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Royals fend off Growlers, 5-4, in feisty Halloween throw down

Friday, November 1st
Royals fend off Growlers, 5-4, in feisty Halloween throw down

Reading, PA– The Reading Royals held off the Newfoundland Growlers four times, each after Newfoundland cut the Royals lead to one; ultimately, Steven Swavely’s goal was enough in a 5-4 Halloween win Thursday at Santander Arena.Standing right door step, Swavely tucked the puck in after Frank DiChiara (1g, 2a) rifled a slot wrister off Maksim Zhukov (loss, 23 saves, 5 GA). Swavely was also credited with his first career fighting major vs. James Melindy at 4:54 of the third.The Royals are the first team to defeat the defending Kelly Cup champions twice this season.Matty Gaudreau scored twice to tie a personal single-game high in goals. Felix Sandström blocked 26 shots for his second win of the season (4 GA).  The Royals scored the first two goals; at 6:12 of the first, DiChiara slammed home a rebound at net front off a shot that struck Zhukov’s toe. Next, with 5:59 to go in the first, Gaudreau’s third of the season, assisted by Ralph Cuddemi, provided the Royals their first two-goal lead.It’s D.C. Comics Night on Sat., Nov. 2 vs. Norfolk at 7:00 p.m.; Batman and Joker will be at the game with character meet-and-greet packages, DC Comic-themed jerseys (Royals in Batman, Norfolk in Joker) and a DC Puck Giveaway The Royals play nine home games in November. On Sun., Nov. 3 at 4:00 p.m., Reading opposes Adirondack with $1 cotton candy tubs.Box ScoreBack and forthThe Royals held two goals leads in every period and stymied the Growlers each time they cut Reading’s advantage to one. First, Scott Pooley struck for Newfoundland 54 seconds after Matty Gaudreau’s first goal, dipping the Royals lead to 2-1.Gaudreau capitalized off an Aaron Luchuk slot giveaway for his fourth of the season at 4:18 of the second. Luchuk rebounded for a power-play goal three minutes later.At 7:56 of the third, Pascal Laberge scored his second of the season on a two-on-none, giving Reading a 4-2 edge. Corey Mackin dished a cross-crease pass after Frank DiChiara snuck the puck over a defender. Next, Mackin grabbed and fed from the left circle to Laberge at the right goal line for a tuck-in strike. Newfoundland again got on the board three minutes later with Marcus Power’s second of the season to make it a 4-3 game.Steven Swavely’s follow-up strike with 3:33 to go was enough, despite a goal thirty seconds later from Luchuk.Third-frame tussleSteven Swavely and Hayden Hodgson earned the first two fighting majors of the Royals season a 1:54 span. First, Hodgson fought Matt Bradley at the Royals defensive line with 17 minutes to go. Two duels broke out a couple of minutes later; Mitchell attempted to stand up for Swavely at the Growlers right post, but was cut off by Brady Ferguson as Swavely and Melindy began to punch each other in the right corner. Mitchell was given a double minor for roughing at 4:54 of the third. Reading has a season-high 22 PIM and stopped three of the four Newfoundland man-up chances. The Royals were 0-for-2 on the power play.Single-game tickets and mini-plans are on sale by visiting royalshockey.com/promotions, calling 610-898-7825 and visiting Santander Arena and The Weidenhammer Box Office at 700 Penn Street, Reading, PA.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.