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Royals Drop Season Opener to Growlers, 4-2

Saturday, October 22nd
Royals Drop Season Opener to Growlers, 4-2

The Reading Royals, proud affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, fell to the Newfoundland Growlers, 4-2, Friday, October 21 at the Mary Brown’s Centre in the 2022-23 season opener. Newfoundland's three-goal first period proved too steep for a Royals comeback as Reading was held scoreless in the final two periods of play. Royals goaltender Pat Nagle saved 24 of 28 shots faced while Growlers goalie Dryden McKay saved 25 of 27 shots faced to earn the win in his professional debut.


The Royals were outshot by the Growlers 28 to 27 and scored on one of their two power play opportunities. Newfoundland was held scoreless on the power play with three man advantage chances in the game. However, the Growlers built up a one goal lead after the first period that stood for the remainder of regulation. The five-goal first period began just twenty-one seconds into the game. Forward Orrin Centazzo intercepted a pass from Colin Felix initially batted down by Zach O’Brien at Reading’s blue line for a breakaway rush into Reading’s zone. Centazzo beat Nagle with a wrist shot he snapped over the netminder's right shoulder for the game’s opening goal.

Reading responded to even the score eight minutes into the first period. Forward Alec Butcher batted Brendan Hoffmann’s rebounded shot off of McKay's pads for his first goal as a Royal. Hoffmann earned the lone assist for his first point of his professional career. 

Newfoundland scored two goals 60 seconds apart from each other to take a two-goal lead halfway through the first period. Brett Budgell’s first professional goal as well as Tyler Boland’s first goal of his sophomore season gave Newfoundand a lead which they did not relinquish. Boland’s goal came off of a Royals self inflicted turnover on their own end of the ice and stood as the game-winning goal.

Before the end of an offensive dominant first period, Reading tallied one more goal to cut the deficit to one goal heading into the first intermission. With Reading on the man advantage, Zane Franklin received a rebound coughed up by McKay in front of Newfoundland’s net and quickly snapped the puck into Newfoundland’s net with six seconds remaining in the period. Garrett McFadden and Butcher were credited with the assists on Franklin’s power play goal, his first goal as a Royal. Butcher’s assists was his second point of the game for his first multi-point game since April 10, 2022 when he was a skater for the Rapid City Rush.

Newfoundland sustained their one-goal lead through the entirety of a more defensively sound second period which had the least amount of shots in the game for the Royals (7). In the final six seconds of the period, Growlers’ captain James Melindy centered a puck for Zack Solow who tapped the puck past Nagle’s left pad to take a two-goal lead into the intermission, 4-2.

The Royals held the Growlers to a game-low six shots on net in the third period. However, Reading failed to both score and stay out of the box as the Royals were charged three penalties in the third period and kept off the board for the final period of play.

The Royals fall to 9-9-3 in season openers all time and begin their 2022-23 regular season at 0-1.

The Royals continue their series against the Growlers in St.John’s, Newfoundland Saturday October 22 at 5:30 p.m. at the Mary Brown’s Centre.-Upcoming Games:

  • Opening Night - Oct. 29 vs. Indy
    • Be at our pregame block party on Penn St.
    • Spin Doctors will perform at a FREE live pregame concert
    • Giveaway is a Royals Thunder Stick
  • Halloween Game / $1 Day presented by Prospectus Berco - Oct. 30 vs. Indy
    • Join us for Spooky season at Santander Arena with $1 deals at concessions around the concourse...this isn't a trick, just a treat!
    • Giveaway is a 2022-33 Royals Magnet Schedule
  • Oktoberfest - Nov. 4 vs. Wheeling
    • Celebrate German heritage and terrific food and drink at Santander Arena
    • Giveaway is a pretzel on the house

Five-Game Plan

Join the Reading Royals for FIVE of our biggest games of the year at home! Five-game plan ticket package includes tickets to the following specialty games:

Opening Night - October, 29th @7:00 p.m.

Affiliation Night - January 28th @7:00 p.m.

Pink in the Rink - February 4th @7:00 p.m.

St. Hattrick's Day - March 18th @7:00 p.m.

Fandemonium - April 15th @7:00 p.m.

In addition to a ticket to each game, you will get a burger and soda per ticket, as well as a Royals hat. Starting at $99.99 for silver zone tickets and $119.99 for purple zone tickets. Quantities are limited so reserve your seat now!2022-23 Season Memberships

Reading Royals season tickets, flex memberships and group tickets are available for the 2022-23 season by visiting the Royals’ box office at Santander Arena or by calling 610-898-7825. 

About the Royals

The Reading Royals, proud affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, are entering their 21st season in the ECHL. They won their first Kelly Cup championship in 2013 and have clinched playoff berths in 11 of the previous 12 seasons. They are five-time division champions and were the 2021-22 Eastern Conference champion. The Berks County Convention Center Authority (BCCCA), founded in 1996, owns the Royals and oversees operations at Santander Arena.