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Game 33 Preview: Worcester at Reading

Thursday, January 2nd
Game 33 Preview: Worcester at Reading

Game 33 Preview: Worcester at ReadingHome-dominant Royals begin back-to-back vs. North’s Railers

Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (18-10-4-0, 40 pts., T-2nd North) have played 15 home games and won 12 as the team continues a five-game homestand vs. the Worcester Railers (10-19-2-0, 22 pts., 6th North) Friday at 7:00 p.m.  Friday is 2020 Kickoff Night; grab four tickets for $20.20 to celebrate the start of a new decade. Additionally, Reading announced F Garrett Mitchell has signed a professional tryout contract (PTO) with the AHL's Laval Rocket. Mitchell has six goals and 20 points this season. The Royals have won back-to-back games overall and three straight at home. Tuesday, Reading returned from a road trip and earned their sixth come-from-behind win of the season, 5-3, over Maine. The Royals have earned at least a point in four of five games against the Mariners this season. Today’s promotions: 4 tickets for $20.20 | Bounce House for kids | Face painting stations | $1 popcornBroadcast Coverage: Listen at Deibler Dental In-Arena Broadcast 99.3 FM and mixlr.com/readingroyals | Watch ECHL.tv.January features nine games at Santander Arena, four of which are against Worcester. In the next 30 days, the Royals and Railers meet seven times. Reading is 1-1-0-0 against Worcester in the series. Friday marks the first of five home games this season vs. Worcester.The Railers last played at Newfoundland on Tuesday and suffered a 4-3 overtime loss. Since returning from the ECHL’s holiday break, the Railers are 1-2-1-0. Worcester is 6-9-1-0 since Nov. 27, the day the Railers brought in David Cuniff as the squad’s Head Coach/General Manager.Reading is home for Craft Beer Night, pres. by Deibler Dental, Saturday at 7:00 p.m. vs.  Worcester at Santander Arena and the team has announced six breweries will take part plus additional details for the night. All fans 21+ receive free admission to the craft beer fest with a ticket to the game. The fest takes place on the concourse from 6pm-8pm. Game tickets are $5 for college students with a valid college ID. Tickets are available here. Breweries: Schaylor Brewing Company | 1787 Brewing Company | Cape May Brewing Company | Sly Fox Brewing Company | Evil Genius Beer Company | Stoudts Brewing CompanyRoyals leadersGoals: Cuddemi (21)Assists: DiChiara (25)Points: DiChiara (35)PIM: Mitchell (81)+/-: Knodel (13)Railers leadersGoals: Samuels-Thomas (11)Assists: Samuels-Thomas (18)Points: Samuels-Thomas (29)PIM: Turcotte (88)+/-: McKenzie (4)A Royals win would:Be the 95th of Kirk MacDonald’s career…Be Reading’s third straight…Make Reading 8-2-2-0 at home all-time vs. Worcester.Swavely’s triumphant returnForward Steven Swavely earned his fifth career multi-goal game with two goals and three points to lead the Royals to a 5-3 win Tuesday vs. Maine. He scored the eventual game winner at a key moment halfway through the second; the Royals killed off a two-man advantage (75 seconds), returned to even strength and Garrett Mitchell exited the sin bin and found Swavely for a redirect and his second goal of the game. He was a goal away from winning Royals fan Harold Brennan a 2019 Jeep Compass Limited (the Royals held a promotion; if Swavely had scored a hat trick one fan would go home with the car).Now in his fourth full season with the Flyers organization, Swavely has 29 career multi-point games over 120 ECHL contests. The Muhlenberg High School graduate grew up ten minutes from Santander Arena and was a Royals season ticket holder growing up (Section 106). He has scored in back-to-back ECHL games.Season seriesThe Royals beat the Railers in the series opener Nov. 13, 6-4, but suffered a 4-1 defeat in the last meeting Dec. 15.In the December game, Marly Quince scored his 2nd ECHL goal and Kirill Ustimenko allowed two goals (25 svs.) in defeat. He has played both games of the series (6 GA, 1-1-0-0 record). Ian Milosz, making his pro debut, stonewalled the Royals with 31 denials on Dec. 15. Evan Buitenhuis surrendered five goals in the series opener.Reading averages 3.4 goals a game at home vs. Worcester through 11 games (7-2-2-0 record). At the DCU Center, Reading is 3-6-2-0 and has scored 23 goals in 11 games (2.1/game).Frank DiChiara (1g, 2a this series) and Matthew Gaudreau (1a) are expected to be in the lineup to oppose their former team. Gaudreau has 27 points this season (23 GP), six away from matching his single-season high. It took him 50 ECHL games to reach 33 points last season with the Railers.Defenseman Ryan MacKinnon has four points (1g) to lead all Railers this series. Nic Pierog scored two goals against Reading on Dec. 15, giving him seven career goals vs. the Royals. Barry Almeida has 19 career points (8g) against Reading. Almeida won the 2013 Kelly Cup with Reading.Scouting WorcesterThe Railers look to snap a three-game slide (0-2-1-0) and earn their fifth win at Santander Arena all-time. Leading goal, assist and point scorer Jordan Samuels-Thomas has burned Reading for three points (1g) this season and has points in both series matchups. He last scored a goal Dec. 18 vs. Allen.Drew Callin scored twice last game at Newfoundland; he has four goals this campaign and all of them have been in the last month.Since returning from an early-season injury, Barry Almeida (8g, 22 pts.) has registered four goals and eight points in nine games. He has three helpers in the season series.The Railers have taken 13 fighting majors this season and the most PIM (559) in the North Division. Reading and Worcester have had seven fighting majors ever against each other; four came in one game Oct. 14, 2018.Upcoming Home Games: royalshockey.com/promotions Friday, Jan. 3 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Worcester (2020 kickoff)Saturday, 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  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.