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Game 28 Preview: Worcester at Reading

Friday, December 13th
Game 28 Preview: Worcester at Reading

Back end of a three-in-three before long break

Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (15-8-4-0, 34 pts., 2nd North), proud ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, play their final game before they enjoy the ECHL’s holiday break at the Worcester Railers (7-15-1-0, 15 pts., 6th North) Sunday at 3:05 p.m. Reading has won two straight games, both vs. Brampton, and improved to 11-2-1-0 at home Saturday with a 5-4 win on Teddy Bear Toss Night.Following Sunday’s game, Reading is off until Dec. 27 at Maine. The 12 days constitutes the longest December break in Royals history.In the win Saturday, Corey Mackin scored the bear-tossing goal, unleashing 3,369 bears on the ice. The rookie generated his first ECHL multi-goal effort. Captain Garrett Mitchell scored the game-winning goal with 5:43 to go. Reading overcame two deficits and Felix Sandström blocked 36 shots in victory.The Royals are 4-6-3-0 away from Santander Arena this season, with one road win in Massachusetts last month.  The last Royals road victory came Nov. 15 at Adirondack; the team was home for six straight from Nov. 16-30.Once Reading returns from the 12 days rest, the team will begin a 1,500-mile journey over a four-day span in three ECHL cities, taking on Maine, Adirondack and Brampton from Dec. 27-29.The next Royals home game after is Tues., Dec. 31 at 4:00 p.m. vs. Maine. The Royals will give away a 2019 Jeep Compass Limited, pres. by Savage Auto Group, if a Royals player registers a hat trick.      Broadcast Coverage: Watch BCTV (Channel 15 Comcast,  Channel 19 Service Electric) | Listen: Mixlr.com/ReadingRoyals.Royals leadersGoals: Cuddemi (21)Assists: Knodel (21)Points: Cuddemi (34)PIM: Mitchell (69)+/-: Knodel (13)Railers leaders Goals: Samuels-Thomas (10)Assists: Samuels-Thomas (12)Points: Samuels-Thomas (22)PIM: Turcotte (65)+/-: Hitchcock (1)A Royals win would…Make Reading 2-0-0-0 in the season series…Be the fifth on the road this season…Give Reading a three-game winning streak…Sweep a weekend “three-in-three”Sundays and Season Series The Royals spiked the Railers, 6-4, on the road earlier this season during a mid-week matchup on Nov. 13 to take a 1-0-0-0 series edge. F Hayden Hodgson and F Ralph Cuddemi each tallied twice and 11 different players collected points. Among those was F Matthew Gaudreau who collected a point with the primary assist on Trevor Yates’ insurance goal midway through the final frame. Following his performance, Gaudreau was recalled to Stockton (AHL). He returned to the Royals lineup Dec. 7, 2019, against Brampton and recorded two assists in his first game back. Reading is 3-1-0-0 on a Sunday this season with their only loss coming on the road last Sunday to Brampton. Scouting the RailersWorcester snapped a three-game losing streak by upending Maine, 3-2, Saturday at the DCU Center. Former Royals forward Shane Walsh scored twice and has three goals this season.Jordan Samuels-Thomas leads the team with 22 points (10g, 12a) in 22 games. The Railers top the Eastern Conference with 448 penalty minutes.David Cunniff was named the Head Coach and General Manager on Nov. 27, 2019, his second professional head coaching job. His first pro head coaching experience also was announced midway through a season; in Feb. 2016, the Iowa Wild named Cunniff interim Head Coach for the remainder of the season.Cunniff joined the Railers from the Hartford Wolf pack where he had served as the assistant coach until the Railers job came open; he left his position with the Atlantic-Division-leading Wolf Pack to accept the Railers post.The 49-year-old had coached in the American Hockey League since 2002 as either an assistant or associate head coach, including eight seasons with the Worcester Sharks. He also spent time with the Cleveland Barons, Albany Devils, Iowa Wild and Hartford Wolf Pack.One-Goal WondersThe Royals earned their eight one-goal win of the season Saturday and are 8-1-4-0 in games decided by one this season.Reading has beaten Worcester once in eight one-goal games since the clubs’ first matchup in the 2017-18 season (1-3-3-1 record). That lone win came on Jan. 3, 2018 in a 2-1 overtime victory with Matt Willows scoring the OT-winner and John Muse backstopping the Royals with 32 saves. In games decided by more than one, Reading is 9-4-0-0 all-time, including the 6-4 victory to open up this season series.The Royals are 269-140-131 all-time in one-goal games.Game before breakReading’s matchup at Worcester is the final game before a 12-day Christmas break.The Royals hold an 8-2-0-0 record since 2009 in pre-Christmas games, including an eight-game win streak from 2009-2016. Reading is 10-5-0-3 all-time in the final game before the holiday break since 2001 and 5-1-0-2 in road games.Sunday is the first road pre-Christmas matchup for Reading since 2013.Last season, Reading dropped a Dec. 22 bout to Worcester on the road, 5-3, receiving two goals from forward Josh MacDonald and one goal from Jack Riley. The Royals’ most recent pre-Christmas win was a 5-2 defeat of Adirondack behind a hat-trick performance from Justin Crandall.Longest holiday break in team historyReading starts the team’s longest holiday break ever following Sunday’s game against Worcester; the team is off from Dec. 15-27.The Royals have not had a break longer than a week since 2004-05 and 2005-06, which each were nine days.Last season, the Royals vacationed from Dec. 22-28; the holiday break started after a 5-3 loss against Worcester. Reading returned on the 28th with a 4-1 victory over Newfoundland.Once Reading returns Dec. 27 at Maine, it begins arguably the most-grueling three-day road schedule of the Royals season; a three-in-three in three cities. Maine is 457 miles away, the Dec. 28th game is at Adirondack (262 miles) and the Dec. 29 game in Brampton concludes the weekend. In total, Reading will travel approximately 1,495 miles from Dec. 26-29.The Royals kick off the new year and a five-game homestand as they take on the Mariners Dec. 31.Upcoming Home Games Tuesday, Dec. 31 at 4:00 p.m. vs. Maine (Car Giveaway) Royals giving away a  2019 Jeep Compass Limited if a player records a hat trick | Register to win the car at  the game | Balloon Drop and Countdown | Tuxedo Royals Jersey | Live New Year’s Celebration in other Countries | $1 Champagne SodaAbout 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.