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Game 50 Preview: Newfoundland at Reading

Thursday, February 20th
Game 50 Preview: Newfoundland at Reading

Intriguing season series adds new chapter with beer fest night, #FlyersFriday 

Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (30-14-5-0, 65 pts., 2nd North) have won a season-best seven consecutive games and oppose the Newfoundland Growlers (36-14-0-1, 73 pts., 1st North) to kick off a three-in-three weekend against division opponents Friday at 7:00 p.m.Today’s promotions: Beer Tasting (Free Beer fans 21+ with purchase of a game ticket) | Meet Flyers alumni Brad Marsh, Jim Watson and Riley Cote ahead of the  Mar. 28 Royals Alumni vs. Flyers Alumni Game | Trading Card Giveaway presented by Outten |  Purple Goes Green Presented by Berks Nature | $1 Frozen Treats | Kid’s Report Card: Bring by your report card that has an ‘A’ on it and earn a free kids ticket for a future gameBroadcast coverage: Listen on mixlr.com/readingroyals and the Deibler Dental In-Arena Broadcast 99.3 FM. Watch on ECHL.tv.A Royals win would…Surpass last season’s seven-game streak as the longest in the Kirk MacDonald era... Mark the fifth time in team history Reading has at least 31 wins through 50 games…Be the fourth straight at home.The Royals and Growlers have met 11 times (REA: 5-3-3-0) and Friday marks the series’ final game at Santander Arena.Seven-game win streak statsReading has won every game since splitting a head-to-head weekend vs. Newfoundland Jan. 24-25. Since that point, the Royals have outscored foes, 35-12. In the second period, Reading has a +16 goal differential in the last seven games (20 GF, 4 GA).The Royals have won four straight on the road and Reading is also 20-5-2-0 at home, the 12th time in team history the squad has hit the 20-win mark at Santander Arena. New faces in ReadingThe Royals made three roster moves Thursday; goaltender Kirill Ustimenko was reassigned from Reading to Lehigh Valley by Philadelphia, while goaltender Tom McCollum and forward Lewis Zerter-Gossage were reassigned to the Royals from Lehigh Valley. McCollum is a veteran of 11 professional seasons and more than 300 AHL games. This ECHL season, McCollum is 8-5-0-0 with a shutout, 3.23 goals against average and .896 save percentage. Detroit selected McCollum in the first round, 30th overall at the 2008 NHL Entry Level Draft. Zerter-Gossage is in his third stop, splitting his rookie season between Maine and Hartford. With the Mariners, the 24-year-old native of Montreal, QC scored one goal and six points in 13 games.Last Time OutAt Wheeling Wednesday, four Royals scored in the second period for a 6-3 win. Marly Quince and Brayden Low each led the scoresheet with two points. Six Royals scored and 11 had at least one point. Felix Sandström blocked 16 shots in the third period and 30 in the game for his fourth straight win.  Newfoundland has lost three straight games for the first time this season, last suffering a 5-2 loss vs. Maine Wednesday. Brady Ferguson opened the scoring, but the Growlers allowed the next three in the first period.The Royals are also home for Saturday’s game vs. Brampton on Marvel Night with a Spider-Man Meet-and-Greet, Marvel poster giveaways for the first 1,000 fansand one fan has a chance to win four first-class flight tickets and a trip to Universal Studios in Orlando if a Royals player gets a hat trick (pres. by Berkshire Travel).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.Royals leadersGoals: Cuddemi (21)Assists: DiChiara (32)Points: DiChiara (48)PIM: Mitchell (106)+/-: Knodel (25)Growlers leaders Goals: Power (21)Assists: Estephan/Ferguson (32)Points: Luchuk/Estephan/Ferguson (50)PIM: Bradley (76)+/-: Neugold (21)Back to back three-in-threes The Royals face Newfoundland, Brampton and Adirondack this weekend Fri-Sun and Adirondack (2x) and Worcester next weekend to end the month of February.This weekend marks the last time the Royals will play three different opponents in three days this season. Earlier this season Dec. 27-29, the Royals went 2-1-0-0 against Maine, Brampton and Adirondack over a three-day, 1600-mile excursion.In the “first game in a row,” Reading has forged a 12-4-1-0 mark. That includes a 12-2-0-0 record on Fridays this season. The Royals are 2-1-0-0 in the “back end” of a three-in-three weekend, often considered the most-taxing.Reliving an epic series The Royals are 5-3-3-0 against the Growlers this season and some of each squads’ most-exciting games have come against each other. Reading opened  the season at Newfoundland Oct. 11 and spoiled the Growlers Kelly Cup banner raising with a 6-5, come-from-behind win in which the Royals erased a 3-0 deficit and scored back-to-back goals in the third period ten seconds apart to take the lead for good.Newfoundland has bested Reading thrice in overtime and the Royals have two one-goal regulation wins vs. the Growlers. Ralph Cuddemi tied Reading’s single-game record with four goals vs. Newfoundland Nov. 24.The winning team has scored at least four goals in ten of the 11 series games. Reading is one of three teams (Maine, Brampton) to win at Mile One Centre this season. The Royals are 4-1-1-0 at Santander Arena vs. Newfoundland.All-time series  The Royals have won nine games ever against Newfoundland and are 9-7-4-2 in the all-time series. Of those wins, all but one have come when scoring at least three goals. Frank DiChiara is Reading’s most-prolific points producer ever against Newfoundland. He’s generated an outstanding 19 points this season and 28 points (7g) ever against the Growlers.In 11 matchups vs. Newfoundland this season, DiChiara has points in ten and has six multi-point efforts. Steven Swavely has scored four goals and 15 points in two seasons vs. Newfoundland.Newfoundland’s Marcus Power has eight goals against the Royals in two seasons (22 pts.). Six of the eight tallies have come this season. Season series  The Royals and Maine Mariners are the only team in the league with five wins against Newfoundland this season and the only Eastern Conference squad to have more head-to-head points (13) than the Growlers (12) in a season series.Eleven Growlers and eleven Royals have multiple goals against the other team. Frank DiChiara has 19 points (4g) this season against Newfoundland, the best of any skater. Eric Knodel has tallied 12 points (2g).Kirill Ustimenko has at least a point in all five decisions vs. Newfoundland (2-0-3-0, 3.24 GAA, .899 sv.%). Felix Sandström has the other three wins (3-3-0-0, 3.92 GAA, .878 sv.%).Giorgio Estephan leads Newfoundland with 15 points (3g) in head-to-head meetings. Marcus Power tops the Growlers with six goals in the 11-game series.Maksim Zhukov has played seven games against Reading and allowed 28 games (4.51 GAA, .827 sv.%). Angus Redmond has appeared and four games and won twice (3.19 GAA, .909 sv.%).Upcoming Home Games: royalshockey.com/promotions Sat., Feb. 22 at 7:00  p.m. vs. Brampton (Marvel Night)Spider-Man Meet-and-Greet | Marvel Poster giveaway for the first 1,000 fans| Girl Scout Night  | Abilities in Motion Night | Special Spider-Man Theme Jerseys | One fan has a chance to win four first-class flight tickets and a trip to Universal Studios in Orlando if a Royals player gets a hat trick (pres. by Berkshire Travel)Wed., Feb. 26 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Maine Free Souvenir Cup Refills at the concession standsSun.,  Mar. 8 at 4:00 p.m. vs. Brampton (First Responders Game, Pres. by Met-Ed)Game pres. by Met-Ed - the Reading Fire/Police squads face the Allentown squads before the game at 12:30 p.m. - 1 ticket includes admission to both games |  $1 Hot Dogs, Sodas and Nachos | Touch a Truck Event for Kids | Faith & Family Night - Church Group Rates Available | Heaven’s Thunder music performance | Last Postgame Party of the season with players at Cheers! Restaurant at the DoubleTree Hotel.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.