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Game 58 Preview: Reading at Newfoundland

Sunday, March 3rd
Game 58 Preview: Reading at Newfoundland

Royals on edge of North America looking to gain ground on playoff spot  

St. John’s, NL – The Reading Royals (25-23-4-5, 59 pts., 6th North), proud ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, have made their second-ever road trip to North America’s eastern-most city, taking on the Newfoundland Growlers (36-16-4-0, 76 pts., 1st North) in the start of a back-to-back Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. The Royals are 2-0-0-0 at Newfoundland, defeating the Growlers in back-to-back games Dec. 7-8 at Mile One Centre. Reading handed the Growlers three straight series regulation losses Dec. 7, Dec. 8 and Dec. 28.The Royals sit five points out of the fourth and final playoff spot in the North Division.Reading is 3-2-1-1 against Newfoundland and the Royals have taken three of the last four series games (3-0-0-1).The last time the clubs played was Dec. 29 and the Growlers overcame a pair of deficits to force overtime and defeat the Royals, 4-3, in a shootout.Reading scored three in the first period Saturday at Norfolk to defeat the Admirals, 5-2. The Royals are 2-0-0-0 to begin a season-long six-game road trip. The Royals finished the season series 4-1-0-0 against the Ads.The Growlers have allowed 13 goals in their last two games and the team dropped, 7-5, Saturday at home vs. Brampton.The Royals return home Fri., Mar. 15 at 7:00 p.m. for Mental Health Awareness Night against Indy. Get four burgers, four sodas and four tickets for $48.Next Home GamesFri., Mar. 15: Mental Health Awareness Night vs. Indy at 7:00 p.m.- 4-for-48 Family Four Pack: 4 tickets, 4 burgers and 4 sodas for $48 - Supporting mental health initiatives with the Royals - Enter for a chance to win a 2017 Toyota Camry, courtesy of AutoRide of Reading - Special Mental Health Awareness Jerseys- 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.- Chance to win $10,000 if Royals player gets a hat trick- Free kids ticket game: Receive 1 free kids ticket (14 and under) for every adult ticket purchased- Ice Angels Dance Team poster giveaway and postgame autographs, pres. by Rieck's Printing- Enter for a chance to win a 2017 Toyota Camry, courtesy of AutoRide of Reading- Special St. Hat Trick's Day JerseysFri., Mar. 22: $1 Beer Night at 7:00 p.m. vs. Newfoundland, pres. by Deibler Dental- $1 Draft Beer- 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’s continued excellence Since returning from the AHL, forward Michael Huntebrinker has scored twice and the Royals are 2-0-0-0. He has registered at least a point in 21 of 22 games he’s played this season and rides a nine-game ECHL point streak into Tuesday’s game against Newfoundland. Lehigh Valley recalled Huntebrinker to the AHL after he starred in the last season series meetings at Newfoundland Dec. 7-8, when he scored four goals and five points. He has scored a goal in eight of the last nine Royals games (10g, 4a).The Royals are 7-2-0-0 in Huntebrinker’s last nine games played.Schmidt’s consistency Forward Adam Schmidt is second on the Royals with 24 assists and 42 points. The fifth-year professional is on a six-game point streak (4g, 5a), one away from an ECHL career high.Schmidt scored a goal Friday and Norfolk and twisted in two points (1g, 1a) Saturday in a 5-2 win.Scouting the GrowlersNewfoundland has been in sole possession of first place in the North Division since Nov. 7, when the team blasted Worcester, 5-2. At that point of the season, the Growlers had won two straight games to improve to 7-5-0-0. Since starting the season 5-5-0-0, Newfoundland has gone 31-11-4-0, outscoring foes by more than a goal per game (172 GF, 116 GA).The Growlers have allowed a league-low 37 goals in the first period. The first is Reading’s highest-scoring frame (64 GF).Newfoundland has earned at least a point in eight of the last ten games; the club had an eight-game point streak snapped Mar. 1 and the Growlers have had three eight-game point streaks this season. Zach O’Brien and Scott Pooley each have a Growlers-best 22 goals. Ten Newfoundland players have at least ten tallies.In 34 games, Michael Garteig is 19-12-3-0 with a 2.76 goals against average and .908 save percentage. Eamon McAdam is 7-3-1-0 with a 2.47 goals against average and .912 save percentage.Head-to-Head Reading has taken points in five of seven games (3-2-1-1) against Newfoundland this season, making the Royals one of the lone teams to find success against the Growlers. The Royals and Adirondack Thunder are the only two teams to beat Newfoundland in three-straight season series games.The Royals won both games in Mile One Centre this year. Michael Huntebrinker scored a hat trick and four points and Chris McCarthy registered three assists on Dec. 7 to lead the Royals to a 7-5 victory. The next night, Jack Riley’s three assists with Adam Schmidt’s two goals sparked a 5-3 win.Huntebrinker, Schmidt, and Josh MacDonald have each recorded seven points against Newfoundland. Huntebrinker and Schmidt lead the pack with four goals, and McCarthy and Riley co-lead the team with five assists.Zach O’Brien and Marcus Power have combined for seven points against the Royals. O’Brien has scored five goals, while Power has recorded six assists.1600 down, 1700 to goThe Royals have traveled 1600 miles on their season-long, six-game road trip. Reading flies from St. John’s to Toronto to face the Brampton Beast Mar. 9-10. That will add another 1,300 miles to the journey. Reading is expect to travel approximately 3,300 miles over this trip before returning home Mar. 15.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.