Game Day: Royals Look to Sweep Season Series at Allen
Allen, TX - The Reading Royals (22-20-3-5, 52 pts., 7th North), proud ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, play the final contest of a five-game season series against the Allen Americans (16-32-4-2, 38 pts., 7th Mountain) Sunday at 5:05 p.m. Reading is 4-0-0-0 against Allen and has outscored Allen, 19-10. Chris McCarthy has factored in with points on ten of those 19 strikes.
The Royals' leading scorer McCarthy generated three points and scored twice in the third period to bomb Allen, 5-3, Saturday at the Allen Events Center. Joe Houk and Josh MacDonald scored first-period tallies to place Reading ahead, 2-0, before Allen scored twice in the third.
Reading's next home game is Wed., Feb. 20 vs. Maine at 7:00 p.m.
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.
Houk and McCarthy go crazy
Joe Houk and Chris McCarthy are Reading's top scorers against the Americans, netting a combined 18 points on Reading's 19 season-series goals against Allen.
Houk scored in the first period and added a helper later to pump to eight points (2g) in the series. McCarthy's two third-period goals moved him to a team-best six goals and ten points against Allen.
Reading has laid it on the Americans in the third period the last two series matchups, scoring six goals. As a team, Allen has given up eight goals the last two third periods. The Americans have allowed a league-worst 69 goals in the third period this season.
Frank's family loves it
With 11 members of his friends and family watching Saturday, Frank DiChiara scored his third game-winning strike of the season to knock down Allen, 5-3. DiChiara has tagged in 14 goals this campaign and his goal Saturday snapped five straight without a goal.
The Royals are in the midst of their second-ever trip to Texas and last ventured down to the Lone Star State to play the Texas Wildcatters Jan. 1-2, 2005. The Royals outscored the Wildcatters, 9-4, over the two games and goaltender Matt Yeats won both games for Reading.
Reading went 4-0-0-0 against the Wildcatters and also took both games at Santander Arena. Prior to this season, the Royals last played a team from Texas since Feb. 16, 2008. The Royals defeated the Wildcatters, 4-1, as Jonathan Quick blocked 33 shots (1 GA) in victory. Quick defeated former Royals goaltender Jeff Petresiak, who had played six games for Reading earlier that season.
The Wildcatters played in the ECHL from 2003-08 before relocating to Ontario, CA to become the Reign. In 2015, the Los Angeles Kings relocated their ECHL affiliate to Manchester, NH.
Sunday fun day
The Royals are 4-0-0-0 on Sundays this season and have outscored opponents, 22-9, when finishing up the weekend. Reading has scored at least five goals in each of the Sunday wins and all of them have been at Santander Arena. The Royals play nine Sunday games this season.
The last win was 6-1 vs. Manchester on Super Bowl Sunday, which was Reading's most-lopsided victory of the season.
Chris McCarthy (3g, 4a), Joe Houk (1g, 6a), Adam Schmidt (3g, 2a) and Nick Luukko (4a) have been Reading's most-prolific offensive performers on Sundays. McCarthy and Schmidt have registered at least a point in all four games.
Allen is 1-3-1-1 on Sundays, winning their only game at Wichita Jan. 13. The Americans have three more Sunday games remaining this season after this bout.
Once 18 games below hockey .500, the Americans have strung together a 9-7-4-0 run since Dec. 30 that has included wins against five Mountain division opponents. Zach Pochiro, Spencer Asuchak and Riley Bourbonnais each have two game-winning goals over the uptick.
Goaltender CJ Motte helped by going 8-4-4-0 over the last six weeks, but he has been recalled to AHL Iowa.
Zach Pochiro is best on the Americans with 26 goals and 46 points.
Following the mid-December weekend set in Reading, the Americans ranked worst in the league allowing 4.0 goals a game. Since Dec. 17, Allen has given up 3.0 goals a game.
Win one way or the other
The Royals have made the playoffs in nine straight seasons and the Americans have qualified in all four of their ECHL seasons, though the team's penalty habits sharply contrast. Allen has led the ECHL in PIM in three of their first four ECHL seasons. By contrast, Reading's penalty minutes have decreased each of the last four seasons and the Royals have taken the fewest in each of the last two seasons.
As a result of Reading's discipline, the club has been short-handed 339 fewer times than Allen since the Americans joined the ECHL. Additionally, the Royals have given up 50 fewer power-play markers.
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