Game Day at Adirondack: Catch Today's Game on BCTV at 2:45 p.m.
Glens Falls, NY - The Reading Royals (27-27-4-5, 63 pts., 7th North), proud ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, have trekked to New York hoping to create more march madness in the North Division by earning two points at the Adirondack Thunder (33-22-5-3, 74 pts., 2nd North) Sunday at 3:00 p.m. Coverage of today's broadcast starts on BCTV at 2:45 p.m. with Royals pregame. Reading endured a 5-1 loss to Indy last night and the Royals sit six points behind Worcester for the North Division's fourth and final playoff spot. The Royals have nine games remaining in the 2018-19 regular season.
Broadcast Coverage: Watch BCTV (Ch. 15 Comcast, Ch. 19 Service Electric) | Mixlr.com/ReadingRoyals
Adam Schmidt scored Reading's lone goal Saturday, giving him a professional-best 20 goals and 45 points this campaign.
Sunday marks Reading's 34th road game of the regular season; after today's selection Sunday bout, the Royals have a season-long five-game home stand that starts Fri., Mar. 22 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Newfoundland with $1 Draft Beers, pres. by Deibler Dental. Reading has three home games remaining in 2018-19.
Reading has played Adirondack nine times this campaign and the Royals have split the last six meetings with the Thunder. Overall, the Royals are 3-5-0-1 against Adirondack.
The Thunder are coming off back-to-back home wins against Newfoundland, becoming the third team this season to best the first-place Growlers on back-to-back nights. Adirondack's Conor Riley scored a hat trick and four points Saturday in a 6-4 win. Brian Ward scored twice.
Since Kirk MacDonald became Royals Head Coach at Apr. 2017, the Royals are 10-11-1-1 against the Thunder in a series that has been defined by "runs." The Royals won the first five matchups of 2017-18 before the Thunder took nine of the next 10. Following Adirondack's run of dominance through mid-November 2018, Reading clapped back with three straight wins from Nov. 24,- Jan. 9. Since mid-January, the Thunder have taken the last three meetings.
Over the last three games, the Thunder have outscored Reading, 7-0, in the third period. In all other frames, the Royals have scored five goals and surrendered four.
First goal this series
Reading has notched the first goal in four of the last five meetings and won two of those games (2-3-0-0). The Royals have one come-from-behind win against the Thunder; Nov. 24 when Nick Niedert blocked 38 of 39 shots for his first ECHL win in 1,032 days. Adirondack has come from behind twice vs. Reading.
All-time vs. Adirondack
The Royals have 22 wins in the all-time series and the Thunder have 24. Reading and Adirondack meet twice more after Sunday; Apr. 5-6 in a home-and-home to conclude the 2018-19 regular season. Ten of Reading's 22 all-time wins have come at Cool Insuring Arena.
Chris McCarthy has been top dog for Reading on the scoresheet against the Thunder, pouring in seven points (2g). Michael Huntebrinker (2g, 5 pts.) and Adam Schmidt (2g, 5 pts.) are next in line.
In Huntebrinker's career, he has faced Adirondack 18 times and scored seven goals and 13 points. Last season, he generated his first professional hat trick against Adirondack (3g, 1a) Dec. 30. Chris McCarthy has been a thorn as well, pounding seven goals and 18 points in 29 games. Nick Luukko has played against Adirondack 44 times and scored his first professional goal against Adirondack on Dec. 31, 2015. Since thrashing Thunder netminders for three of his four goals as a rookie, he has tallied eight helpers. It's been 35 season-series games since Luukko last scored a goal against Adirondack.
Adirondack forward John Edwardh has five goals and nine points to lead all players in the series. The rookie was recalled to AHL Binghamton in February. Captain James Henry is next among series point leaders with seven (all assists). Cullen Bradshaw, Conor Riley and Mike Szmatula have each scored three goals vs. Reading to rank second behind Edwardh for series tallies.
Branden Komm has allowed seven goals in three games against Adirondack and is 0-2-0-0 (2.45 GAA, .918 save percentage). No active Thunder netminder has ever played against Reading.
A story we all support: Conacher returns
Adirondack forward Shane Conacher was diagnosed with testicular cancer in January and has returned to the Thunder's lineup after surgery and recovery. In his first game back Mar. 8, Conacher scored a tying goal with 1:23 left vs. Worcester to force overtime in a shootout loss to the Railers. Conacher also scored in the shootout. In three games since his return, he has scored one goal and four points.
Conacher has generated four helpers in five games against the Royals this campaign.
Scouting the Thunder
Arthur Brey came in for rookie netminder Logan Thompson with 17:25 to go and salvaged a 6-4 win for Adirondack vs. Newfoundland Saturday. Brey blocked 13 of 16 shots for his first professional win. Thompson has started seven straight games for the Thunder, winning two times (2-3-0-1, 2.38 GAA, .926 sv.%). Saturday vs. Newfoundland he was pulled after blocking 24 of 25 shots. Thompson signed with Adirondack Mar. 2, six days before netminder Alex Sakellaropoulos (19-5-3-3, 2.38 GAA, .919 sv.%) was signed to a PTO by the Springfield Thunderbirds.
Eight netminders have appeared in a game for Adirondack this season and all are rookies. The Thunder are the only team in the league to have rookie goalies exclusively defend the net. Reading has used eight netminders as well this season, matching a single-season team record, but only one (Devin Buffalo) was a rookie.
James Henry has a team-best 46 assists and 60 points this season. Mike Szmatula (23g) trails John Edwardh (currently in AHL Binghamton) by one for the squad's goal lead. The rookie Szmatula has 41 points and ranks third on the team, ten behind Edwardh for second.
Adirondack can help Reading's playoff pursuit over the next two weeks; the club plays three straight against Brampton Mar. 23-29 and takes on Maine in back-to-back contests Mar. 30-31.
Next Home Games
Fri., Mar. 22: $1 Beer Night at 7:00 p.m. vs. Newfoundland, pres. by Deibler Dental - $1 Draft Beer
- Enter for a chance to win a 2017 Toyota Camry, courtesy of AutoRide of Reading
Sat., Mar. 23 The Anthony Myers Movement Night and American Cancer Society Night: 7:00 p.m. vs. Newfoundland
- 3rd Night honoring the American Cancer Society with specialty jerseys
- Enter for a chance to win a 2017 Toyota Camry, courtesy of AutoRide of Reading
Sun., Mar. 24 Scout Night: 4:00 p.m. vs. Worcester
- Scout Night at the Royals
- Pregame Scout activities 1:30pm
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