Reading, PA – The Reading Royals scored on their first three shots of the third period, jumping out to a four-goal margin and a preseason win over the Adirondack Thunder, 6-3, Saturday at Santander Arena. The Royals completed the preseason with a 2-0-0-0 record and swept Adirondack in a home-and-home series. The regular season kicks off with multiple Cowbell World Record attempts at Santander Arena next Sat., Oct. 13 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Worcester. The first 6,500 fans receive a Royals cowbell, courtesy of Met-Ed.
Brian Morgan (:35 of third), Adam Schmidt (1:14) and Brayden Low (2:22) tallied early in the final period to spring Reading ahead, 6-2. Morgan scored two goals and six points in the preseason. Michael Hunterbrinker (1g, 1a), Jack Riley (2a) and Steve Johnson (2a) contributed multi-point games.
Reading limited the Thunder to 14 shots and Angus Redmond blocked 11 shots for the win in his preseason debut. Ian Sylves surrendered six goals on 28 shots.
The teams traded goals in the opening frame and each club scored on their first shot. Steven Swavely tallied at 2:59 of the first period on a seeing-eye shot from the left point attempted by Johnson. The Thunder evened the game five minutes later; on a delayed penalty, Brian Ward beat Redmond halfway up the right post.
Reading converted twice more in the second and took a 3-2 lead into second intermission. At 2:09 of the second, Josh MacDonald rushed toward the front of net and deposited a rebound off a shot from Charlie Vasaturo. The initial chance from Vasaturo came at the right blue line. Thunder forward Shane Eiserman equalized a couple of minutes later. Eiserman set up at the bottom of the left circle and scored with a centering a pass off Adam Larkin’s leg.
Huntebrinker jolted the Royals ahead, 3-2, with 94 seconds left in the second on an even-strength tally. Driving net front, Huntebrinker found a rebound off a right-point shot from Johnson. The second-year forward Huntebrinker tucked it in for his first of the preseason.
Next, the Royals exploded for three goals in the first three minutes of the third. First, Huntebrinker drove the left slot and tossed it to Morgan at the right circle. Morgan whipped in a snap shot at the right dot with 35 seconds elapsed in the third. The goal gave the Royals a 4-2 lead.
One minute later, another snap shot fooled Sylves. Schmidt received a pass from Jack Riley at the center point, 60-feet from the cage, and quickly curled it over Sylves.
To complete the Royals scoring, Brayden Low tucked it through Sylves on a breakaway feed at 2:22 of the third. Low deked through a defender’s legs and drove towards the front of cage. He went to the back hand to convert through the five-hole.
Adirondack’s Matt Salhany scored the final goal four minutes later.
The Royals were 0-for-2 on the man up. Adirondack was 0-for-4.
Opening Weekend, presented by Met-Ed
Season Opener: Sat., Oct. 13, 7:00 p.m.
Block party 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. | Food and drinks available | Performance by the Uptown Band | Attempt at setting the World Record for most cowbells played at a time | Cowbell giveaway (first 6,500 fans) | Red carpet introduction for the players
Philadelphia Eagles Legends Night (Vince Papale and Bill Bergey): Oct. 14, 5:00 p.m.
Pregame tailgate 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. | Appearance by Eagles legends Vince Papale and Bill Bergey | National cornhole tournament
About the Royals
The Royals have been owned by serial entrepreneur Jack Gulati since 2014 and are entering their 18th 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 nine straight seasons and are four-time division champions.
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