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Game 43 Preview: Reading at Worcester

Wednesday, January 29th
Game 43 Preview: Reading at Worcester

Royals with chance to increase gap on RailersWorcester, MA – The Reading Royals (23-14-5-0, 51 pts., 3rd North) sit one point out of second place entering a two-game road weekend in Massachusetts against the Worcester Railers (17-25-2-0, 36 pts., 6th North) Friday at  7:05 p.m.Kirk MacDonald’s club completed a five-game home stand with a 3-1-1-0 record, moving Reading one point behind Brampton for second place in the North Division. MacDonald enters Friday’s bout at 99 career wins, 11 of which have come against the Railers.Most recently, Reading suffered a 3-1 loss to Newfoundland Jan. 25 despite a second-period, power-play marker from Garrett Mitchell. The teams match 13 times this season; Reading has split the last two meetings (1-0-1-0) and holds a 2-4-1-0 series mark. Reading has gone 10-6-1-0 over the last 17 games, with five of the seven losses (1-4-1-0) coming to the Railers.Since defeating Reading Jan. 20, the Railers are 1-2-0-0 and have been outscored, 15-3. The team last won Saturday on a game-winning goal from Ross Olsson against Maine.The Royals are next at home on Fri., Feb. 7 at 7:00 p.m. (Ladies Night) and Sat.,  Feb. 8 at 7:00 p.m. (Pink in the Rink, presented by Lamar Advertising, Adams and Associates and Alvernia University).Broadcast coverage: Watch on BCTV (Ch. 15 Comcast, Ch. 19 Service Electric) and ECHL.tv | Listen on mixlr.com/readingroyalsSingle-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.A Royals win would…Be the 100th in Kirk MacDonald’s career…Move Reading 17 points ahead of Worcester in the North Division…Complete Reading’s January with a 6-4-1-0 record.Royals leadersGoals: Cuddemi (21)Assists: DiChiara (30)Points: DiChiara (43)PIM: Mitchell (94)+/-: Knodel (15)Railers leadersGoals: Pierog (17)Assists: Almeida (19)Points: Almeida (30)PIM: Turcotte (153)+/-: Sailturo (2)Scouting WorcesterThe Railers are ranked sixth in the North Division and 23rd in the ECHL with an overall record of 17-25-2-0. The team is entering the weekend off a 6-0 loss to the Adirondack Thunder on Jan. 26. Nic Pierog leads the Railers in goals (17), seven of which have been against the Royals. Barry Almeida leads the team in both assists and points (19a, 30pts). During a Jan. 20 win over Reading, Almeida had two assists. Shane Walsh, who played eight games for the Royals last season, notched his second goal against the team this season. Arnaud Durandeau leads Worcester rookies with six points (3g). A third of his points have been against Reading (1g, 2pts). Evan Buitenhuis has played four games against Reading this season (3-1-0-0). He has an overall record of 11-14-1-0 with a 3.39 goals against average and a .899 save percentage. In the Jan. 20 win at Santander Arena, Buitenhuis made 42 saves (2 GA). Back-up netminder Ian Milosz has won all three of his games (3-4-0-0 record) on Sundays this season, which earned him the nickname “Mr. Sunday”. He has gone 2-1-0-0 against Reading this season and currently has a 3.55 goals against average and .896 save percentage. 

Season Series v. Worcester: REA, 2-4-1-0 The Royals have faced off against the Railers more than any other team in the month of January and hold a 1-3-1-0 record in those games. The teams meet a total of 13 times this season with six of the matchups in January. After this back-to-back weekend the teams will not play again until Feb. 16.Worcester’s Jack Stander won the most-recent game between the clubs with an overtime goal, 3-2, Jan. 20. The Royals have the edge at home in the all-time series, winning eight of the 15 games played at Santander Arena.The most combined goals scored in a single game between the teams this season is 10 during the first game of the season series where the Royals won 6-4 on Nov. 13. Ralph Cuddemi and Hayden Hodgson each scored two goals. DiChiara and Corey Mackin are tied for the lead in points against the Railers (7); each have three goals and four assists. No Reading skater has scored more than three goals against Worcester. Garrett Mitchell leads the team in assists (5).Kirill Ustimenko has earned at least one point in three of five games played against Worcester this season with a 2-2-1-0 record.Nice break

The Royals elected to take their January break this week to gain an extra day of rest; instead of breaking from Jan. 21-23 over the rest of the league’s all-star break, the club rested from Jan. 26-29.The four days off without practice was the team’s longest of January.

Following the Valentine’s Day game, the Royals will not have a stretch of four days or longer between games until the end of the regular season.This day in Royals history: Jan. 31The Royals allowed zero shots from the Cincinnati Cyclones in the third period on Jan. 31, 2007 but fell short, 5-2. The team fired off 16 shots in the period and outshot the Cyclones overall, 35-23. This was the second time in team history that the Royals allowed zero shots on goal in a period. On Jan. 31, 2003 the Royals tallied one of their most productive games in team history, scoring four goals in the second period and seven total to checkmate the Charlotte Checkers, 7-4. Reading held an overall record of 8-6-4 against Charlotte before the Checkers moved to the AHL.Upcoming Home Games: royalshockey.com/promotions Fri., Feb. 7 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Atlanta (Ladies Night/Wine Tasting)Free Wine Tasting on the concourse with Deerfoot Vineyards, Black River Farms and RoseLawn Bistro | College ID Night: $5 tickets with valid college ID at box office| $1 SmoothiesSat., Feb. 8 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Wheeling (Pink in the Rink)Royals play on pink ice with Fleece Blanket Giveaway to the first 1,500 fans | Breast Cancer Awareness Jerseys$1 Pink Rose Draft Cider | Doubleheader: 1 ticket also gets you admission to the Alvernia Women’s Hockey Game at 2:00 p.m.Sun., Feb. 16 at 4:00 p.m. vs. Worcester (Kids Club Game)Last free postgame skate of the season, presented by Body Zone | Team Photo Giveaway | $1 Hot Dog, $1 Soda & $1 Nacho Concession Special Pricing | Game Included Kids Club Packages presented by Applebee’s, Schuykill Valley Sports and YMCA of Reading and Berks County (Sign Ups Available)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.