Game Day: Royals at Allen Looking for Fourth Series Win
Allen, TX - The Reading Royals (21-20-3-5, 50 pts., 7th North), proud ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, visit the Allen Americans (16-31-4-2, 38 pts., 7th Mountain) for the first time in Reading history Saturday at 8:05 p.m. The Royals are 3-0-0-0 against the Americans this season and Reading swept a weekend series vs. Allen Dec. 14-16.
In Reading's last game Wednesday at Wheeling, forward Tyler Brown scored to tie the game at two in the opening minute of the third period, but the Nailers scored three in the final frame to best the Royals, 5-2. Chris McCarthy also scored for Reading.
Allen hosted Worcester Friday and the Americans gave up five goals in the third period to fall, 6-2.
Reading's next home game is Wed., Feb. 20 vs. Maine at 7:00 p.m. Reading and Allen meet Sunday at 5:05 p.m. to complete a three-game road trip.
Next Home Games
Wed., Feb. 20: Player Cards and Player Autograph session vs. Maine at 7:00 p.m.
Postgame player autograph session and player card giveaway, pres. by Rieck's Printing
Sun., Feb. 24 at 4:00 p.m.: Faith and Family Night + Battle of the Badges with a Berks Schuylkill Oil Heat Puck Giveaway vs. Adirondack
1) Pregame Battle of the Badges for the FirstStates Cup game (Allentown police and fire vs. Reading police and fire departments)
2) Royals will give away a Berks Schuylkill Oil Heat Puck.
3) Faith & Family Night
Group tickets start at $11 for all Royals home games.
Listen to today's game at mixlr.com/readingroyals or watch on ECHL.tv. Coverage starts 15 minutes before puck drop.
This is 50
Saturday is Reading's 50th contest of the season and a win Saturday will give the Royals seven straight seasons above hockey .500 at the 50-game mark. The last time the Royals were below or at .500 through 50 games was 2011-12 when the club qualified for the playoffs on the last day of the regular season.
2018-19 is the 14th time the Royals have had winning record through 50 games. The Royals are in their 18th ECHL existence.
Back and ready to bounce
Josh MacDonald has been sent down from AHL Lehigh Valley, giving the Royals their top goal-scoring threat back. MacDonald boasts a team-best 18 goals and ranks third on the team with 31 points.
In his last three ECHL games, the London, ON native has bopped in two goals and four points. He last played for Reading Jan. 19 vs. Wheeling and scored one goal and two points. With the Phantoms, he played in his first eight AHL games.
Reading is 9-5-0-1 in games he has scored this season. He tops the Royals with three multi-goal games and has often been featured playing alongside center Chris McCarthy.
McCarthy scored Wednesday in Wheeling and leads the Royals with 51 points.
Brown Bear rolling
Tyler Brown has scored in consecutive games and tied Wednesday's contest in Wheeling with a third-period goal in in the Royals' 5-2 loss. The strike was his 50th goal of his professional goal (25 in ECHL). An eighth-year professional out of Wasaga Beach, ON, Brown has scored all four of his goals since Jan. 19. Two have been against Wheeling.
Last season, Brown scored five goals and 14 points, the most goals he's had in a season since 2014-15.
The 29-year-old has played five seasons within the Flyers organization. From 2011-14, Brown played for the Adirondack Phantoms (AHL). Next, he moved on to the Rangers organization from 2014-17, scoring a career-best 19 goals combined between Greenville and Hartford (AHL) in 2014-15. In 2015, he helped the Hartford Wolf Pack qualify for the AHL's Eastern Conference Finals.
Now an alternate captain and player-assistant coach, Brown has qualified for the playoffs in three of his last four professional campaigns.
Allen scoring leaders
Goals: Zach Pochiro (26), Spencer Asuchak (15), Braylon Shmyr (14)
Assists: Dante Salituro (25), Adam Miller (23), Alex Breton (22)
Points: Zach Pochiro (46), 3 w/ 36 pts.
Head to Head
The Royals are 3-0-0-0 against Allen this season and outscored the Americans, 14-7, in the previous meetings Dec. 14-16 at Santander Arena. Andrew D'Agostini won all three games, his first three with the club. Two days after his weekend sweep, he was named The Best Hockey Player in the World of the Week by ESPN.com
In the first meeting, the Americans took 30 PIM and the Royals went 3-for-10 on the power play to beat Allen, 5-3. Coincidentally, the contest's only even-strength goal from Charlie Vasaturo proved to be the game-winning strike.
Dec. 15, Chris McCarthy took over in the third with two points to direct Reading to a 4-2 win. Early in the final frame, McCarthy laid a beautiful slap pass to Luukko at the right post to give the Royals the lead. With eight minutes to go and the Royals up by one, McCarthy scored a put-away goal with help from Josh MacDonald and Luukko.
McCarthy leads all players with four goals and seven points in the series.
In the final matchup, Joe Houk tied a Royals single-game defenseman record with four assists and D'Agostini steered away 31 shots to guide Reading to a 5-2 win. The Americans took 30 PIM again.
Reading's power play is 5-for-21 against the Americans. The Royals have yielded four man-up goals on nine Allen opportunities.
Zach Pochiro tops the Americans with three goals and five points vs. Reading.
Over the three games, the Royals took 22 PIM, while Allen received 70. Americans players received a pair of ten-minute misconducts, one four-minute double minor and one match penalty.
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