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Game 68 Preview: Maine at Reading

Wednesday, March 27th
Game 68 Preview: Maine at Reading

Game 68 Preview: Maine at Reading  Home stand continues, weekend starts with Mariners’ final visit

Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (29-28-4-6, 68 pts., 7th North), proud ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, can creep closer to the Maine Mariners (35-27-2-1, 73 pts., 4th North) at Santander Arena in seventh season-series matchup Friday at 7:00 p.m. Reading trails the Mariners by five points for the fourth and final North Division playoff spot with five games to go. Of the five, three will be at Santander Arena. One of Reading’s remaining two road games is at Maine on Apr. 3.After tonight’s game, come down to the ice for a chance to win a ham with the team’s Postgame Ham Shoot, pres. by Redner’s Warehouse Markets. It’s also a 4-for-48 Family Four Pack Game: get four burgers, four sodas and four tickets for $48. Enter for a chance to win a 2017 Toyota Camry with AutoRide of Reading during tonight’s contest. One name will be chosen from tonight’s entrants and that person will shoot for the car at the team’s final game on Sat., Apr. 6 vs. Adirondack. Call 610-898-7825 for more details.The Royals are 2-0-0-1 through the first three games of Reading’s season-long five-game home stand. Last Sunday, Reading allowed the first goal to Worcester’s Tyler Barnes, but rallied for four unanswered to crack the Railers, 4-1. Michael Huntebrinker tied the game with one minute left in the first on his 16th of the season. Three minutes later at the start of the second, Brayden Low gave the Royals the lead. In the third, Adam Schmidt and Kevin Goumas scored to provide additional damaging blows. Reading is two points back of Worcester for sixth and the Railers are idle Friday.Maine can finish anywhere between second and last depending on the team’s results over its final seven games. The Mariners are three points behind Manchester and Adirondack and one ahead of Brampton for fifth. Maine suffered a 6-2 defeat in its last game Sunday against Manchester, allowing the Monarchs to pass them in the standings.Broadcast Coverage: Deibler Dental In-Arena Broadcast (99.3 FM) | Mixlr.com/ReadingRoyalsSat., Mar. 30 is Autism Awareness Night with a player trading card giveaway at 7:00 p.m. vs. Wheeling, pres. by the Autism Society of Berks and Unending Promise. The game will be sensory friendly, have a subdued atmosphere (music and lighting) and feature quiet spaces in the arena. Also, grab a player trading card set, courtesy of Rieck’s Printing. The Royals will wear special Autism Awareness jerseys, available for bidding on the LiveSource App.Royals group tickets start at $11 for groups of ten or more.This Huntsy vs. last HuntsyMichael Huntebrinker generated two points Sunday vs. Worcester for his 8th multi-point game, giving him 16 goals and 39 points in 32 games. In double the games last season (65 GP), the St. Louis, MO native scored 20 goals and 41 points. He was Reading’s North Division All-Star Classic selection and became Reading’s ninth rookie to score at least 20 goals in a season.Last season, from Mar. 1 to the end of the regular season, he scored four goals and nine points in 17 games. This campaign, since being returned from Lehigh Valley at the end of February, Huntebrinker has knocked in five goals and 14 points in 12 contests.Phillips grooveNetminder Jamie Phillips has made six straight starts for the Royals and helped the squad net points in four of those games (3-2-1-0). He went 2-0-0-1 last weekend, blocking 82 of 87 shots (1.62 GAA, .943 save percentage). Phillips ended last week tied for fifth in the league with 22 wins to go along with a 2.62 goals against average and .903 save percentage.Saturday vs. Newfoundland, Phillips tied the Royals record for shootout saves, blocking ten of 12 shots in the skills-competition defeat. For his career, Phillips has stopped 26 of 30 opponents’ shootout attempts.The third-year professional has played in 111 career games (87 ECHL) and won half of them (52-43-9 record).Scouting MaineThe Mariners have lost three games in regulation since Feb. 9, climbing out of last in the North to playoff relevance with a 13-3-2-0 mark. Over the 18-game uptick, the squad has scored 66 goals (3.67 per game) and allowed 61. The Mariners have won seven of nine games to go past regulation since Feb. 9 and Maine has the most wins (12-3) in games decided past regulation.Six Mariners have scored the team’s six overtime winners; most recently, Greg Chase deposited the clinching goal in overtime against Worcester Mar. 22. That win came five days after the club outlasted Newfoundland in an 18-round shootout with a winning goal from Wade Murphy (on his second attempt). The 18-round shootout victory capped the Mariners’ league-leading seventh victory when trailing after two periods. Reading has won two games this campaign when trailing after two frames.Trade-deadline acquisition Taylor Cammarata has punched in 14 points (3g) in 14 games since the club acquired him from Wichita Feb. 19. He is the club’s active points leader (48), two ahead of Michael McNicholas. Greg Chase has scored a team-best 22 goals this campaign. Maine is the only North Division team without a 50-point scorer. However, 14 Mariners have at least 20 ECHL points this season and ten have scored double-digit goals.Head-to-headThe Royals are 3-3-0-0 against Maine this season and two of the wins have been in come-from-behind fashion Oct. 19 and Nov. 2. The Mariners have yet to win a game in the series when trailing at any point, in part due to Maine scoring the first goal in five of the first six series games. Maine has taken two of the three games contested at Santander Arena.Adam Schmidt leads Reading with six points in the series and is one of three Royals to score a team-best two goals against Maine (Tyler Brown, Michael Huntebrinker). Branden Komm is 2-0-0-0 in three games against Maine (7 GA) and Andrew D’Agostini blocked 22 of 23 shots for the win in his only start against the Mariners Jan. 30. Netminder Jamie Phillips has never faced Maine.Former Royals forward Dillan Fox (1g) and captain Zach Tolkinen (4a) each have four points to top active Mariners in series points. Chris Nell is 1-1-0-0 in the series (7 GA) and 2-2-0-0 in his career against Reading (13 GA, 4 GP). He has combined to go 14-19-0-2 with a 3.21 goals against average and .899 save percentage between Maine and Greenville this campaign.

Royals/Booster Club Announce Year-End Awards Reading Royals Head Coach Kirk MacDonald announced five team awards at the end-of-season Booster Club Awards Banquet Wednesday.Team MVP: Chris McCarthy – The fifth-year professional has posted a career-best 50 assists and 68 points this season, tops on the club. He has ranked in the league’s top-five in both categories for much of the season’s second half. McCarthy requires two points to become the ninth Reading player to hit 70 in a single season. He is fourth in team history with 174 points (176 GP), trailing Ryan Cruthers, Olivier Labelle and Yannick Tifu.Best Defenseman: Nick Luukko – He is the first player in Royals history to win the team’s top-defenseman award three times and this is the third straight year Luukko has won the award. He’s posted a career-best eight goals and 29 points this season. Six of his points have come in the last six games. Third in team history with 269 games played, Luukko is two points back of Simon Tremblay for most points by a Royals defenseman ever (86).Rookie of the Year: Alex Roos – The 24-year-old’s turnaround is one of the more-remarkable recent Royals success stories. Roos played six games in October and November and did not record a point, leading to his release due to a roster numbers crunch. Kirk MacDonald asked Roos to “pack slowly” and re-signed him a couple of days later. Roos was reinserted to the lineup for a weekend series against the Allen Americans Dec. 14-16 and scored his first professional goal, plus two assists. Since Dec. 14, he has recorded 15 goals and 31 points in 44 games and leads all Royals rookies in goals and points.Unsung Hero: Brayden Low – The third-year professional from Steveston, B.C. has scored 14 goals and 29 points, approaching career bests established last campaign (18g, 24a). His energy, ability to pester opponents and willingness to stand up for his teammates has made him a leader and one of the most-important pieces of this season’s Royals. Against Newfoundland Dec. 8, Low stood up for his teammates and went blow-for-blow in a fight with Growlers pest James Melindy. He has registered two of his three career multi-goal games this season and his only career four-point game (Jan. 26 at WHL).Community Service: Andrew D’Agostini – The Royals netminder has helped establish his Saves4CF program in Berks County, raising $1 for every save a Royals goaltender makes with the help of Abacus Surveying. D’Agostini’s program also runs in Brampton, the OHL with Peterborough and USports with the Univ. of Guelph.Next Home GamesSat., Mar. 30: Autism Awareness Night with player trading card giveaway at 7:00 p.m. vs. Wheeling, pres. by the Austism Society of Berks and Unending Promise1) Sensory-friendly game, with subdued atmosphere with music and lighting, plus quiet spaces in the arena 2) Player Trading Card set giveaway and postgame team autographs pres. Rieck's Printing3) Enter for a chance to win a 2017 Toyota Camry, courtesy of AutoRide of Reading4) Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania will sell girl scout cookies on your way out of the arena postgame5) Special Austism Awareness jerseys6) Four-for-$48 Family Four Pack: four burgers, four sodas, four tickets. Call Royals office for details 610-898-7825.Sat., Apr. 6: FANdemonium with prize giveaways at 7:00 p.m. vs. Adirondack1) The Royals will hand out prizes to fans at every stoppage in play! 2) Season Ticket Holder jersey off our backsAbout 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.