3 Royals Tally Multiple Points to Defeat Newfoundland
Reading, PA- Forward Frank DiChiara (1g, 2a) was one of three Reading Royals with multiple points as the squad topped the Newfoundland Growlers (29-11-0-0, 58 pts., 1st North), 4-1, Friday at Santander Arena. The win gave the Royals five wins in the series (5-2-3-0) and was the 17th at Santander Arena in the 2019-20 season, pres. by Tower Health UPMC Health Plan.
Reading is in second place in the North Division at 23-13-5-0 (51 pts.).
Royals forward Garrett Mitchell opened the scoring at 12:44 of the first period with his eighth goal of the season. He found a rebound off an initial slot shot from Corey Mackin (1G, 1A) and buried it stick-side while falling. Steven Swavely was the third Royal with multiple points (2a).
Newfoundland's only goal evened the fewer than three minutes later when Marcus Power beat goaltender Kirill Ustimenko (1 GA, 28 saves, win) on a breakaway.
Royals forward Hayden Hodgson scored the eventual game-winning goal with 3:15 left in the second period. Hodgson received a pass up the right-wing from Thomas Ebbing and finished high glove on Parker Gahagen (2 GA, 31 saves, loss) at the goalmouth to make it 2-1.
With five and a half minutes remaining, the Royals were called for too-many-men on the ice and went to a two-man disadvantage. Mitchell, Garret Cockerill and David Drake were the trio that helped Reading kill the front end of the five-on-three and eventually return the team to even strength.
During 5-on-5 play, Corey Mackin sent home an empty-net goal to give Reading a 3-1 lead with 1:59 remaining in the third. Just over a minute later, DiChiara tallied his 13th goal of the season to seal the win.
One win away from 100
The win gave Head Coach Kirk MacDonald his 99th career win as Reading's bench boss. MacDonald has amassed a 99-65-18-6 overall record in 188 games behind the Royals bench since 2017.
He's led the Royals to 30 or more wins in each of his two full seasons at the helm and has been victorious 23 times this season.
MacDonald skated in two campaigns with the Royals and was a member of the 2012-13 Kelly Cup Championship. MacDonald racked up 38 points (16g) during the 2012-13 regular season and tallied 12 points (4g, 8a) in the playoffs.
The Royals improved to 17-0-4-0 when holding a lead after two periods.
On Friday, Newfoundland outshot Reading, 15-9, in the final period, the only frame in which the Growlers put more than seven shots on net. Ustimenko saved every shot he saw in the third and the offense added two empty-net goals to clinch victory.
Before a 3-2 overtime loss against Worcester on Jan. 20, the Royals had not dropped a game when up after 40 minutes since an extra-time loss to Newfoundland on Dec. 3.
Steven Swavely, Corey Mackin, and Frank DiChiara each recorded multi-point games; DiChiara's three points improved him to four goals and 19 points against Newfoundland. He and Mackin combined to assist on the game's first goal, while Mackin also tallied his 16th goal of the season late in the game.
Swavely tallied the assist on Hodgson's game-winning goal in the second frame. Swavely added another helper on Mackin's empty netter. He is tied for third among active Royals in points (8) against Newfoundland this campaign.
Upcoming Home Games: royalshockey.com/promotions
Sat., Jan. 25 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Newfoundland (Pediatric Cancer Awareness)
Raising Pediatric Cancer Awareness | Survivor Walk on Ice | I Fight For Wall | Postgame Autographs | Team Photo Night | $1 Cotton Candy Tub
Fri., Feb. 7 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Atlanta (Ladies Night/Wine Tasting)
Free Wine Tasting on the concourse with Deerfoot Vineyards, Black River Farms and RoseLawn Bistro | College ID Night: $5 tickets with valid college ID at box office| $1 Smoothies
Sat., Feb. 8 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Wheeling (Pink in the Rink)
Royals play on pink ice with Fleece Blanket Giveaway to the first 1,500 fans | Breast Cancer Awareness Jerseys
$1 Pink Rose Draft Cider | Doubleheader: 1 ticket also gets you admission to the Alvernia Women's Hockey Game at 2:00 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 16 at 4:00 p.m. vs. Worcester (Kids Club Game)
Last free postgame skate of the season, presented by Body Zone | Team Photo Giveaway | $1 Hot Dog, $1 Soda & $1 Nacho Concession Special Pricing | Game Included Kids Club Packages presented by Applebee's, Schuykill Valley Sports and YMCA of Reading and Berks County (Sign Ups Available)
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