Royals End Regular Season on Six-Game Win Streak, 5-3, vs. Adirondack
Reading, PA - The Reading Royals ended the 2018-19 regular season on a six-game winning streak and eight-game point streak, their best run ever to end a regular season, taking down the Adirondack Thunder, 5-3, Saturday at Santander Arena. The Royals finished with a 34-28-4-6 record (78 pts., 5th in North) and 5,623 fans watched Reading overcome a 3-1 deficit with four unanswered goals. Making his 11th straight start, Jamie Phillips blocked 26 of 29 shots. He won 27 games this regular season and seven with Reading. Steven Swavely scored twice in his first game back from the AHL's Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
Adirondack scored three goals in the first to take a 3-1 lead into first intermission. Reading charged back with the next three; Brayden Low, Swavely and Tyler Brown (GWG) scored in the first 9:47 of the second.
Adam Schmidt finished with one assist. He, Chris McCarthy and Nick Luukko played in all 72 Royals games this campaign, the first time in Royals history three players on the same team have skated in all regular season contests.
Logan Thompson took the loss with 34 saves (4 GA).
Brian Ward scored twice in the opening 10:27 to put the Royals down, 2-0. First, at 7:34, Ward stuffed home a rebound on a right-point shot attempted by Tommy Parran. Next, Ward started a two-on-two rush up the left-wing side and dropped it across the Royals line to Dylan Walchuk. The rookie forward cut to the slot and shot it off Phillips, leaving another rebound at the top of the crease for Ward. He backhanded it in for his 20th of the season.
Reading got on the board six minutes later and cut Adirondack's edge to 2-1 at 16:34 of the first. Adam Schmidt flipped a shot from the left-wing circle onto cage and it bounced off Thompson to the right dot. Huntebrinker snapped the rebound through Thompson's legs as he outstretched with 3:28 to go in the first.
Walchuk set up Adirondack's third goal of the period. He flicked it to defenseman Desmond Bergin, who beat the Royals with a far-post shot from inside the right circle to make it 3-1 Thunder with 1:26 left in the first. Ward received his third point with the secondary helper. The Royals allowed 11 shots in the final 40 minutes and Phillips stopped them all.
Reading scored the next three, all in the first half of the second frame, to take a 4-3 lead into the third. At :18 of the second, Low unleashed his 15th goal of the season, unassisted, to make it a 3-2 game. Low broke Adirondack's line over the left wing and wristed it in to the top shelf over Thompson at the long post.
Huntebrinker generated his second point to tie the game. Breaking out of the zone, he drove the puck to Swavely and the Reading, PA native scored. Swavely received a seam-pass from Huntebrinker at the Thunder blue line, broke the stripe, came to the bottom right hash mark at the slot and pounded it five-hole for his 13th of the season. Thirty-two seconds later, Brown ripped in his 11th of the season to give Reading its first lead, 4-3. Cutting to the right circle, he cannoned a short-side wrister and popped Thompson's water bottle. Brown scored goals in consecutive games against the Thunder to complete his regular season with 11 tallies.
Swavely bagged his second goal into the empty net with 1:14 to go. Reading out shot Adirondack, 11-4, in the third period.
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