Preview: Royals Lead Beast by 2 Points for 2nd Place
Brampton, ON - The Reading Royals (27-14-5-0, 59 pts., 2nd North) look to keep sole possession of second place at the Brampton Beast (27-19-3-0, 57 pts., T-3rd North) in the series' final road game Friday at 7:15 p.m.
Reading has won three straight against Brampton, taking a 3-2-0-0 series edge. Watch tonight's game on BCTV (Ch. 15 Comcast, Ch. 19 Service Electric) and listen on mixlr.com/readingroyals, with Royals pregame coverage starting at 7:00 p.m. Friday's game is the first time Reading plays on Valentine's Day since 2017.
The current four-game Royals winning streak matches a long for 2019-20. If the Royals win Friday, it would be the first time the team has won five consecutive since the squad ended 2018-19 on a six-game streak.
Newfoundland leads the division with 71 points with Reading 12 points back of the defending champs. Brampton and Maine are paving the way for the final two North postseason spots, with each owning games in hand over Adirondack (48 pts.).
Reading hosts Worcester Sunday and the Railers (37 pts.) have lost seven straight. Maine visits Newfoundland for four games starting today. Adirondack is making their way through the South Division with weekend games at South Carolina and Jacksonville.
Last time out
The Royals are coming off a 5-3 win vs. Wheeling Saturday in which the squad overcame a two-goal deficit by scoring four straight goals. After allowing the game's first two strikes, Rob Michel scored near the end of the first to give momentum and Reading rattled off three goals in the second period.
Frank DiChiara put the Royals ahead 1:06 after Hayden Hodgson tied the score. DiChiara scored twice and leads the Royals with 31 assists and 47 points.
Corey Mackin saw his career-long 11-game point streak end (18pts.), which was the second longest by a Royals player this season (Ralph Cuddemi, 12). Despite the streak ending, Mackin tops Royals rookies with 17 goals and 34 points. His 17 tallies is the most by an active Reading skater.
Felix SandstrÃ¶m made 25 saves for his second straight win.
A Royals win would...
Increase Reading to a season-long, five-game win streak...Be the fourth straight vs. Brampton...Move Reading back to hockey .500 on the road
Broadcast coverage: Watch on BCTV (Ch. 15 Comcast, Ch. 19 Service Electri) and ECHL.tv | Listen on mixlr.com/readingroyals
Single-game tickets and mini-plans are on sale by visiting royalshockey.com/promotions, calling 610-898-7825 and visiting Santander Arena and The Weidenhammer Box Office at 700 Penn Street, Reading, PA.
Goals: Cuddemi (21)
Assists: DiChiara (31)
Points: DiChiara (47)
PIM: Mitchell (106)
+/-: Knodel (23)
Goals: Vallorani (23)
Assists: Vallorani (31)
Points: Vallorani (54)
PIM: Petgrave (63)
+/-: Leavens (25)
The Beast enter Friday on a three-game point streak (2-0-1-0), all coming from a road series at Maine.
David Vallorani leads Brampton in goals (23g, 4th in league), assists, and points (54 pts., 3rd in league). Vallorani scored in the last series matchup (Dec. 29) on the power play, one of four man-up goals from Brampton vs. Reading this season. The Royals have scored seven times on the man up in five games.
Alex Dubeau holds a 19-11-2-0 record for Brampton with a 3.12 goals against average and a .901 save percentage. He made 31 saves in an overtime loss to the Maine Mariners on Feb. 11 (3 GA), surrendering the deciding goal to Alex Kile. The Beast signed goalie Andrew D'Agostini on Jan. 15.
This is his fourth time with the team since the 2015-16 season. This campaign, he's combined for a 1-4-0-0 record between Brampton, the Toledo Walleye, and the Wheeling Nailers.
The Royals aim for a two-game lead in the season series versus the Beast. Following Friday's game, the teams next match on Marvel Night Feb. 22 at Santander Arena.
Reading leads the series 3-2-0-0, but is 1-2-0-0 at the CAA Centre. Their lone win at Brampton came Dec. 29, when Jeremy Beaudry notched his first Royals multi-goal game and Kirill Ustimenko made 34 saves (2GA) in the 3-2 victory. That win came in the tail end of a three-in-three in which the Royals logged more than 1,600 miles and visited three geographic regions in four days. The teams average5 approximately six goals per meeting.The most combined goals in a single game is nine in Reading's 5-4 victory on Dec. 14.
Matthew Gaudreau leads the Royals against the Beast in assists and points (7a, 8pts). No Royal has scored more than twice. Three Brampton players are tied for the series leads in points; Lindsay Sparks, David Vallorani, and Erik Bradford each have five. Sparks tops the Beast in the series in goals with four in four games.
Corey Mackin leads Royals rookies against the Beast with two goals (4pts). Rookies Rob Michel and Marly Quince both notched their first ECHL goals against Brampton.
Garrett Mitchell, who is on PTO with Rockford, leads the series with 31 PIM. No other player has more than 12 PIM in the series (Petgrave, 12PIM). However, the Beast average 13.2 PIM per game, compared to the Royals 11.6 PIM/game.
Felix SandstrÃ¶m enters the weekend with back-to-back wins and has a record of 1-1-0-0 against Brampton. Ustimenko returns to the ECHL after his first AHL start and win for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Against the Beast this season, Ustimenko is 2-1-0-0 and made 34 saves (2GA) in the Dec. 29 victory over Brampton. He is 18-4-5-0 overall with a 2.48 goals against average and a .916 save percentage.
Last time Reading faced Andrew D'Agostini was on Nov. 29 when he suited up for the Toledo Walleye at Santander Arena. He made 29 saves (3GA) in the 4-2 loss. He has not suited up for the Beast against the Royals this season.
Alex Dubeau has been between the pipes for four of the five games against Reading this season and has gone 1-3-0-0. Dubeau has a 4.07 goals against average and a .870 save percentage against the Royals.
Loving Valentine's Day
Over the past 13 years, the Royals have a record of 6-1-0-0 when playing on Valentine's Day. Of all seven, only one game was decided by one. In the 2017 V-Day shootout at the Adirondack Thunder, then defenseman (and current Asst. Coach) Nick Luukko scored the lone shootout goal to edge out the Thunder, 6-5.
Valentine's Day Scores
2/14/07 @ Cincinnati, 5-3 W
2/14/09 @ Elmira, 4-1 W
2/14/10 v. Wheeling, 5-3 W
2/14/14 @ Wheeling, 4-2 L
2/14/15 @ Elmira, 7-3 W
2/14/16 v. Adirondack, 4-1 W
2/14/17 @ Adirondack, 6-5 W (SO)
On Valentine's Day in 2004, Kent Davyduke tallied a hat trick in the 6-1 victory over the Johnstown Chiefs. No team has scored a hat trick against Reading on the holiday.
Upcoming Home Games: royalshockey.com/promotions
Sun., Feb. 16 at 4:00 p.m. vs. Worcester (Kids Club Game)
Last free postgame skate of the season, presented by Body Zone | $1 Hot Dog, $1 Soda & $1 Nacho Concession Special Pricing | Game Included Kids Club Packages presented by Applebee's, Schuykill Valley Sports and YMCA of Reading and Berks County (Sign Ups Available)
Fri., Feb. 21 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Newfoundland (Trading card giveaway, Flyers alumni at game)
Meet Flyers alumni Brad Marsh, Jim Watson and Riley Cote ahead of the Mar. 28 Royals Alumni vs. Flyers Alumni Game | Trading Card Giveaway presents by Outten | Purple Goes Green Presented by Berks Nature
$1 Frozen Treats | Kid's Report Card: Bring by your report card that has an 'A' on it and earn a free kids ticket for a future game
Sat., Feb. 22 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Brampton (Marvel Night)
Spider-Man Meet-and-Greet | Marvel Poster giveaway for the first 1,000 fans | Girl Scout Night | Abilities in Motion Night | Special Spider-Man Theme Jerseys | One fan has a chance to win four first-class flight tickets and a trip to Universal Studios in Orlando if a Royals player gets a hat trick (pres. by Berkshire Travel)
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ECHL Stories from February 14, 2020
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- Mavs Drop Front End of Weekend Set against Utah, 5-1 - Kansas City Mavericks
- Rays Get Sweet Ending with Valentine's Day Win - South Carolina Stingrays
- Komets Erupt in Third Period to Overpower the Fuel - Indy Fuel
- Tough Love for Gladiators on Valentine's Day - Atlanta Gladiators
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- Lots of Hearts for the Nailers in 5-3 Win - Wheeling Nailers
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- Game Preview: Solar Bears vs. Admirals - Orlando Solar Bears
- Preview: 'Blades Try to Push Home Point Streak to Seven on Friday - Florida Everblades
- John McCarron Signs PTO with AHL's Stockton Heat - Florida Everblades
- Royals Add Beer Fest to Fri., February 21 Game - Reading Royals
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- Preview: Royals Lead Beast by 2 Points for 2nd Place - Reading Royals
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