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Game 65 Preview: Newfoundland at Reading

Thursday, March 21st
Game 65 Preview: Newfoundland at Reading

$1 Draft Beers, presented by Deibler Dental   

Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (27-28-4-5, 63 pts., 7th North), proud ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, play the front end of a three-in-three with $1 Draft Beers, presented by Deibler Dental, against the division-leading Newfoundland Growlers (40-19-4-2, 86 pts., 1st North) Friday at 7:00 p.m.Friday’s meeting kicks off three straight days of home games at Santander Arena, all of which feature once-a-season promotions. It is the first time this season the Royals will have $1 Draft Beers. Saturday at 7:00 p.m., the Royals will wear special American Cancer Society jerseys and welcome Anthony Myers to the game to launch “The Anthony Myers Movement.” Myers has started The Anthony Myers Movement to help those struggling with medical difficulties. On Sunday at 4:00 p.m. against Worcester, it’s Scout Night with pregame scout activities starting at 1:30 p.m.  Reading has eight games remaining in the 2018-19 regular season and six are at Santander Arena. Friday starts Reading’s season-long five-game homestand.The Royals and Growlers have met nine times this season and Reading has earned at least a point in five matchups (3-4-1-1). Newfoundland holds the edge at Santander Arena, winning four of the five battles. Reading won three straight series matchups in December, but the Growlers have struck back with three wins in a row. The last time the teams played was Mar. 5-6 in St. John’s and Reading trailed allowed late empty-net goals to sustain a pair of two-goal losses.Last Sunday Mar. 17, the Royals scored three times in the opening 40 minutes, but allowed a pair of late even strength goals to fall behind Adirondack and drop, 6-3. The loss dropped Reading to seven points behind the North Division’s fourth and final playoff spot. Entering this weekend Reading is seven points behind fourth with eight games to play. Six of the eight remaining games are at Santander Arena.The Growlers snapped a season-long five-game losing streak Wednesday at Manchester with a 5-1 rout. The Growlers are in the fifth game of a six-game road trip. Newfoundland clinches a berth in the Kelly Cup Playoffs with a win Friday.Broadcast Coverage: Deibler Dental In-Arena Broadcast (99.3 FM) | Mixlr.com/ReadingRoyalsPenalty kill continues to shine A 6-for-6 Sunday effort on the penalty kill has given the Royals their highest denial percentage (81.2%) since Dec. 7, coincidentally when Reading faced Newfoundland for back-to-back showdowns at Mile One Centre.From Dec. 7 – Feb. 1, the Royals allowed opponents to score on 25.7% of man-up chances (18-for-70), dropping Reading to 78.5% on the penalty kill. Since then, the Royals have killed off 60 of 69 opportunities (86.9%). Reading also bagged its third short-handed goal of the season Feb. 15 against Indy.The Royals penalty kill frequently features forwards Kevin Goumas, Adam Schmidt, Michael Huntebrinker and Tyler Brown up top. The four combine for seven career ECHL short-handed goals.Head-to-head matchupsThe Royals and Growlers face-off for their final two games of the 2018-19 season this weekend. Newfoundland has taken six of the opening nine games and been led by Zach O’Brien, who has scored eight goals and 12 points to lead all players in the series. O’Brien has four multi-point games, two four-point games, two multi-goal games and one hat trick (Nov. 16) against the Royals. Marcus Power has been O’Brien’s primary set-up man, tallying one goal and 11 points.Five active Royals have at least three goals against Newfoundland; Josh MacDonald (5g), Adam Schmidt (5g), Michael Huntebrinker (4g), Frank DiChiara (3g) and Alex Roos (3g). MacDonald paces Reading with 11 season-series points and topped Reading with two goals (4 pts.) in the last series between the clubs Mar. 5-6. Schmidt, Roos and Chris McCarthy also scored.Branden Komm has allowed nine goals in three games against the Growlers and is looking for his first season-series win. Jamie Phillips is 1-0-0-0 against Newfoundland, defeating the Growlers in their second-ever game Oct. 13 with 25 saves (2 GA). Andrew D’Agostini has yet to face Newfoundland.Reading’s three season-series wins have come against Michael Garteig, who is 4-3-0-0 in head-to-head games (3.53 GAA, .881). Eamon McAdam beat the Royals with 26 saves (2 GA) on Mar. 6 and is 4-3-1-0 against Reading in his career.JMac closing inRoyals leading goal scorer Josh MacDonald set a single-season high in goals Sunday at Adirondack with his 24th of the season. Since returning from his first-ever AHL stint Feb. 15, the London, ON native leads the Royals with six goals and 16 points in 15 games. His linemate Chris McCarthy has earned an assist on 13 of MacDonald’s 24 goals.MacDonald is second on the squad with 14 multi-point games and boasts a team-high four multi-goal efforts.The fourth-year professional requires five points to match a career-high 52, set in 2016-17 with Utah and Rapid City. That same season, MacDonald scored 23 goals.If MacDonald hits 30 goals this season, he will be the 7th Royals player to reach the milestone. Last season, Matt Willows scored 32 goals, the fourth-highest total ever by a Reading player. Brian McCullough (38g, 98 pts.) holds Reading’s single-season goals and points record.

5-on-3 statsThe Royals have had a 5-on-3 power-play opportunity in each of the last three games, the first time in the Kirk MacDonald era Reading has gone to the two-man advantage in three consecutive contests.Reading has scored on two of the three chances; Sunday, Josh MacDonald bombed a one-timed slap shot over Adirondack netminder Cam Johnson’s left shoulder to tie the game at two. Less than a minute later, on the continuation of the 5-on-4, MacDonald’s linemate Chris McCarthy redirected a snap shot from Nick Luukko to provide Reading an edge heading into the third.The Royals are converting on 35.7% (5-for-14) of their 5-on-3 chances this season. Coincidentally, Reading failed to register a 5-on-3 goal in 2017-18, but the team snapped that mini-skid with a two-man-advantage goal in the second game of this regular season vs. Worcester.When killing 5-on-3, the Royals are 7-for-9 and Reading hasn’t allowed one since Dec. 31 at Wheeling. Reading has killed six straight 5-on-3 chances.  Next Home GamesFri., 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 Reading

Sat., Mar. 23 The Anthony Myers Movement Night and American Cancer Society Night: 7:00 p.m. vs. Newfoundland- 3rd Night honoring the American Cancer Society with specialty jerseys -  Enter for a chance to win a 2017 Toyota Camry, courtesy of AutoRide of ReadingSun., Mar. 24 Scout Night: 4:00 p.m. vs. Worcester- Scout Night at the Royals- Pregame Scout activities 1:30pmAbout 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.