Huntebrinker's Hat Trick Hammers Growlers, 7-5
St. John's, NL - Michael Huntebrinker completed a hat trick at 7:38 of the third period and tied a career high with four points, slamming the Newfoundland Growlers, 7-5, Friday at Mile One Centre. Huntebrinker is the sixth Royals player to record multiple hat tricks.
The second-year forward provided the Royals the lead for good with his second of the game in the final three minutes of the middle period. It was Reading's fourth lead of the game. Huntebrinker then potted the hat trick goal, shooting it at the slot off a Newfoundland defender and in at the right post to provide Reading a 6-4 advantage.
The Growlers fought back to tie the contest three times.
Alex Krushelnyski (1g, 2a), Josh MacDonald (1g, 2a) and Nick Luukko (2a) poured in multi-point games.
Reading held a pair of leads in the first period, but Newfoundland responded twice to tie and took a 3-2 edge after one. Reading's Scott Dornbrock scored his first professional goal and Huntebrinker tallied at even strength, his fifth straight game with a goal.
Callum Booth moved to 2-0-0-0 with Reading, blocking 26 shots. Michael Garteig allowed seven goals on 26 shots.
The Royals and Growlers rematch on Sat., Dec. 8 at 5:30 p.m. EST.
Reading returns home to host the Allen Americans for the Weekend of Giving Fri., Dec. 14 - Sun., Dec. 16. The Weekend of Giving features games at Santander Arena on three straight days, pres. by the Salvation Army and Met-Ed.
The Weekend of Giving features a clothing drive, toy drive and food drive, plus the team's annual Teddy Bear Toss Sat., Dec. 15 at 7:00 p.m.
with all proceeds on $5 tickets going back to the local Salvation Army on Community Night. The money raised and good donated with stay locally in Reading and Berks County.
Reading's Dornbrock started the scoring with a 5-on-3 power-play goal at 3:58 of the first. Krushelnyski tossed it from the right goal line to Dornbrock at the slot. He took two quick strides and unleashed a slot shot that beat Garteig halfway up the left post.
With 10:36 left in the first, Ryan Moore tied it after a tricky bounce fooled Booth. Moore nubbed it over Booth's left shoulder. Huntebrinker responded 1:03 later, restoring Reading's lead, 2-1. Josh MacDonald drove the right circle and fed in front to Huntebrinker for his eighth goal and 20th point of the season. Growlers forward J.J. Piccinich (PPG, 12:00 | 16:16) scored the next two goals to give Newfoundland a 3-2 lead by the end of the first period.
In the second period, Krushelnyski (3:31) and Adam Schmidt (6:04) scored early to give Reading the edge back, 4-3. First, Krushelnyski saw linemate Steven Swavely tip the puck to him off the face-off. Patiently, Krushelnyski drove the slot and back handed it over Garteig's outstretched arm. Schmidt flew by the defender marking him up the right wing. With a burst of speed, the fifth-year professional netted his fifth of the season.
Sam Babintsev tied the contest at four with 8:16 left before Huntebrinker restored Reading's edge, 5-4.
Huntebrinker and MacDonald factored in on the Royals strikes in the third. MacDonald's insurance goal came with 10:33 remaining. He struck one minute after Josh Kestner scored for Newfoundland to pull the Growlers within one, 6-5. MacDonald walked in to the puck at the left circle and bombed a slap shot past Garteig at the left post. Huntebrinker assisted with a feed from the left-wing half wall.
Need to Know: Weekend of Giving events vs. Allen Americans
Fri., Dec. 14 at 7:00 p.m.: Clothing Drive, 4-for-48 Family Pack (4 tickets, 4 burgers, 4 sodas for $48)
Sat., Dec. 15 at 7:00 p.m.: Community Night with $5 tickets (all proceeds to Salvation Army), Teddy Bear Toss, Food Drive, Holiday Ornament Giveaway to the first 2,000 fans, Royals will wear Ugly Christmas Sweater jerseys
Sun., Dec. 16 at 5:00 p.m.: Toy Drive at Santander Arena, plus have a personal meet-and-greet with SpongeBob SquarePants with the Royals SpongeBob VIP Package as he visits Santander Arena. The Royals will wear SpongeBob jerseys and Allen will wear Patrick Star jerseys.
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