Royals back at home for two games this week
Quote of the Week
Head Coach Kirk MacDonald on the team’s power-play success (13 PPG over last month): “This is not a complicated game, but you can make it that way pretty easily. I’d like to tell it had some magic formula, but they realized they just had to simplify their game a little bit and start putting pucks at the net.”
Reading, PA – The Reading Royals (33-21-7-0, 73 pts., 3rd North) host a pair of games Wednesday and Saturday, the first time in three weeks the team plays at Santander Arena. Over a season-long eight-game road trip, Reading dropped one game in regulation (3-1-4-0 mark), earning the team 10 of a possible 16 points.
The Royals are inching closer to a Kelly Cup playoff berth as well; the top-four teams in each division make the postseason and the most 5th-place Worcester can hit is 87. Reading currently has 73.
Reading is two points behind Adirondack for second in the North Division and four back of first-place Manchester.
The action starts Wed., Mar. 14 at 7:00 p.m. against Fort Wayne. It’s the only battle of the season between the Royals and Komets and the first time the clubs meet since Jan. 2017. Wednesday’s game features a postgame autograph session, presented by Rieck’s Printing.
Sat., Mar. 17 is one of the biggest promotional games of the season against Brampton at 7:00 p.m. Wrestling legend Ted DiBiase the “Million Dollar Man” will be in attendance to take pictures and sign autographs during the game. There is no charge for pictures or autographs. Fans can enter for a chance to win $10,000; register to be entered into the contest here or fill out a form in Monday’s Reading Eagle Sports Section and return it to the Royals office. The first 5,000 fans in attendance will receive a special-edition Tifu poster, courtesy of Rieck’s Printing and Diamond Credit Union.
Upcoming Home Games
Postgame autograph session Wed., Mar. 14 vs. FW at 7:00 p.m.
Stay after the game for a special postgame autograph session on Wed., Mar. 14 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Fort Wayne, presented by Rieck’s Printing. It’s the only chance of the season to see the Komets. Purchase tickets here.
Win $10,000, Yannick Tifu Number Retirment, Ted DiBiase “Million Dollar Man” appearance, St. HatTrick’s Day on Sat., Mar. 17 vs. BRM at 7:00 p.m.
Get your picture taken with the Kelly Cup Fri., Feb. 16 during Happy Hour 4:00-7:00 p.m. at Jimmy G’s Beverley Hills Tavern on Old Fritztown Road. It’s the 5th anniversary of the team winning the Kelly Cup. Mr. Pat Kelly will be at the game against Brampton Sat., Mar. 17 at 7:00 p.m.
Enter for a chance to win $10,000 with the Reading Royals as the team hosts Brampton on St. HatTrick’s Day Sat., Mar. 17 vs. the Brampton Beast at 7:00 p.m. It’s an easy process; Step 1: purchase tickets to the game here | Step 2: Register to be entered into the contest here | Step 3: Watch a Royals player score a hat trick vs. Brampton.
Additionally, meet WWE’s Million Dollar Man and celebrate the holiday with the Royals, presented by Met-Ed! Royals legend Yannick Tifu will have his #10 retired to the Diamond Credit Union Wall of Honor during the game. The first 5,000 fans will receive a Yannick Tifu poster, courtesy of Rieck’s Printing and Diamond Credit Union. The Royals will wear special St. Patrick’s Day jerseys. Tifu captained Reading to the team’s first Kelly Cup in 2013 and played in 245 Royals games, third-most in team history. Tickets are available here.
Fans can meet the Million Dollar Man during the first and second periods. Season ticket holders will have a special meet-and-greet with the Million Dollar Man from 5:45-6:30 p.m. at the game. All fans are invited to stay after the game to partake in a special photo “recreation” of Yannick Tifu receiving the Kelly Cup from Mr. Pat Kelly after Saturday’s game.
Special Olympics Night Fri., Mar. 23 vs. WOR at 7:00 p.m.
Tickets are available here, with $5 going back to benefit the Special Olympics of Berks County. Postgame shake, shiver and freeze with the Royals to raise money for the Special Olympics and a Royals trading card set giveaway to the first 2,500 fans (Rieck’s Printing).
Autism Awareness Night Sat., Mar. 24 vs. WOR at 7:00 p.m.
Tickets are available here. $5 from every ticket goes back to the Autism Society of Berks County and Unending Promise! This is one of the best nights of the season for a wonderful cause. No goal horn and the Royals wear special autism awareness jerseys. Plus, a one-time-only giveaway: a puck with Head Coach Kirk MacDonald and Assistant Coach Pat Wellar.
Big 3 Storylines
3) The Kelly Cup will be here Fri-Sat.
The Kelly Cup will be at the Royals game with Commissioner Emeritus Mr. Pat Kelly this Sat., Mar. 17 vs. Brampton at 7:00 ! Get your picture taken with the Kelly Cup Fri., Mar. 16 during Happy Hour 4:00-7:00 p.m. at Jimmy G’s Beverley Hills Tavern on Old Fritztown Road. It’s the 5th anniversary of the team winning the Kelly Cup.
2) Finally we see you
The Royals play eight of their final 11 games at Santander Arena, starting with games Wednesday and Saturday this week. Reading is 19-9-0-0 at home, the best mark in the North Division. Only three teams in the Eastern Conference and eight teams in the ECHL have fewer than ten home losses.
Over the last 47 days, the Royals have only played four home games.
The most points the Royals have had in a season at Santander Arena is 54, accomplished in 2003-04 (25-7-4 record) and 2012-13 (26-8-2 mark). Reading must win all of its remaining home games to match that mark.
1) League leaders
Here’s where Matt Willows and Nolan Zajac sit on the league-leader charts:
Matt Willows: 3rd in points (64), four behind Fort Wayne’s Shawn Szydlowski | 2nd in shots (249)
Nolan Zajac: 2nd among defenseman in goals (15), one behind Utah’s Taylor Richart | 6th among defenseman in points (39) | 1st among defenseman in shooting percentage (14.6%)
Team Leaders (Active players)
Goals: Matt Willows (26), Michael Huntebrinker (18), Chris McCarthy (17)
Assists: Matt Willows (38), Chris McCarthy (28), Nolan Zajac (24)
Points: Matt Willows (64), Chris McCarthy (45), Nolan Zajac (39)
PIMs: Ryan Penny (51), Nick Luukko (46), Matt Willows (42)
+/-: Frank Hora (15), Michael Huntebrinker (13), Brian Morgan (11)
Monday – OFF Day
Tuesday – Practice at 11:00 a.m.
Wednesday – Morning Skate 10:00 a.m., Game 7:00 p.m. vs. Fort Wayne
Thursday – Practice at Body Zone 10:00 a.m.
Friday – Practice at Body Zone 10:00 a.m.
Saturday – Morning Skate 10:00 a.m., Game 7:00 p.m. vs. Brampton
Sunday – OFF Day
Royals Radio Recon: Next Show Tues., Mar. 13
Live from Jimmy G’s Railroad House from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Meet Royals defenseman Charlie Vasaturo at Jimmy G’s Railroad House, 152 Woodrow Ave., Sinking Spring, PA. Listen on rumbareading.com and Rumba 1340 (iHeartRadio app).
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 at 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.
Reading Royals Mobile App
Head to the App Store and Google Play to download the new Reading Royals app on your smartphone! Stay up-to-date with team news, receive notifications and purchase tickets for your next experience at Santander Arena.
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.