Royals and Railers Tangle for Sunday-Monday Set
Reading, PA - The Reading Royals (21-13-4-0, 46 pts., 3rd North) host Dollar Deal Day with $1 kids tickets, $1 hot dogs, $1 sodas and $1 nachos vs. the Worcester Railers (15-22-2-0, 32 pts., 6th North) Sunday at 4:00 p.m. The Monday MLK Day game at 1:00 p.m. continues the family-friendly fun; the first 1,000 kids in attendance receive a free youth jersey. Parking Monday is also free, courtesy of the RPA.
Reading has won three home games this month, most recently doubling up the Thunder, 4-2, with a game-winning strike in the third from Garret Cockerill. Kirill Ustimenko is expected to get the start Sunday. He made 23 saves for his 14th professional win Friday. The netminder has won three straight overall, which have all come at home.
Today's promotions ($1 Deal Day): $1 Hot Dogs, $1 Nachos, $1 Sodas | $2 Kids Tickets (12 and younger) | 1 free Applebee's Meal and free kids ticket if you present a report card with an "A" grade on it
Broadcast coverage: Listen on the Deibler Dental In-Arena Broadcast at 99.3 FM and on Mixlr.com/readingroyals. Watch on ECHL.tv.
Reading has two games left before the ECHL All-Star Break.
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.
The Royals (3-0-0-0) are undefeated in Sunday home games this season, outscoring opponents, 13-6.
Reading hosts Worcester for the first Sunday contest at Santander Arena since Nov. 24, a 7-2 win against Newfoundland behind a four-goal outburst from Ralph Cuddemi. Now in AHL Laval, Cuddemi leads Reading at home with seven goals on Sundays, including the lone tally in a 1-0 win against Adirondack on Nov. 3. DiChiara and defenseman Eric Knodel (now in AHL Lehigh Valley) each have one goal and three assists in three Sunday home contests.
Matthew Gaudreau recorded three assists in Reading's 5-4 victory against Maine on Oct. 20 as goalie Kirill Ustimenko won his only Sunday home start.
Ustimenko owns a 10-1-1-0 home record, with a 2.48 goals against average at Santander Arena. He needs six more homes wins to tie Cody Rudkowsky (16, 2003-04) for the most home wins in a single season by a Royals goaltender.
Mackin scores twice
Corey Mackin scored his second career multi-goal game by potting the empty-netter in the win over Adirondack Friday. The rookie tops active skaters with 13 goals and has added nine assists.
Over the last two weeks, two of his goals have come at net front via the backhander, including the game-winning strike Jan. 7 vs. Maine and Friday to add insurance.
On the goal Friday, Royals active leading points scorer Frank DiChiara no-looked a pass to Mackin at the left post and Mackin tipped it through Eamon McAdam.
The Philadelphia native had seven multi-goal games in his four-year collegiate career at Ferris State.
6 weeks without the Canadian sniper
A month and a half ago, Ralph Cuddemi signed a professional try-out contract with AHL Laval, leaving the Royals without the league's leading scorer (21g in 25 GP). He had scored 24.1% of Reading's 87 goals to that point of the season, setting the pace for the fastest goal-scoring start to a Reading season through 25 games.
Reading is 8-5-0-0 since he Cuddemi earned the PTO and active leading goal scorer Corey Mackin (13g) is one of 16 Royals that have scored in his absence. Mackin paces Reading with six goals over the last six weeks. Thirteen Royals have multiple goals in that span, with Steven Swavely (5g) and Trevor Gooch (4g) behind Mackin's pace. For comparison, Reading had 19 player find twine in the first two months of the season while Cuddemi was in Reading.
Over the last six weeks, the Royals have kept relatively consistent goal scoring numbers, tallying 43 goals in 13 contests (3.3 GF/game).
The team's shooting percentage has stayed about the same as well, dropping a tenth of a percentage point to 10.3% overall. Cuddemi was shooting 19.6%, compared to the rest of the team's 9.1%.
DiChiara stings former team
Frank DiChiara leads the Royals with three goals and five points against the Railers this season, including a two-goal performance against his former team in a 5-3 loss at Worcester on Jan. 12.
His two-goal performance was just the second of his three-year ECHL career, with the first coming late in his rookie season (2017-18) with Worcester.
After playing 62 games with the Railers, DiChiara has amassed nine points 11 games against the Railers in two seasons with Reading.
DiChiara (12g, 26a) is five points away from capturing his career high, topping his 2018-19 total of 42 points in 71 games with the Royals.
Upcoming Home Games: royalshockey.com/promotions
Mon., Jan. 20 at 1:00 p.m. vs. Worcester (Kids Jersey Giveaway | MLK Day): First 1,000 kids receive a kids jersey | Free Parking from Reading Parking Authority | Kids are off from school on MLK Day | 1 kids ticket, 1 guaranteed kids jersey, 1 hat, 1 Applebee's kids meal ($15) | Kids Club Game| Postgame team meet-and-greet on the ice
Fri., Jan. 24 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Newfoundland (Meet Greater Reading Night): First 1,000 fans will get a free koozie compliments of the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance | Barber Appreciation Night | Meet Greater Reading Night at the Reading Royals presented by Greater Reading Chamber Alliance | Free Souvenir Cup Refills | Postgame Party with players at Cheers! Restaurant at the DoubleTree Hotel
Sat., Jan. 25 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Newfoundland (Pediatric Cancer Awareness)
Raising Pediatric Cancer Awareness | Survivor Walk on Ice | I Fight For Wall | Postgame Autographs | Team Photo Night | $1 Cotton Candy Tub
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