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Royals Tame Lions to Clinch Berth In 2023 Kelly Cup Playoffs, 6-2

Saturday, April 1st
Royals Tame Lions to Clinch Berth In 2023 Kelly Cup Playoffs, 6-2

Reading, PA - The Reading Royals (38-22-5-0), proud affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, defeated the Trois-Rivières Lions (25-37-3-0), 6-2, and became the second team in the Eastern Conference to clinch a berth in the 2023 Kelly Cup Playoffs on Friday, March 31 at Santander Arena. Reading has qualified for the playoffs in 12 of their last 13 seasons and 16 times in the club’s 21-season history. The Royals preserved their four-point divisional lead over Maine for second place in the North Division. Pat Nagle (18-5-0) earned his seventh-straight win in goal with 24 saves on 26 shots faced. Étienne Montpetit (1-0-0) suffered the loss in net for Trois-Rivières with 30 saves on 36 shots faced. 


Both teams notched goals in the opening period for a tie score after 20 minutes of play, 1-1. Colin Felix blasted a one-timer past Montpetit on a feed from Solag Bakich 6:10 into regulation. Bakich earned his second professional career point with the lone assist on Felix’s first of two goals in the game. The Royals have scored the game’s opening goal in seven of their last eight games. 

Reading’s one-goal lead lasted 94 seconds before Brett Stapley evened the score for Trois-Rivières with the final touch on a loose puck in front of Nagle’s crease. Stapley lifted a bouncing puck through Devon Paliani and Shane Sellar with Nagle caught out of position to net his 10th goal of the season and team-leading 46th point. 

The Royals scored the opening two goals of the second period to take their lead back for good, 3-1. Max Newton and Jacob Gaucher each scored their first of two goals in the game 1:08 into the second period and 30 seconds apart from one another. Newton scored his second goal of the game with six minutes remaining in the period to earn his team-leading ninth multi-goal game of the season. Newton joined Charlie Gerard as the second player to score 30 goals for the Royals this season. Ryan Finnegan earned his first professional career point with the secondary assist on Newton’s first goal of the period.

The Lions answered the three consecutive goals by Reading in the final 3:18 of the middle frame. William Lemay scored Trois-Rivières’ lone power play goal on three man-advantage opportunities on a wrist shot in front of Nagle’s net that deflected off of the netminder into the back of the net. Lemay’s second goal of his professional career was the final goal of the game for Trois-Rivières.

Gaucher tallied his second goal of the game on a rebound coughed up by Montpetit in the final 18 seconds of the second period. On the goal, Gaucher improved his career-high point streak to eight games and earned himself his fourth multi-goal game of the season.

Reading added a goal from Felix halfway through the third period to extend the Royals lead to four goals, 6-2. The rookie defenseman delivered a shot on goal from the blue that deflected off of Lions’ forward, Nicolas Guay and over the left shoulder of Mont-petit. Gerard earned his third assist of the game on Felix’s goal to set a new single-game career-high for assists(3a) as well as earn the forward his 18th multi-point game of the season.

Felix’s eighth goal of the season put the rookie defenseman into company with Newton and Gaucher as multi-goal scorers in the series opener victory. The prolific offensive display by the three rookie’s was the first time three skaters recorded multiple goals in a single game this season.

The Royals outshot the Lions with 36 shots to Trois-Rivières’ 26 in the game. Reading earned their sixth win over the Lions this season (6-2) and improved their all-time record against Trois-Rivières to 11-5-3-1. Additionally, the Royals improved to 28-2-3 when leading after two periods and 30-10-4 when scoring the game’s opening goal.

The Royals continue their four-game homestand on Saturday, April 1 against the Lions at 4:00 p.m. at Santander Arena. The home game features the Motor Sports promotional game. Order tickets and see the full ~ promotional schedule ~ now!-Upcoming Games:

  • Motor Sports Night - Apr. 1 vs. Trois-Rivières 
    • Motor Sports Night presented by Schaeffer's Motor Sports
    • Rally racing towel giveaway (first 1500)
    • Vehicle displays
    • Slapshot Saturdays: $2 off craft draft beers 3-4:00 PM
    • Slapshot Saturdays: pre-game photo on ice with Slapshot from 3:00-4:15 below section 109
  • Battle of the Badges - Apr. 2 vs. Trois-Rivières 
    • Trading cards giveaway (first 1000)
    • Post-game scrimage between Reading and Harrisburg First Responders
    • 1st responder discount here!
    • $1.00 popcorn, chips, and hot dogs at select locations. $1.00 kids ticket with purchase of an adult ticket (Box office only)
    • Pre-game concert from Heaven's Thunder at 1:45 PM
  • Wild Wednesdays - Apr. 12 vs. Norfolk
    • $6.10 for Green Zone tickets
    • College students buy one ticket, get one free
    • $1 beers at select locations
    • Post-game party at Cheers American Bistro at the DoubleTree

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.