North Division Semifinals Game 4 Preview: Manchester at Reading

Monarchs lead best-of-seven series, 3-0   

Reading, PA – The North Division Semifinals roll on with Game 4 between the Reading Royals (0-0-3 postseason) and Manchester Monarchs (3-0-0 postseason) at Santander Arena Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are available here.

For the second time in Royals history, Reading has played three straight overtime games in a playoff series. In Game 3, the Royals fell, 4-3. Rob Hamilton powered the game-winning goal with fewer than three minutes remaining in the first overtime Monday.  Hamilton, Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman and Sam Kurker have scored the three overtime winners.

The Royals require four straight wins to overcome the 3-0 series deficit and advance to the second round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs. In ECHL history, three teams have forced Game 7 when trailing, 3-0. The 2010 Cincinnati Cyclones are the only team in 30 years of the league to win four straight games when trailing, 3-0.

John Muse made 52 saves Monday, the third straight game he’s blocked at least 50. He’s the first Royals goalie to have at least 50 saves in three straight starts.

The teams played 269 minutes in the first three games, roughly equivalent to 4.5 games over a four-day span.

Game 5, if necessary, is at Santander Arena on Thurs., Apr. 19 at 7:00 p.m.

The Reading Royals will continue to collect donations and raise money for those affected by the Humboldt Broncos’ tragedy for Wednesday’s home playoff game. Proceeds from tickets purchased at this link or by calling 610-898-7825 will go to the families and others affected. The Royals are also wearing  “HUMBOLDT” helmet stickers to send condolences to those affected.

The Royals are offering 5 playoff vouchers starting at $85. Use the five vouchers at any home playoff games. The team is also providing curbside ticket service; call 610-898-7825 and a Royals ticket staff member will provide you with your tickets outside the Lion’s Den Team Store at the corner of 8th Ave. and Penn St.

Season ticket holders can purchase additional playoff tickets for $10 by calling 610-898-7825.

Series Schedule : Monarchs lead series, 3-0
Game 1 at Manchester: Monarchs 3, Royals 2 (2 OT).
Game 2 at Manchester: Monarchs 3, Royals 2 (2 OT).
Game 3 vs. Manchester: Monarchs 4, Royals 3 (OT).
Game 4 vs. Manchester: Wed, Apr. 18, 7:00 p.m., Santander Arena
Game 5 vs. Manchester (if necessary): Thu, Apr. 19, 7:00 p.m., Santander Arena
Game 6 at Manchester (if necessary): Sat, Apr. 21, 3:00 p.m.
Game 7 at Manchester (if necessary): Tue, Apr. 24, 7:00 p.m.

McCarthy time
Chris McCarthy leads the Royals attack with six points (2g) in the first three games. He had his best professional postseason game Monday, rocketing a goal and three points. Dating back to the regular season, McCarthy has points in five straight games (3g, 7a). He has four multi-point games in those five contests.

A fourth-year professional from Collegeville, PA, McCarthy jammed in a professional-high 22 goals and 59 points this regular season. The center topped the Royals with five points, all assists, last postseason. In nine ECHL postseason games, McCarthy has scored two goals and 11 points.

Game 4 history
The Royals are 10-11-2 in game 4 of a series. Last year, Ryan Penny scored in the final half of the third period to help Reading defeat Brampton and tie the series, 2-2. The Royals dropped the series in six games.

Since 2015, the Royals are 2-1-1 in game 4. The longest game in Royals history happened in Game 4 of the 2016 Eastern Conference Semifinals vs. Wheeling, a 4-3 triple OT defeat.

The longest games
The Royals have played their four “longest” games in team history over the past three postseasons. Two have come this playoffs, in Game 1 and Game 2 of the North Division Semifinals vs. Manchester.

The longest game is Game 4 of the 2016 Eastern Conference Semifinals vs. Wheeling, which lasted 104:22 until Cody Wydo nabbed the Nailers’ winning goal.

Game 1 of the 2018 North Division Semifinals last Friday went 97:38, the second-longest game. Fewer than 24 hours later, Manchester snuck by again in Reading’s fourth-longest game, a 94:08 slugfest at SNHU Arena.

In the 2017 Playoffs, Brampton edged the Royals with a double overtime goal at 95:34 from Brandon MacLean.

It’s happened (sort of)
The Royals need to win the last four games of the series to advance to the second round. While Reading has never come back from down 3-0 to win a series, Cincinnati won four straight games in 2010 to defeat the Royals in seven games. Reading began the series with three multi-goal wins, and dropped the last four games.

Manchester’s only ECHL precedent for dropping a series it led by multiple games was last season. The Monarchs led the 2017 Eastern Conference Finals, 2-0, but the South Carolina Stingrays stormed back to win the Eastern Conference Finals in seven games.

Avoiding the sweep
The Monarchs have never swept a series in their ECHL history, while Reading has only been swept once in 13 playoff appearances. The only other time Reading faced a 3-0 deficit was the 2011 Eastern Conference Semifinals vs. Kalamazoo; the Royals lost the series, 4-0.

Netminder battle
John Muse has pitched a 2.23 goals against average and .941 save percentage this series, making a combined 159 saves with an 0-0-3 mark. Manchester’s Charles Williams (1.56 GAA, .944 save percentage) has denied all 67 shots faced in the third period and overtime this series.

Muse is the first netminder in Royals history to have three straight games blocking at least 50 shots. This is the first time Reading has allowed at least 50 shots in three straight games.

Entering this postseason, Muse’s highest playoff save totals came in the clinching game of the 2012 Kelly Cup Finals with Florida (41 saves on 43 shots) vs. Las Vegas. Muse was named Kelly Cup Playoffs MVP with an 11-2-0 record.

Muse is the fourth Royals netminder to have at least 50 saves in a postseason game. Mark Owuya, Mark Dekanich and Martin Ouellette (2x) are the others.

2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs Tickets On Sale
Lock down your Kelly Cup Playoff tickets by calling 610-898-7825. A Royals team member will provide you with curbside service outside the Lion’s Den Team Store at the corner of 8th and Penn Street; just call 610-898-7825 and we will deliver your tickets without leaving your car.

The Royals are offering five playoff vouchers for $85. Use the five vouchers at any home playoff games!

Miniplans available for 2018-19!
Call 610-898-7825 to learn more about 9, 12 and 18 game mini-plans for the 2018-19 season!

2018-19 season tickets now available
Top full-season benefits include: exclusive Reading Hockey Club per seat gift, discounted rate off regular ticket prices, ticket exchange, preseason meet and greet, exclusive season ticket holder events, advanced entry and a chance to win and the Royals Owner’s Suite for a game. Call 610-898-7825 and visit to join the Royals family or renew season tickets for the 2018-19 season. Visit royalshockey.com/tickets/season-tickets to learn more.


About the Royals

The Royals have been owned by serial entrepreneur Jack Gulati since 2014 and are in their 17th ECHL season. Proudly affiliated with the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers and AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms, Reading plays in the Santander Arena, located in downtown Reading, PA at 700 Penn Street. The Royals won the Kelly Cup in 2013, have made the playoffs in eight straight seasons and are four-time division champions.

Broadcast Coverage
All Royals game can be heard on Rumba 1340 AM and the iHeartRadio app by searching “Rumba 1340”. The pregame show starts 15 minutes before puck drop. Watch Royals games on ECHL.tv. Reading away games are shown locally on BCTV.