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Game 59 Preview: Reading at Newfoundland

Wednesday, March 6th
Game 59 Preview: Reading at Newfoundland

Royals seek revenge in final game at Growlers  

St. John’s, NL – The Reading Royals (25-24-4-5, 59 pts., T-6th North), proud ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, play the fourth game of a season-long six-game road trip against the first-place Newfoundland Growlers (37-16-4-0, 78 pts., 1st North) to complete a back-to-back Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. The Royals are 2-1-0-0 on the road trip and Reading has won two of the first three games at Newfoundland this season.Reading is 3-3-1-1 against Newfoundland. Since the Royals won three straight against the Growlers Dec. 7-28, Newfoundland has rattled off a couple wins in a row.Josh MacDonald pounded in two goals, including his team-leading 22nd of the season, and finished with three points Tuesday in a 5-3 loss at Newfoundland. Chris McCarthy scored halfway through the third for his 16th of the season and pulled the Royals within one, 4-3. Michael Garteig blocked 12 Royals shots in the third and completed his 20th win of the season with 31 saves (3 GA).  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. 

Canada swing This Canadian road trip marks the first time the Royals have ever played 4 straight games against Canadian teams. Following Wednesday’s game in Newfoundland, the Royals venture to Brampton, ON for back-to-back games Mar. 9-10.Brampton and Newfoundland are two of the three Canadian-based teams to ever play in the ECHL. The Victoria Salmon Kings (2004-11) were the first. Reading never played against the Salmon Kings. The Beast joined the ECHL in 2014-15.Two former Royals Former Royals forwards Kirk MacDonald and John Snowden are coaching against each other in Newfoundland.MacDonald enjoyed a five-year professional career; he played a pair of seasons with the Royals and helped raise the 2013 Kelly Cup. MacDonald scored 45 goals and 61 assists (106 points) in 272 AHL games and 51 goals and 60 assists (111) in 134 ECHL games. Snowden played 11 years professionally. He skated for the Royals in the 2006-07 season, putting up 12 goals and 18 assists (30 points) in 63 games.MacDonald is in his second full year coaching the Royals. He has gone 67-48-18 in 132 ECHL games.Snowden took over head coaching duties for the Growlers from former-NHL player Ryane Clowe on Jan. 24. Clowe stepped down for medical reasons, according to Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas. Snowden was assistant coach for the Orlando Solar Bears from 2015-18. The Solar Bears lost in the South Division Finals last season to the Florida Everblades in five games.MacDonald, Snowden, Doug Christiansen (Manchester) and Riley Armstrong (Maine) are all North Division head coaches that played for the Royals.Why are the Growlers good?The Growlers have received massive help from their AHL affiliate the Toronto Marlies and NHL affiliate the Toronto Maple Leafs; ten Newfoundland skaters are on AHL deals and netminder Eamon McAdam signed an NHL contract with the Maple Leafs. Team points leader Zach O’Brien signed with the Marlies in July, along with rookie Giorgio Estephan. O’Brien registered two goals and four points Tuesday, including the game-winning strike.Among some other leading Growlers on AHL deals are Josh Kestner, Matt Bradley and Scott Pooley. They all signed with the Marlies this offseason. Pooley scored twice Tuesday and buried the empty-net goal to seal the 5-3 win over the Royals.MacAdam (7-2-1-0, 2.15 GAA, .923 sv.%) is joined in cage by AHL-contracted Michael Garteig. McAdam won Warrior Hockey Goaltender of the Month in February and Garteig took the award in November.Trading deadlineThe ECHL Trade Deadline is Thurs., Mar. 7 at 3:00 p.m. Last season, the Royals acquired defenseman Charlie Vasaturo before the deadline. He played eight games with the Royals to complete 2017-18 and 50 in his Reading career, scoring two goals and 10 points (+3 rating).Reading has made 16 trades this regular season. The team acquired forward Matt Pohlkamp and defenseman Vinny Muto from South Carolina for blueliner Steve Johnson in February. Goalies vs. GoaliesBranden Komm and Andrew D’Agostini will be facing the duo of Michael Garteig and Eamon McAdam in Newfoundland. Komm and Garteig faced off on Oct. 24 in a 3-1 Growlers win. Komm made 26 saves on 28 shots, and Garteig stopped 26 of 27 shots.Komm has alternated between the Royals and Lehigh Valley Phantoms throughout the season but has managed to earn points for the Royals in 10 of 18 decisions this year (8-9-1-1, 2.72 GAA) along with a .914 save percentage. D’Agostini has gone 6-2-2-0 since joining the Royals in December, providing much-needed stability to the team when Komm was called up and Angus Redmond was reassigned San Diego.Garteig has appeared in 35 of Newfoundland’s 57 games this season, going 20-12-3-0. McAdam has appeared in 12 games, the second-most on the Growlers’ squad. His 7-3-1-0 record along with a .912 save percentage and 2.43 goals against average gives the Growlers multiple threats. McAdam is a native of Perkasie, PA and went to Penn State. He was drafted 70th overall by the New York Islanders in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.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.