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Game 30 Preview: Reading at Adirondack

Wednesday, December 25th
Game 30 Preview: Reading at Adirondack

Royals hold slight all-time series edge heading against North foe

Glens Falls, NY – The Reading Royals (16-9-4-0, 36 pts., 3rd North) and Adirondack Thunder (11-14-3-5, 30 pts., 5th North) meet for the third time this season and 52nd time ever Saturday at 7:00 p.m. Reading is 2-0-0-0 in this season series; in the all-time series, Reading has 26 wins and Adirondack has 25.The game is the second of a “three-in-three” for Reading; the club faced Maine Friday and tied their most-lopsided win of the year with a 5-0 victory. Felix Sandström blocked all 23 shots; it was his second career North American shutout and he had his first vs. Adirondack in November. Five Royals scored and Brayden Low generated a career-high four assists. The Royals have three shutouts this season.Reading is 3-1-0-0 over the last four games. The Thunder have lost a franchise-record 11 straight games (0-5-3-3) and are playing for the third straight day. Saturday vs. Worcester, the club suffered their sixth consecutive home defeat with a 5-4 overtime loss. Dante Salituro scored for Worcester at 1:53 of extra time. Mike Szmatula tallied for the fourth straight game in defeat.The Royals have outscored Adirondack, 5-1, through the first two games of the series.Following the Saturday tilt, the Royals travel 390 miles west to face off in southern Ontario at the Brampton Beast Sunday at 2:00 p.m. The Royals then return home for a New Year’s Eve showdown against Maine at 4:00 p.m., where one lucky fan will win a 2019 Jeep Compass Limited if a Royals player registers a hat trick, pres. by Savage Auto Group.Royals pregame coverage for starts 15 minutes before puck drop on mixlr.com/readingroyals.Broadcast Coverage: Watch BCTV (Ch. 15 Comcast, Ch. 19 Service Electric) or ECHL.tv | Listen on Mixlr.com/ReadingRoyals.Royals leadersGoals: Cuddemi (21)Assists: DiChiara (22)Points: Cuddemi (34)PIM: Mitchell (69)+/-: Knodel (13)Thunder leaders Goals: Pierro-Zabotel (13)Assists: Sissons (15)Points: Szmatula (22)PIM: Verpaelst (62)+/-: Summers (7)A Royals win would…Give Reading a 3-0-0-0 series advantage…be the second of the season in Glens Falls…be the 93rd of Coach Kirk MacDonald’s career.Season-Series AssessmentReading leads the season series 2-0-0-0 and plays Adirondack eight times this season. Three matchups are within a seven-day stretch in late February. In the series opener, Felix Sandström notched his first North American shutout in a 1-0 victory (27 svs.). Jimmy Mazza registered his first assist of the season on Ralph Cuddemi’s game-winning goal in the second frame.Matt Salhany tallied the only Thunder goal against the Royals this season on Nov. 15 at Santander Arena, giving Adirondack a 1-0 lead after twenty. Reading rallied after the first to rain on the Thunder’s parade, 4-1. Max Willman notched his first pro goal less than a minute into the third period.Sandström and Kirill Ustimenko have each played vs. the Thunder. Ustimenko stopped 24 shots during the Nov. 15 matchup (win, 1 GA).Eamon McAdam has played both games against Reading and holds a 2.06 goals against average and .942 save percentage against the team. The Perkasie, PA native is a Penn State graduate.Frank DiChiara tops all players with three points (1g) in the series. No player has scored twice.All-time series vs. AdirondackThe Royals lead the all-time series against the Thunder 26-20-5 and holds a nearly even-split record in the MacDonald era (14-12-2). In 2018-19, Adirondack won seven of the 12 games.Royals Head Coach Kirk MacDonald became full time Head Coach and Dir. of Hockey Operations in May 2017 and the Royals opened the 2017-18 season with a 5-4 win vs. Adirondack (OT). Derek Whitmore set the Royals’ record for fastest overtime goal, scoring on a breakaway seven seconds in.This Day in Royals HistoryOn Dec. 28, 2016, the Royals returned from the ECHL’s holiday break down their two normal netminders Mark Dekanich and Martin Ouellette. In their absence, the team had Drew Fielding and Austin Lotz on the active roster. Fielding made his only Royals shutout with 16 saves and Reading blasted Elmira, 5-0. Lotz also sparked the Royals post-holiday, winning his only two starts of the season. Dekanich and Ouellette returned to the lineup in the first week of January and the Royals combined to win 13 of 17 games after Christmas (13-3-0-1).After going 3-0-0-0 with Reading (1.19 GAA, .961 sv.%), Fielding went to Adirondack for the second time in his career and finished the season with the Thunder.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 SodaFriday, Jan. 3 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Worcester (2020 kickoff) 4 tickets for $20.20 | Bounce House for kids | Face painting stations | $1 popcornSaturday, Jan. 4 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Worcester (Craft Beer Night) Free craft beer fest with purchase of game ticket (21+) | Deibler Dental tin cup giveaway | College night: tickets $5 for college students with valid ID | Unique Pretzel giveaway to first 1,000 fans | Postgame Party at DoubleTree Cheers! RestaurantTues., Jan. 7 at 10:30 a.m. vs. Maine (Education Day) Presented by Customers Bank | First-ever Royals school day game with educational component | $1 Funnel cake sticks