Reading, PA - The Reading Royals, proud affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, defeated the Maine Mariners, 6-2, on Saturday, April 29 at Santander Arena. The Royals clinched the series victory four games to two, and advanced to the North Division Final series of the 2023 Kelly Cup Playoffs. Pat Nagle (25-7-1, 4-0-1) earned the win in net for Reading with 21 saves on 23 shots faced. François Brassard (19-16-2, 2-2-0) suffered the loss for Maine with 27 saves on 32 shots faced.
Evan Barratt contributed to Reading’s two first period goals and a one-goal advantage for the Royals after 20-minutes, 2-1. Devon Paliani scored the game’s opening goal 1:39 into the game off of a centering pass delivered by Barratt from behind Brassard’s net. Barratt earned his second multi-point game of the series with the primary helper on Jacob Gaucher’s fourth goal of the postseason. Gaucher’s goal put the Royals in front after Mitchell Fossier tied the score with his third goal of the series at the 12:35 mark of the opening frame, 1-1.
After Nick Master tied the score for Maine 3:16 into the second period with his second goal of the series, 2-2, Garrett McFadden delivered a snipe to the top shelf of Maine’s net from the right face-off circle to put Reading back in the lead for good. The captain’s first goal of the postseason was the first of two goals in 44 seconds for the Royals.
Zayde Wisdom extended Reading’s lead with the deflection on a rebound kicked off of Brassard’s left pad. The goal went under review after the puck caromed off of Wisdom’s leg, and stood as a good goal for the 20 year old’s fourth goal of his Kelly Cup Playoff career. The Royals took a 4-2 lead into the third period with 23 shots on goal to Maine’s 16 through two periods.
Rookies Tyler Heidt and Brendan Hoffmann extended Reading's lead to four goals and diminished Maine’s hope of a comeback in the elimination game. Heidt scored his first Kelly Cup Playoff career goal on Reading’s fourth power play goal of the game. Up until the power play goal, the Royals had been scoreless on their previous three power plays in the game and 10 man-advantage opportunities overall stretching back to game three of the series on Monday, April 24.
Hoffmann scored his second goal of the postseason on Maine’s empty net with 1:55 remaining in regulation to tally the most goals the Royals scored in a single game against Maine in the six-game series.
The Royals outshot the Mariners for the first time in their last four contests with 33 shots on goal to Maine’s 23. Reading improved to 2-0 in the Kelly Cup Playoffs and 33-2-3 overall in the season when leading after two periods. Additionally, Reading concluded their overall season-series record against Maine in both the regular season and playoffs at 8-3-1.
The Royals advance to the North Division Final series and open the series at home for Game One scheduled for Saturday, May 6 at 7:00 p.m. and Game Two scheduled for Sunday, May 7 at 3:00 p.m. The Royals will play the winner of the Adirondack vs. Newfoundland North Division Semifinal series. Tickets to Games One and Two of the North Division Final series go on sale at 3:00 p.m. on Monday, May 1. Order tickets when they go on sale at royalshockey.com/tickets. -
2022-23 & 2023-24 Season Memberships
Reading Royals season tickets, flex memberships and group tickets are available for the 2022-23 & now 2023-24 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 in their 21st season in the ECHL. They won their first Kelly Cup championship in 2013 and have clinched playoff berths in 12 of the previous 13 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.