Game Day: Reading Eyes Weekend Sweep at Manchester
Manchester, NH - The Reading Royals (16-9-2-5, 39 pts., 3rd North), proud ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, are 2-0-0-1 at SNHU Arena and look to continue the trend Saturday at 6:00 p.m. against the Manchester Monarchs (15-15-1-1, 32 pts., 6th North).
Friday, The Royals scored three goals in the last half of the second period and combined to shut out the Norfolk Admirals, 3-0. Callum Booth registered 13 saves (0 GA) through two periods. Andrew D'Agostini replaced Booth for the third period and blocked ten shots.
In the second, Adam Schmidt scored a short-handed goal, Alex Roos struck on a penalty shot and Bo Pieper netted his first professional goal.
Manchester's Cory Ward scored in overtime Friday at Adirondack to knock off the Thunder, 5-4. Travis Walsh scored two goals and three points.
The Royals are next at home on Wed., Jan. 9 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Adirondack, featuring a postgame player autograph session pres. by Rieck's Printing. Tickets are $5 on college night! Visit http://bit.ly/Jan9College and enter a valid college email address to access.
Listen to today's game on the Mixlr App and Mixlr.com/ReadingRoyals, with pregame coverage starting 15 minutes before puck drop.
Pieper on the board
Late in the second period Friday, Bo Pieper scored his first professional goal to give the Royals a 3-0 lead. Pieper has played in ten games with the Royals this season and Friday was his first professional point. The 24-year-old was named the second star of the game for his performance. Tyler Bird recorded his second point while assisting Pieper.
Pieper's last goal was Feb. 2018 vs. Rensselaer while the senior forward was at Quinnipiac. He scored an NCAA single-season best 11 goals in his senior campaign.
Adam Schmidt scored the Royals' second short-handed goal of the season in the second period Friday and it was the game-winning goal. The Royals are now 10-2-1-3 this season when they score the first goal. Prior to Schmidt, Reading's last short-handed strike came vs. Newfoundland in November.
Reading won its eighth straight game against Norfolk and is 19-4-2-0 vs. the Admirals. Norfolk hasn't beat Reading since an overtime win in Mar. 2017. The Royals will travel to Virginia to play Admirals four more times this season.
D'Agostini the closer
Andrew D'Agostini relieved Callum Booth to keep the Friday shutout in tack. Though he did not receive the win, D'Agostini's 10 saves allowed Reading to earn its first shutout since Mar. 28, 2018 vs. Manchester. D'Agostini is 3-0-0-0 with Reading this campaign and has allowed seven goals.
Scouting the Monarchs
Since enduring a season-long five-game losing streak, the Monarchs have rattled off back-to-back, one-goal wins. Six of the last seven Manchester games have been decided by a goal (three wins). The Monarchs are 7-7-1-1 in one-goal contests this season.
Nic Pierog tops Manchester with 14 goals and 24 points. He is one of three Monarchs to hit ten goals this season (Cory Ward and Spencer Watson each have ten). The rookie Pierog, a former Clarkson University captain, has one goal in his last eight games.
In cage, Charles Williams has returned from the AHL and notched consecutive wins. In 12 contests, the second-year professional is 7-4-0-1 with a 2.73 goals against average and .914 save percentage.
Last season series meeting
Chris McCarthy recorded a professional-best five points, Alex Roos scored a career-high four (2g) and Reading never trailed, outgunning the Manchester Monarchs, 5-4, Friday at SNHU Arena. McCarthy's five points were one short of a team record. Callum Booth (4-0-0-0) faced ten shots in the third period and denied them all for a game total of 27 saves.
Danny Tirone (loss, 9 saves, 10 shots) stepped in to start the second period for the Monarchs, replacing Chris Driedger (4 GA, 3 saves).
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