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Game 20 Preview: Toledo at Reading

Thursday, November 28th
Game 20 Preview: Toledo at Reading

Royals on home ice Friday and Saturday vs. traditional Western Conference power      

Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (12-4-3-0, 27 pts., 1st North) seek to extend their season-long, eight-game point streak against the Toledo Walleye (9-5-1-0, 19 pts., 4th Central) at Santander Arena on Game Show Night Friday at 7:00 p.m. The game kicks off a back-to-back against the Walleye, whom the Royals own a 2-0-0-0 record against since Kirk MacDonald became Royals Head Coach. The Walleye are defending Western Conference champions and have made the postseason in five straight seasons.Today’s promotions: It’s Penny Days (select Lion’s Den items will be on sale as “buy one, get one for a penny”) | $3 for a Hot Dog, Chips and Small Soda Combo | PA Lottery Giveaway | Postgame Ham Shoot sponsored by Redners |Postgame Party with players at Cheers! Restaurant at the DoubleTree HotelReading has earned at least a point in nine straight home games, the longest streak since MacDonald became Head Coach. Overall, the Royals boast a division-best 8-1-1-0 mark at Santander Arena. The squad defeated the Newfoundland Growlers twice at home last weekend and earned five of six points.In the Royals’ last game, Reading pounded a season-high seven goals and demolished the Growlers, 7-2. Ralph Cuddemi scored four goals, tying the Royals record for goals in a game. He also added a fighting major, becoming the first Reading skater to score four times and earn a five-minute major. He leads the league with 16 goals and 28 points.Reading is 3-0-1-0 at home through the first four games of a season-long, six-game home stand. The team plays Toledo Friday and Saturday, then starts a four-game road trip at Newfoundland Dec. 3 at 5:30 p.m.Pat Nagle has won all nine Walleye games this season (9-3-1-0, 2.75, .912 sv.%) and denied 19 of 21 shots last game vs. Kalamazoo Nov. 23 for a 5-2 win.  Broadcast Coverage: Listen on the Deibler Dental In-Arena Broadcast (99.3 FM) and mixlr.com/readingroyalsRoyals leadersGoals: Cuddemi (16)Assists: Knodel (14)Points: Cuddemi (28)PIM: Low (30)+/-: Gaudreau (12)Walleye leaders Goals: Girduckis (10)Assists: Hensick (13)Points: Girduckis (20)PIM: Anselmini (28)+/-: Boeing (7)Two games left on homestandFri., Nov. 29 vs. Toledo at 7:00 p.m. – Game Show NightSat., Nov. 30 vs. Toledo at 7:00 p.m. – PAW Patrol Night Brilliant CuddemiRalph Cuddemi scored on four of five shots Sunday, becoming the first Royals player since Dan Steiner (Apr. 2010) to score four goals in a game. He scored in four ways; first tapping the puck in right post, then swooping and finishing at the left doorstep, third by redirecting a slot shot and then a snipe at the right-wing circle.  Already with 16 goals, Cuddemi is six away from matching his production all last season with Wichita. His career high in a season is 33 tallies (2017-18).He has at least a point in 16 of 19 games for the Royals this season and is riding an eight-game point streak, two away from matching the longest streak of his career. Over his last eight games, he has scored ten times and added 17 points. He leads the league with 11 goals in November.Of note, in his career year of 2017-18, Cuddemi scored three goals before Dec. 1, then exploded for 30 goals in the final five months of the season. By contrast, last season, 16 of his 22 came before Jan. 1.Last five years The Royals lead the series 4-2-0-0 in regular season play across the last five years. At home against Toledo, Reading is 2-2-0-0. Reading eliminated Toledo after a 4-1 win in game seven of their series in the 2016 Kelly Cup Playoffs to advance on the Eastern Conference Semifinals (gamesheet). Kevin Goumas tallied a hat trick for the Royals with his first three goals of the postseason. Yannick Tifu was among the three other Royals who played a multi-point game in the effort. Kirk MacDonald was an assistant coach during the Royals’ 2016 playoff run, current assistant Nick Luukko was a  rookie defenseman and 2018-19 ECHL Equipment Manager of the Year Jason MacDonald was in his first year with the team. The teams have met four times since the 2016 playoffs, most recently at Santander Arena on Jan. 24, 2018 where the Royals finished off the Walleye in a 4-3 shootout win. Luukko tallied a goal midway through the second period. Michael Huntebrinker put the shootout-winning goal past Pat Nagle in the first round of the skills competition (gamesheet).This is the first meeting of the teams since the 2017-18 season. Notably the Royals hold the league season-high for shots in a first period with 25 on Nov. 3, while the Walleye are tied for the league season-fewest shots in the first period with two on Nov. 2.Scouting ToledoThe Walleye are ranked fourth in the Central Division with an overall record of 9-5-1-0. They are currently on a two-game win streak and hold a 5-5-0-0 away record.Rookie Abbott Girduckis leads the team in goals, power play goals, and points (10g, 5ppg, 18 pts). TJ Hensick tops the team in assists and follows Girduckis in points (13a, 16pts). Girduckis is one of three rookies in the top-ten of Toledo points leaders; Marcus Vela and Troy Loggins rank ninth and tenth.Pat Nagle has played 13 games with a 9-3-1-0 record for Toledo and holds a 2.75 goals against average and a .912 save percentage. In the Walleye’s 5-2 victory over the Kalamazoo Wings on Nov. 23, Nagle made 19 saves (2 GA).   Andrew D’Agostini, who had a record of 6-2-2-0 with the Royals in 2018-19 has seen time in one game for the Walleye this season, losing to Brampton, 4-2 (3 GA, 25 saves). A Royals Win Would…Give the Royals points in nine straight games and ten straight at home…Be the 89th in Kirk MacDonald’s career…Improve Reading to 9-1-1-0 at home.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.