Game Day: Royals End Break, Host 1st-Place Growlers
Reading, PA - The Reading Royals (14-8-2-4, 34 pts., T-2nd North), proud ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, return from the holiday break and start a back-to-back vs. the division-leading Newfoundland Growlers (19-8-1-0, 39 pts., 1st North) Friday at 7:00 p.m. Purchase four purple zone tickets for $15 each. Reading is offering special discounted purple zone tickets (4 for $15 each) to both games this weekend, including APHILLYATION Night Dec. 29 where the Royals will honor their proud affiliation with the Philadelphia Flyers. Call 610-898-7825 to take advantage of the offer.
The Royals have won seven of the last eight games and had a season-long seven-game winning streak snapped at Worcester Dec. 22. In the 5-3 defeat, Reading received a pair of goals from Josh MacDonald, his third multi-goal game of the season. Chris McCarthy and Joe Houk each generated two assists.
Newfoundland had the league's "longest" holiday break, playing their last game Dec. 16 and defeating Brampton, 4-3. Since dropping consecutive games to the Royals Dec. 7-8, the Growlers have won three straight and outscored opponents, 15-8. Newfoundland has scored at least three goals in nine straight games.
Reading is 2-2-1-0 in the 11-game season series.
Listen to today's game on the Mixlr App and Mixlr.com/ReadingRoyals, with pregame coverage starting 15 minutes before puck drop.
Next home games
Saturday, Dec. 29 is APHILLYATION Night, with the Royals honoring their proud affiliation with the Philadelphia Flyers. Get four purple zone tickets for $15 each.
Reading is home to face the Norfolk Admirals for the first time this season on Fri., Jan. 4 at 7:00 p.m.
Assessing McCarthy's dominance
After starting the season with ten points (1g) in his first 20 games, McCarthy has generated six goals and 19 points in the month of December (8 GP).
The Collegeville, PA native's performance over the last eight contests represents the best point run of his professional career. McCarthy has received multiple points in seven of the last eight games; coincidentally, the Royals have won seven of the eight.
For the majority of the month, McCarthy has centered a line with Josh MacDonald and McCarthy has helped MacDonald extend to a team-high 15 goals. This month, MacDonald has six goals and 12 points.
When McCarthy nets a multi-point game, Reading is 29-3-2-0.
Saturday at Worcester, McCarthy skated in his 200th ECHL game (285th career contest) and registered a pair of assists, extending to 174 points (63 goals) in his ECHL career.
Goumas here, Goumas point
Kevin Goumas played in his first ECHL game since May 2016 Saturday at Worcester and the fourth-year professional registered a helper on Jack Riley's go-ahead goal in the third period. Goumas had last played for Reading in the 2016 Kelly Cup Playoffs, when he led the team to the Eastern Conference Semifinals and topped the squad with 15 points (5g) in 14 games. His efforts included a postseason hat trick vs. Toledo in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals that lifted the Royals past the Walleye and into the second round.
After missing last season due to injury, Goumas started this season in Europe and played in two leagues (in Sweden and Austria) before flying back to the Unites States and signing with Reading Dec. 20.
He has played in 17 ECHL regular season games (18 pts.) and 14 Kelly Cup Playoff games. He has recorded at least a point in 20 of those 31 combined games (6 multi-point games, 2 hat tricks). Goumas is one of three Royals to produce a hat trick in the Kelly Cup Playoffs (Brandon Alderson, Olivier Labelle).
Scouting the Growlers
Over the club's three-game winning streak, 11 Growlers have scored goals and 12 have points. Scott Pooley (3g) topped the team with five points as the squad swept Maine in consecutive games Dec. 11-12 and defeated Brampton Dec. 16. Down, 2-0, to Brampton, the Growlers scored four straight goals to up-end the Beast, 4-3. Pooley had three points (1g, 2a) in the win to extend to a team-high 14 goals. Fellow rookies Giorgio Estephan (13g) and Brady Ferguson (12g) are just behind Pooley.
Seven of Newfoundland's top-eight point scorers are in their first professional season.
Newfoundland possesses the top record in the ECHL when scoring first (14-1-1-0). They have come-from-behind to win once vs. the Royals, allowing the first goal Oct. 24 but rallying for the next three strikes.
Mario Culina is 5-0-0-0 on the season (2.20 GAA, .934 sv.%) and has started the last two games. In the first 26 contests, Culina started three games. The normal go-to netminder Michael Garteig is 13-7-1-0 with a 2.82 goals against average and .912 save percentage.
Head-to-head: Royals 2-2-1-0 vs. Growlers
The Royals are the only team to hand Newfoundland consecutive losses this season, which allowed Reading to climb back in the season series after dropping the opening three meetings. In the Dec. 7-8 series, the Royals outscored the Growlers, 12-8.
Fourteen Royals players earned at least a point in the weekend sweep. Steven Swavely (8 pts.), Alex Krushelnyski (7 pts.) and Michael Huntebrinker (7 pts.) are Reading's top scorers in the season series, but all have been called up to Lehigh Valley. Josh MacDonald (3g) and Adam Schmidt (3g) are next in line with five points. Schmidt recorded his first two-goal game of the season Dec. 8 at Newfoundland.
Callum Booth is 2-0-0-0 vs. Newfoundland (8 GA). Newfoundland's Michael Garteig has allowed 16 goals in four games (.867 sv.%). Mario Culina denied 40 of 42 shots in victory Nov. 17 at Reading.
Newfoundland's top season-series scorers are J.J. Piccinich (2g, 4a), Sam Babintsev (4g, 1a) and Zach O'Brien (4g, 1a). The team's top-three scorers (Scott Pooley, Giorgio Estephan, Brady Ferguson) have combined for six points in the five games.
• Discuss this story on the ECHL message board...
ECHL Stories from December 28, 2018
- Steelheads Roll Through Rush with 9-1 Win - Idaho Steelheads
- Solar Bears Blanked by IceMen in 5-0 Decision - Orlando Solar Bears
- Fuel Dispatch First-Place Cyclones for Third Straight Victory - Indy Fuel
- Gardiner's Hat Trick Propels K-Wings Past Nailers - Kalamazoo Wings
- Mavs' Comeback Falls Short in Tulsa - Kansas City Mavericks
- Swamp Rabbits' Comeback Spoiled by 'Blades - Greenville Swamp Rabbits
- Railers Grab a Point in Physical 3-2 Shootout Road Loss in Portland - Worcester Railers HC
- Wings Escape with Late Win, Despite Wheeling Comeback - Wheeling Nailers
- Oilers Snap Skid on Military Appreciation Night - Tulsa Oilers
- Cyclones Point Streak Snapped in Road Loss - Cincinnati Cyclones
- Wild Win-Iecki: Everblades Hold off Swamp Rabbits for Shootout Victory - Florida Everblades
- IceMen Shutout Bears in 5-0 Rout - Jacksonville IceMen
- McNicholas Leads Mariners to Comeback Win over Worcester - Maine Mariners
- Klima's Last Minute Strike Pushes Norfolk Past Rays - South Carolina Stingrays
- Thunder Fly Past Monarchs by 4-2 Final - Adirondack Thunder
- Monarchs Drop Fourth Straight Game in 4-2 Loss to Thunder - Manchester Monarchs
- Admirals Sting Rays as Norfolk Snaps Winless Streak - Norfolk Admirals
- Royals Overwhelm Growlers 4-1 - Newfoundland Growlers
- Royals Corral First-Place Growlers, 4-1 - Reading Royals
- ECHL Transactions - December 28 - ECHL
- Americans and Grizzlies Game Tonight Is Cancelled Due to Travel Issues - Allen Americans
- Grizzlies December 28th Game Rescheduled - Utah Grizzlies
- Josh Anderson Added to Grizzlies Roster - Utah Grizzlies
- Guillaume Naud Added to Fuel Blue Line - Indy Fuel
- Solar Bears Make Adjustment to Promotional Schedule - Orlando Solar Bears
- Gladiators Acquire Rookie Forward from Wichita - Atlanta Gladiators
- ECHL Announces Fines, Suspensions - ECHL
- Cyclones Game Preview: vs. Indy - Cincinnati Cyclones
- Game Preview: Solar Bears at IceMen - Orlando Solar Bears
- Growlers Sign Brad Barone - Newfoundland Growlers
- Nailers at Wings Game Day Snap Shot, December 28 - Wheeling Nailers
- Milwaukee Admirals Sign Desmond Bergin to PTO - Adirondack Thunder
- Nastasiuk, Sheppard Recalled by AHL's Charlotte Checkers - Florida Everblades
- Penguins Recall Kevin Spinozzi - Wheeling Nailers
- OurSports Central's Plays of the Year - OSC Original by Fran Stuchbury
- Game Day: Nailers Come to Town for Middle of Three-In-Three - Kalamazoo Wings
- LaCouvee Loaned to Laval - Maine Mariners
- Game Day: Royals End Break, Host 1st-Place Growlers - Reading Royals
- Tammela Tricks IceMen in 4-3 Solar Bears Win - Orlando Solar Bears
- Quick Start Propels 'Blades to 5-2 Win over Atlanta - Florida Everblades
- Cuddemi, Skinner Pushes Wichita Past Tulsa - Wichita Thunder
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.
Other Recent Reading Royals Stories
- F Chris McCarthy Signs PTO with Hershey Bears
- Season-Ending 18 Skinny Stats for 18 Seasons
- Royals End Regular Season on Six-Game Win Streak, 5-3, vs. Adirondack
- Swavely Returned on Loan Prior to Reading' Saturday Home Finale
- Royals Host Adirondack in Finale Saturday: Need Win + Help to Stay Alive in Playoff Hunt