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Five-Goal Explosion in 2nd Dominates Monarchs, 6-2

January 15, 2018 - ECHL (ECHL) - Reading Royals News Release

Manchester, NH - The Reading Royals scored five goals in the second period to obliterate the Manchester Monarchs, 6-2, Sunday at SNHU Arena. Reading scored four goals in a 5:08 span to take a 5-2 lead and knock Branden Komm out of the game (19 saves). Chris McCarthy ended the scoring with 6:11 left in the second and Reading recorded the five strikes in 10:54.

ECHL All-Star Michael Huntebrinker scored two goals in the second period and rookie Dillan Fox (1g, 2a) recorded his first Royals goal to move the squad ahead for good, 3-2. It's the first time this season the Royals have ripped five in a frame.

Six Royals had multi-point games - Fox, Huntebrinker (2g), Nolan Zajac (1g, 1a), Matt Wilkins (1g, 1a) Chris McCarthy (1g, 1a) and Matt Willows (2a). Ten Royals had points. The Royals were 2-for-5 on the man up.

John Muse made 17 saves in the second period and recorded 40 saves, three short of a season high. The Royals pounded the Monarchs with 40 shots and Charles Williams allowed one goal on 16 shots in relief of Komm.

It's a Slapshot Bobblehead giveaway and the Royals are at home next Sat., Jan. 20 at 7:00 p.m. against Brampton for Star Wars, THON and Scout Night. The Royals will give away Star-Wars-themed bobbleheads of their mascot, Slapshot, wear Star Wars jerseys and help raise money for THON.

Box Score: The Royals jumped ahead at 4:56 of the first on a quick transition. Fox drove outside the right circle and slung it to Wilkins. He shot to the top right shelf and scored his fifth of the season. Two of his tallies have been against Manchester. Fox and James de Haas assisted. Reading out shot Manchester, 18-13, in the first period.

The Monarchs struck back with a pair of first-frame goals to take a 2-1 lead into intermission. Both came near the posts. At the left post, Matt Schmalz slammed home the tying goal at 7:08 of the frame. On a 5-on-3 edge, a cross-crease pass found Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman and he beat Muse at the right post for his 17th of the season.

The second-period goal dominance started with Huntebrinker's first of the game at 2:55 of the frame to tie it at two. After receiving a drop pass from Brian Morgan, Huntebrinker walked to the right circle and unfurled it to the left post and in.

Just 1:12 later, Reading took the edge, 3-2. Dillan Fox toe dragged the puck from the right goal line, around a defender and backhanded it past Komm at the left post. Mark Bennett and Wilkins assisted on the highlight-reel goal.

Two minutes later, Nolan Zajac trailed the play, found the rebound and smacked in his ninth of the season. McCarthy's initial shot banged off Komm and to the slot for Zajac. Willows picked up his first assist. Zajac has nine goals this season.

Huntebrinker ricocheted in his second of the game on a power play at 8:03 of the period. Dillan Fox sent it cross-crease to the right post for the goal. Matias Cleland got the second assist. Huntebrinker is tied with Matt Willows and Chris McCarthy for a team-best 13 goals.

To finish the amazing second, McCarthy lasered in another power-play goal with 6:11 to go in the second. Zajac fed from the high slot to McCarthy at the left circle.

Reading's man up was 2-for-5 and Manchester went 1-for-6.

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