Royals Drown Mariners to Davy Jones' Locker, 6-2
Reading, PA - Corey Mackin scored his first professional goal on his birthday and Jacob Graves scored his first goal with the Reading Royals in a 6-2 victory over the Maine Mariners Friday at Santander Arena. Reading has moved to three points of Maine for the fourth and final playoff spot in the North Division with four games to play.
Mackin's first goal tied the game at one in front of a large crowd of his family and friends on hand. Reading scored six consecutive goals to take a five-goal edge midway through the third. Graves followed Mackin up with his third of the season to provide Reading a 2-1 edge at first break.
Jamie Phillips saved 36 of 38 shots and has secured at least a point for the Royals in the last four games he's played. Chris Nell saved 25 of 31 shots before being pulled 48 minutes into the loss. Both teams killed one penalty each. Francois Brassard saved four shots in relief.
Reading seeks a five-game point streak Saturday at home on Autism Awareness Night vs. Wheeling at 7:00 p.m.
Zeb Knutson struck first for the Mariners 2:15 into the first period. Dillan Fox, who scored one goal and three points in 10 games with the Royals last season, chopped the puck free at the Maine blue line. He slid the puck through center ice to the recently-acquired Knutson who shot it over the blocker of Phillips to make it 1-0.
Corey Mackin scored his first professional goal on his 24th birthday midway through the period to tie the game. Mackin set up in the low right circle while Adam Schmidt controlled the puck below the goal line. Schmidt whipped the puck into the slot, where it hit Johnny Coughlin's skate before landing on Mackin's blade. He promptly slotted it home to tie it, 1-1.
Jacob Graves scored with 1:27 remaining off a crank from the point. Chris McCarthy entered the Mariners' zone on the left wing before dishing the puck up to Graves at the right point. Graves lasered the shot past Chris Nell for his first goal with the Royals since the Philadelphia Flyers acquired him on Jan. 14.
Schmidt scored five minutes into the second period to cushion the Royals' lead, 3-1. Michael Huntebrinker raced to corral the puck in the left hashmark of the Maine zone before spinning it back to the trailer, Frank Hora. Hora wristed it into the Schmidt screen, and it went off Schmidt's stick and the post before bouncing over the line.
Michael Huntebrinker scored his 17th goal of the season to make it 4-1 with 9:24 remaining in the second frame. Huntebrinker wrapped around the net to Nell's left before flinging it into the crease with Alex Roos at the far post. The puck rattled off Nick Master's stick and trickled through Nell's five-hole.
Tyler Brown added on to the Royals' scoring parade six minutes into the third period with his first goal since March 15. Brayden Low kicked the puck from behind the net directly on the stick of Schmidt in the right circle. Schmidt fired the puck to Brown at the left post, and Brown jammed the puck past Nell's right pad on his third try to make it 5-1.
Matt Pohlkamp showed no mercy and swatted a rebound by Nell to make it 6-1. Josh MacDonald fought off Drew Melanson and pushed the puck on goal. Nell kicked it in the direction of Pohlkamp's charge, and he put it home. Nell was subsequently pulled in favor of Francois Brassard.
Fox scored Maine's first goal in 52:26 with a wrist shot from the slot. Phillips came out to challenge Fox, but his shot hit the corner to cut the lead down, 6-2. Fox's goal was his second point of the night.
The Royals will take on the Wheeling Nailers tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. at Santander Arena with a chance to pull even closer to the fourth-place Mariners.
Final Two Home Games of Regular Season
Sat., Mar. 30: Autism Awareness Night with player trading card giveaway at 7:00 p.m. vs. Wheeling, pres. by the Austism Society of Berks and Unending Promise
1) Sensory-friendly game, with subdued atmosphere with music and lighting, plus quiet spaces in the arena
2) Player Trading Card set giveaway and postgame team autographs pres. Rieck's Printing
3) Enter for a chance to win a 2017 Toyota Camry, courtesy of AutoRide of Reading
4) Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania will sell girl scout cookies on your way out of the arena postgame
5) Special Autism Awareness jerseys
6) Four-for-$48 Family Four Pack: four burgers, four sodas, four tickets. Call Royals office for details 610-898-7825.
Sat., Apr. 6: FANdemonium with prize giveaways at 7:00 p.m. vs. Adirondack
1) The Royals will hand out prizes to fans at every stoppage in play!
2) Season Ticket Holder jersey off our backs
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