Royals clinch Northern Division title, home ice to start playoffs
The Reading Royals continued their hot play to start the week. The Royals returned to the ice after clinching a playoff spot the prior Sunday, riding the momentum from that victory into their Tuesday evening contest against Peoria. Cody Rudkowsky and Reading beat Peoria for the second time in three days as the Willingdon, Alberta native made 31 saves to collect the 2-0 shutout win. Barry Brust returned to the pipes on Thursday to post his team-leading 27th win this season. Graig Mischler collected his second straight game winner and his team-leading sixth of the season as Reading beat Toledo 2-1 in regulation. Mike Sandbeck also scored for Reading, as the Royals tied a team record with 25 home wins in the regular season. The Royals traveled to Atlantic City for maybe their final visit ever to Boardwalk Hall. The Bullies held on to beat Reading 3-2 in regulation despite a late power-play goal by Reagan Rome and a flurry by Reading with the goaltender pulled. Bullies netminder, Trevor Koenig saved the day for Atlantic City with key saves to close out the Royals.
Reading opens up Kelly Cup Playoff action this Thursday, April 14 and Saturday, April 16 at 7:05 p.m. in the Sovereign Center in Reading, Pennsylvania. The first 3,000 fans on Thursday receive a Royals team poster courtesy of the Reading Eagle Press. On Saturday, game two of the North Division semifinals, the first 3,000 fans will receive a Riecks Printing Royals Kelly Cup rally card. Reading as the #1-seed hosts #4-seed Toledo in games one and two, while games three and four (if applicable) will be in the Sports Arena in Toledo. Game five (if necessary) will take place in the Sovereign Center in Reading on Wednesday, April 20.
North Division Semifinals: #1 Reading vs. #4 Toledo (Best-of-Five Series)
Game 1: Thursday, April 14 at Sovereign Center in Reading 7:05 p.m.
Game 2: Saturday, April 16 at Sovereign Center in Reading 7:05 p.m.
Game 3: Sunday, April 17 at Sports Arena in Toledo 6:05 p.m.
Game 4: Tuesday, April 19 at Sports Arena in Toledo 7:05 p.m. *
Game 5: Wednesday, April 20 at Sovereign Center in Reading 7:05 p.m. *
* (if necessary)
Tuesday, April 5 vs. Peoria Sovereign Center 7:05PM ET
GAME NOTES: The Reading Royals stayed perfect at home against Peoria this season with their 2-0 shutout win over the Rivermen. Cody Rudkowsky stopped 31 shots to earn his third shutout of the season. Graig Mischler recorded the game winner, while David Masse registered a point (1a) in his eighth straight game. Reading improved to 6-2-0 against Peoria this season.
Thursday, April 7 vs. Toledo Sovereign Center 7:05PM ET
GAME NOTES: Reading closed out the regular season at home by beating Toledo 2-1 in the Sovereign Center. Graig Mischler scored the game winner for the second straight game in the second period. Barry Brust remained unbeaten in the Sovereign Center in his last 15 starts (13-0-2) dating back to January 7.
Friday, April 8 @ Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall 7:05PM ET
GAME NOTES: The Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies got revenge against Reading from a week ago with their 3-2 regulation win in Boardwalk Hall. The Royals posted a 1-2-2 record in Boardwalk Hall and a 3-4-3 overall mark against the Bullies. Preston Mizzi (SH) and Reagan Rome (PP) accounted for the Royals markers in a losing effort.
Saturday, April 9 @ Wheeling Sovereign Center 7:30PM ET
GAME NOTES: For the sixth time in the ten game regular season series a goaltender stole the show. Joe Exter stopped 32 shots to post the sixth shutout in the Royals-Nailers series. Each team recorded three shutouts this season. Evgeny Lazarev posted the game winner, while Stefan Brannare added the other Nailer tally.
THIS WEEK Thursday, April 14 vs. Toledo Game 1 (best of Five) Sovereign Center 7:05PM ET
GAME NOTES: Game one of the best-of-five series takes place in the Sovereign Center in Reading. The Royals have enjoyed home ice through the regular season series winning four times in five tries. Overall, the Royals hold a 6-2-1 mark against the Storm.
Saturday, April 15 vs. Toledo Game 2 (best of Five) Sovereign Center 7:05PM ET
GAME NOTES: Graig Mischler has paced all scorers in the regular season series. The Holbrook, New York native has three goals and 11 points in five appearances against Toledo along with two game winners. Eric Fortier has appeared in all nine games versus Toledo and has posted four goals and eight points with two game winners, as well.
Sunday, April 16 @ Toledo Game 3 (best of Five) Sports Arena 6:05PM ET
GAME NOTES: The Storm have been led by forward Scooter Smith who has six assists for six points against Reading. Royals goaltender Barry Brust has posted a 5-1-1 record versus Toledo with a 1.42 goals against average and a .942 save percentage.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Quick Stats Leading Scorers Leading Goaltenders
Overall Record: 43-22-7 Graig Mischler 12-51=63 Barry Brust 1.96 GAA, 27-9-4
Home Record: 25-8-3 Eric Fortier 23-27=50 C. Rudkowsky 2.17 GAA, 8-11-1
Road Record: 18-14-4 Cail MacLean 23-19=42
Overtime Record: 1-2 Jon Francisco 19-21=40
Shootout Record: 4-5 Preston Mizzi 19-21=40
Penalty Kill: 262/312 84% (12) Plus/Minus Leaders
Power Play: 71/389 18.3% (7) Jeff Miles +16
Jon Francisco +16
Most goals: Eric Fortier & Cail MacLean (23) Adam Borzecki +16
Most assists: Graig Mischler (51)
Most Points: Graig Mischler (63)
Most power play goals: Cail MacLean (15)
Most power play assists: Graig Mischler (26)
Most power play points: Graig Mischler (29)
Most shorthanded goals: Judd Medak (3)
Most Game winners: Graig Mischler (6)
Most Wins: Barry Brust (27)
Most PIMs: Reagan Rome (140)
ECHL GOALTENDER OF THE WEEK NOMINEE:
#33 BARRY BRUST 1GP RECORD: 1-0-0 GAA: 1.01 SPCT: .950% TEAM RECORD: 2-2-0
Brust remained unbeaten at home in 15 tries in his only start this week. The Swan River, Manitoba native recorded his fourth straight win and his 13th win in 15 tries at home (13-0-2) since January 7. Brust stopped 19 of 20 shots in the Royals 2-1 win over Toledo in Readings final regular season home game on April 7.
BARRY BRUST 62 215LBS HOMETOWN: SWAN RIVER, MB DOB: 8-8-83
LAST YEAR: SPOKANE/ CALGARY (WHL) AMATEUR CLUB: SPOKANE/ CALGARY (WHL)
DRAFT STATUS: 2002 MINNESOTA 3RD ROUND (73rd)
ECHL PLAYER OF THE WEEK NOMINEE:
#15 GRAIG MISCHLER 3GP TEAM RECORD: 2-2-0 STATS: (2-1=3) +1, 2GW
Mischler scored back-to-back game winners in the Royals two wins this week. The Holbrook, New York native notched game winners on Tuesday in Readings 2-1 win over Peoria followed by Thursdays game-deciding goal in Readings 2-1 win over Toledo on Thursday. Mischler finished with one assist in the Royals 3-2 loss verus Atlantic City on Friday.
GRAIG MISCHLER 63 215LBS HOMETOWN: HOLBROOK, NY DOB: 9-15-78
LAST YEAR: READING (ECHL) AMATEUR CLUB: NORTHEASTERN (HE)
DRAFT STATUS: 1998 VANCOUVER 8TH ROUND (204th)
IN THE COMMUNITY: Royals Weekly live from the Classic Café, off Route 183 in Bern Township, tonight. Captain #12 Cail MacLean and #22 Larry Courville will be our special guests. Coach Derek Clancey will join us as well. Royals Weekly airs live on ESPN radio, 1240AM and via the Royals website at www.royalshockey.com every Monday at 6:00 p.m. during the season.
· Readings 71 power play goals for was tops in the ECHL and the Royals were the only team to post at least 70 power-play goals in the regular season
· The Royals rank #1 in GA (2.28) and T7th in GF (3.15) and 2nd in SA (27.90) and 12th in SF (32.12)
· Reading finished first in shorthanded goals (16) in the ECHL
· The Royals rank #1 in goals against (161) and are second in shots against (2,006) this season
· 18 different Royals (12 on the active roster) have scored game winners this season
· Reading tied a team high with 25 wins at home and set a new club record with 18 wins on the road
· #10 David Masse has scored in ten straight games (5-9=14) and assisted in six-straight games (7a) including two game-winning goals (3/22/05 present)
· #13 Jon Francisco was the only Royal to appear in all 72 games this season
· #15 Graig Mischler scored in three straight games and posted two game winners this week (4/5/05 4/8/05) (2g, 1a, 2GW) leads the team in game-winning goals with six this season
· #33 Goaltender Barry Brust is unbeaten in 15 straight homes games (1/7/05 present)...13-0-2 with a 1.40 GAA, .944 save percentage (2/12/05 3/26/05) - Was unbeaten for a season-high 12 straight games 10-0-2 with a 1.31 GAA, .950 save percentage Brust is riding a four-game win streak (4/1/05 present)
4/06/2005 Add ROB HISEY (F) signed contract
4/08/2005 Add BEAU GEISLER (D) assigned by Manchester (AHL)
4/08/2005 Delete TROY MILAM (D) placed on 7-day IR
4/08/2005 Delete ROB HISEY (C) placed on 7-day IR
4/08/2005 Delete PAT OLEARY (F) transferred from 7-day to 30-day IR
4/08/2005 Delete TROY MILAM (D) recalled to Manchester (AHL)
4/09/2005 Delete DAVID MASSE (LW) recalled to Hershey (AHL)
TICKETS AND INFORMATION: The Sovereign Center Box Office is open from 10:00 a.m. 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. The Sovereign Center Box Office is located on the corner of 7th and Penn Streets in downtown Reading. Individual tickets can be purchased at the Sovereign Center Box Office or at any TicketMaster location. To order tickets by phone, call 215-336-2000. If you would like to save money and bring a group of 20-or-more to a game call the Royals hockey headquarters at 610-898-7825 and ask for a ticket representative.
ROYALS ON THE AIRWAVES: All Reading Royals games, home and away, are broadcast on ESPN Radio, 1240AM and on the Royals website at www.royalshockey.com via Sportsjuice and B2 Networks. Join the voice of the Royals, John Curtis for all the play-by-play action. The Classic Café pregame show comes your way approximately 30 minutes before the drop of the puck on the Royals Radio Network presented by Casa Grande Ristorante.
ROYALS ITINERARY: All times subject to change
Monday 10:00 11:00 a.m. practice at the Sovereign Center
Tuesday 10:00 11:00 a.m. practice at the Sovereign Center
Wednesday 10:00 11:00 a.m. practice at the Sovereign Center
Thursday 10:00 11:00 a.m. morning skate; Reading vs. Toledo 7:05 p.m.
Friday 10:00 11:00 a.m. practice at the Sovereign Center
Saturday 10:00 11:00 a.m. morning skate; Reading vs. Toledo 7:05 p.m.; depart for Toledo after game
Sunday Reading @ Toledo 6:05 p.m.
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