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Game 10 Preview: Adirondack at Reading

Friday, November 1st
Game 10 Preview: Adirondack at Reading

Early first-place showdown Sunday at Santander Arena

Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (5-3-1-0, 11 pts., T-1st North) engage in an early-season battle for North Division  reign and host the Adirondack Thunder (5-2-0-1, 11 pts., T-1st North) Sunday at 4:00 p.m. The Royals have won three straight and Adirondack has taken their last two matchups.All of Reading’s wins have been by one goal and Saturday the Royals took out Norfolk, 3-2. Reading never trailed, out shot the Admirals, 33-18, and David Drake scored the game-winning tally with 12 minutes to go on an electric top shelf wrist shot.   The Thunder have shut out opponents in the last two games, each 2-0 wins, thanks to goaltender Michael McNiven. He’s denied 62 straight shots and it’s been a week since Adirondack gave up a goal. The teams play eight times this season and Reading is home in three of the contests.Today’s promotions: $1 Cotton CandyBroadcast Coverage: Listen on the Deibler Dental In-Arena Broadcast 99.3 FM and at Mixlr.com/ReadingRoyalsDon’t smirk at threeThe Royals are on their first three-game winning streak of the season; last season, Reading had three runs of at least three wins in a row. The Royals ended last regular season taking six straight games, the first time Reading completed a season on a winning run that long. Prior to that, Reading won seven straight in December 2018 and three between Oct. 28 – Nov. 3.This is the ninth time the Royals have won three consecutive games since Kirk MacDonald became Head Coach. Reading has won at least four in-a-row four times.Drake’s secondDavid Drake’s second career goal (and first game-winning strike) propelled the Royals to a 3-2 win Saturday. His only other goal came Dec. 2018 vs. Manchester, when he rocketed a slap shot on the rush to the far post and in. Saturday, he walked down the slot, received a pass from Brayden Low and aimed top shelf.A former Flyers seventh round pick, Drake is in his second professional season; he accumulated eight points with Reading as a rookie.All-time series Reading is playing in their 50th game against the Thunder Sunday. The Royals are 24-20-2-3 all time against the Thunder. Reading matched up against Adirondack a total of 12 times last season, going 5-6-0-1. Reading went 2-3-0-0 at home and 3-3-0-1 away in Glens Falls.Royals coach Kirk MacDonald and Thunder coach Alex Loh go head to head for the 13th time. Loh is in his second season coaching Adirondack. Last season, the Thunder went 37-26-6-3 with 83 points (2nd in North). The Royals finished five points behind the Thunder last season and look to make it to the playoffs for the 10th time in 11 years. MacDonald led his Royals to a total of 12-12-1-1 against Adirondack during his first two full seasons as head coach.Royals leaders Goals: DiChiara (6)Assists: Mitchell (6)Points: Cuddemi/DiChiara/Gaudreau (10)PIM: Mitchell (16)

+/-: Gaudreau (9)Thunder leaders Goals: Curti/Payne/Girard (3)Assists: Verbeek (7)Points: Verbeek (8)PIM: Sdao (19)

+/-: Popugaev (6)A Royals win would…Even the all-time series at 25 wins a piece…Be Reading’s fourth straight win…Give Reading their third straight season series win over Adirondack.Youthful cage

Each goaltender featured on Reading and Adirondack’s roster is 25 years old or younger, but all have plenty of prior experience at high levels of professional and amateur hockey. Felix Sandström and Kirill Ustimenko, who were each picked in the third round by the Philadelphia Flyers in 2015 and 2017 respectively, both played more than 100 games in Europe prior to joining Reading. Sandström started his playing career in Sweden in 2011 and has played for a number of clubs over an eight-year span in his native country. Most notably, he compiled 68 appearances in the Swedish Hockey League since 2014. Ustimenko played in various Russian hockey leagues since 2014 before coming to North America this year. Ustimenko played his last three seasons in the MHL and saw his goals against average never crept above 1.81 in 126 career games. The Royals’ third goaltender Trevor Gorsuch, 25, is the oldest netminder in this matchup. The St. Charles, MO native saw action in the NAHL and USHL before attending Western Michigan University from 2015-19. Following his collegiate career, Gorsuch joined the Toledo Walleye and appeared in four games (3-1-0-0, 1.75 GAA, .945 SV%) towards the end of last season.Adirondack goaltender, and Penn State alum, Eamon McAdam began playing junior hockey in 2010 in the NAHL and USHL. He spent two full seasons in the NAHL before playing three seasons at Penn State University from 2013-16 where he compiled an 18-21-2 record. After Penn State, McAdam split time in the AHL and ECHL from 2016-19, including last year where he appeared in 19 games for both Toronto (AHL) and Newfoundland. McAdam’s partner, Michael McNiven appeared in 154 games, including playoffs, for Owen Sound in the OHL from 2014-17. McNiven stayed in Canada following that OHL time and spent two seasons (55 GP, 2.97 GAA) with the Montreal Canadiens’ AHL affiliate, Laval. 

About the RoyalsThe Royals are in their 19th ECHL season and are proudly affiliated with the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers and AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms. The Royals won the Kelly Cup in 2013, have made the playoffs 14 times, and are four-time division champions. The Berks County Convention Center Authority (BCCCA), founded in 1996, owns the Royals and oversees operations at Santander Arena and the Santander Arena Performing Arts Center.Listen to all Royals broadcasts at Mixlr.com/ReadingRoyals or by downloading the Mixlr App from the App Store or Google Play. All Royals away games are broadcasted on BCTV (Ch. 15 Comcast, Ch. 19 Service Electric) and Mixlr.