shots than their foes in eight of those 11 contests.Reading has out shot teams in third period in seven straight contests, averaging 14.4 shots in the third period, while surrendering an average of 5.6 shots (101 shots for, 39 shots against). Despite this, the Royals have allowed ten goals in the third (3 ENG) and scored seven over the team’s last seven games.  

Scouting NorfolkThe Admirals have outslugged opponents since Feb. 19, scoring 19 goals and surrendering 16 over a four-game road trip. The club won three of the four away from the Scope, with the lone loss coming in the teams’ last game, 4-2, Feb. 24 at Jacksonville. Prior to the defeat, the club rattled off a 5-3 win at South Carolina, a 7-6 OT win at Orlando and another 5-3 duel against the Icemen.From Feb. 19-24, the team had three of the league’s top five point scorers; Dom Alberga (1g, 9 pts.), Kelly Klima (4g, 7 pts.) and Ben Duffy (4g, 6 pts.).Duffy has been the team’s go-to source for a majority of the season and paces the Ads with 18 goals and 32 assists. He rides a seven-game point streak into Friday’s contest.Second-year netminder Ty Reichenbach is 18-14-3-2 this campaign (3.66 GAA, .899 sv.%). Jeremy Brodeur played in his third Norfolk game last time out against Jacksonville and fell to 0-3-0-0 with the Ads (24 svs., 3 GA).Norfolk surrenders a league-high 36.2 shots a game and ranks last in the circuit allowing 3.79 goals a game.

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.