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MacDonald scores twice, Royals give up empty-netter and drop, 5-3

Wednesday, March 6th
MacDonald scores twice, Royals give up empty-netter and drop, 5-3

St. John’s, NL – Josh MacDonald generated his fourth multi-goal game of the season (2g, 1a) and Chris McCarthy scored with nine minutes left to pull Reading within one, but the Newfoundland Growlers received 12 saves in the third period from Michael Garteig (win, 31 saves) to bounce the Royals, 5-3, Tuesday at Mile One Centre. Growlers forward Zach O’Brien scored two goals and four points. Scott Pooley (2g) had the sealing empty-net strike in the final two minutes.MacDonald’s goals kept the Royals tight with Newfoundland; the Growlers scored the first two goals before MacDonald’s first. MacDonald then sniped in his 22nd of the season to make it a two-goal deficit, 4-2, before the end of the second period. Alex Roos assisted all three Royals goals.The Royals remain five points back of the fourth and final North Division playoff spot with 14 games to go in the regular season.Branden Komm allowed four goals on 28 shots in defeat. Reading plays the fourth game of the six-game road trip Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at Newfoundland. Reading returns home Fri., Mar. 15 to face Indy on Mental Health Awareness Night.Box ScoreNewfoundland struck first on the power play with 8:45 to go in the first period. Pooley caught a pinballing puck at the left slot and he slipped under Komm’s left toe and in.  Reading out shot Newfoundland, 12-11, in the first.O’Brien registered his first goal and gave Newfoundland a 2-0 lead at 1:14 of the second. He rushed in to the right-wing circle and wristed it far post.The two-goal edge held for four minutes; at 5:07 of the second, a centering pass from Garret Cockerill skipped to MacDonald. He quickly unfurled a top-shelf snipe five feet from cage for his first of the game. Reading trailed, 2-1.The Growlers got the next two; first Matt Bradley quick-sticked a slot pass from Marcus Power with 5:32 to go in the second, making it 3-1. Power set up at the bottom of the right dot before unleashing a timed pass to Power. O’Brien got the secondary assist and completed his two-goal second period with another shot from the right dot, making it 4-1 Growlers with 3:45 remaining in the middle period.Once again, the Royals responded and cut the lead to two, 4-2, by the second period’s end. Chris McCarthy dashed across the line on the right wing and pounded it off a stick to MacDonald at the slot.McCarthy scored his 16th of the season in the third, cutting the deficit to one with 8:35 remaining. Roos dished to McCarthy up the gut and he lowered his shoulder to his backhand, flinging it through Garteig.Pooley finished the game’s scoring with 1:48 remaining, stashing an empty-net goal.The Royals finished 0-for-3 on the power play. Newfoundland scored twice on three man-up opportunities.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- $1 Draft Beer- Enter for a chance to win a 2017 Toyota Camry, courtesy of AutoRide of ReadingGroup tickets start at $11 for all Royals home games.In the Community: Royals “Bleed Purple,” donate blood with Miller Keystone Blood Center Mar. 26The Reading Royals have teamed up with the Miller Keystone Blood Center for the team’s “Bleed Purple Blood Drive” event, which will happen Mar. 26 from 2:00-7:00 p.m. at Santander Arena. Meet Royals players and mascot Slapshot. Sign up for a donation time slot at GiveaPint.org/Reading-Royals or by emailing community@royalshockey.com with contact information. Call 610-898-7253 with additional questions.

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.