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Game Day: One Fan Will Win $10,000 If Royals Player Gets Hat Trick in Rematch vs. Fuel

March 16, 2019 - ECHL (ECHL) - Reading Royals News Release

Reading, PA - The Reading Royals (27-26-4-5, 63 pts., 7th North), proud ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, will hand out $10,000 to one lucky fan if a Royals player registers a hat trick Saturday at 7:00 p.m. against the Indy Fuel (29-29-2-2, 62 pts., 6th Central). It's also a free kids ticket game; purchase one adult ticket and receive one free kids ticket (14 and under).

Saturday is the second game of a back-to-back against the Fuel; Friday, the Royals scored twice in the first, added two more in the second and stunted Indy, 5-2. Tyler Brown scored twice and buried an empty-net goal. Brayden Low registered two assists. Reading is 10-1-0-0 all-time against Indy.

The Royals started Friday with two goals in a 1:35 span in the first. Brown jammed in his first of the game at the left door step late in the first and Charlie Vasaturo followed up with a right-point slap shot to make it 2-0 at the end of the one. In the final stages of the second and the Royals nursing a 2-1 advantage, Nick Luukko scored a five-on-three power-play goal to provide Reading cushion. Next, with 33 seconds left in the second, Michael Huntebrinker scored his 15th of the season. The goals provided an insurmountable three-goal edge entering the third.

Broadcast Coverage: Deibler Dental In-Arena Broadcast at 99.3 FM | Mixlr.com/ReadingRoyals

The Royals are in the middle game of three straight; Sunday at 3:00 p.m., the Royals visit Adirondack to complete the three-in-three. Catch Sunday's game on BCTV (Channel 15 Comcast, Channel 19 Service Electric) with coverage starting at 2:45 p.m. Reading has three road games remaining in the 2018-19 regular season.

After Sunday, the Royals return home for a five-game home stand starting with games on three straight days Mar. 22-24.

Defense on the offensive

Royals blue liners factored in on four of Reading's five goals Friday. Nick Luukko tied a season-high three points and scored a game-winning goal late in the second period. Additionally, Charlie Vasaturo ripped a slap shot from the blue line through a screen with fewer than five minutes remaining in the first period.

With the second-period clock winding down, Luukko sent a one-timed slap shot past Defiel's right shoulder to extend the Royals lead to 3-1 on the power play. Luukko recorded 16th assist of the season four minutes later and tallied his 17th assist on Tyler Brown's empty-net goal late in the third period.

Phillips for the win

In his second start for Reading, Jamie Phillips recorded his first win as a Royal and his 20th win this season.

Phillips recorded 21 saves on 23 shots and allowed two goals to become the sixth Royals goalie to record a win this season.

Phillips has 25 saves on 30 shots in two games for Reading since being reassigned to the Royals last week. Following overtime or regulation losses this season, Phillips owns an 8-1-1-0 record.

Huntebrinker racking up points

Reading forward Michael Huntebrinker recorded a goal and an assist and was named the third star on Friday. The Minnesota State alum has tallied a point in 25 of his 27 Royals' appearances this season. Friday was also his 100th ECHL game.

Huntebrinker notched his 15th goal of the season late in the second period to extend the Royals lead to 4-1.

In 27 games this season in Reading, Huntebrinker has 34 points. Last season, Huntebrinker amassed 41 points in 65 games.

Indy visiting

The Royals are 10-1-0-0 against Indy and have outscored the Fuel, 51-22, in the 11 meetings. The Fuel began playing in the ECHL in 2014-15 and Reading went 7-1-0-0 vs. Indy in the Fuel's inaugural season. This weekend marks the first meetings between the teams since Dec. 10, 2016. In that meeting, Chris McCarthy and Steven Swavely scored, while Mark Dekanich kicked aside 19 of 20 shots to triple Indy, 3-1. In 2016-17, the Royals went 2-0-0-0 against the Fuel; McCarthy led all Royals with three goals and four points. Swavely (1g, 1a) and Nick Luukko (1a) also tacked on offensively.

The only time the Royals ever lost to Indy was in the second-to-last matchup of the 2016-17 season on Apr. 10, 2015, 3-2.

The Royals are 6-1-0-0 at Santander Arena against the Fuel.

Ten to go

Following Saturday's game, the Royals will have ten games remaining in the 2018-19 season. The Royals are at Santander Arena for seven of them, starting next Sat., Mar. 22 on $1 Draft Beer Night vs. Newfoundland.

Reading plays seven of the ten games against squads currently in North Division playoff positioning; three against Adirondack, two vs. Newfoundland and two vs. Maine. Only three of Reading's remaining games are on the road, starting Sunday at 3:00 p.m. vs. Adirondack. Sunday completes the Royals' fourth "three-in-three" of the season. The Royals are 6-4-0-0 in the first ten games completed during a three-in-three weekend.

Labelle is back

Fuel forward Olivier Labelle played his first-ever game against the Royals Friday and registered an assist in the Royals' 5-2 win. He is Reading's all-time leading goals (128), games played (296) and PIM (581) leader. Labelle is one of six Royals to score at least 30 goals in a season and Labelle topped 20 markers in each of his five Reading seasons. He is also tied with Yannick Tifu for most postseason goals (16) in Royals history. Labelle is the only Reading player to skate in five Kelly Cup Playoffs with the Royals.

The 33-year-old is in his 13th professional season. He has 198 goals (183 ECHL) and 409 points (370 ECHL) in 580 professional games. The native of St. Eustache, QC has played for 11 professional squads. He signed with Indy this offseason after playing for Bordeaux in France in 2017-18.

Quick Sunday at Adirondack Preview

The Thunder are in 2nd place in the North Division with 72 points, three ahead of Maine for third. Adirondack won, 4-1, over first-place Newfoundland Friday and four Thunder players scored.

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

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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