Royals Have Brunch Battle at Wheeling
Wheeling, WV - The Reading Royals (36-17-5-1, 78 pts., 2nd North) play in their fourth city over the last five days Tuesday at 10:45 a.m., completing an interstate-highway-oriented week at the Wheeling Nailers (24-29-5-0, 53 pts., 6th Central). The Royals are 2-1-0-0 through the first three games and 5-1-0-1 since Feb. 26.
This morning game marks the earliest the Royals have faced Wheeling in team history with a playoff spot already wrapped up. Reading clinched a berth Saturday at Worcester.
The teams last met at Wesbanco Arena on Feb. 19 and Reading doubled the Nailers, 6-3.
It's the final road game of the week for Reading; the club hosts Norfolk Mar. 13-14 and the Royals will play first-place Newfoundland in a week at Mile One Centre on back-to-back dates.
Newfoundland occupies the top spot in the North with 83 points, five ahead of Reading. Brampton (71) and Maine (68) follow. 2020 Kelly Cup Playoff tickets start at just $13 ($10 for kids) and call âª610-898-7825 for more details.
The Royals last played Sunday vs. Brampton and Matthew Strome scored in a 3-1 loss. The contest was scoreless headed to the third and Brampton scored the first two goals. Strome's ninth of the season pulled Reading within one on the team's 21st shot at 18:35 of the third, but Jamie Phillips did not see another and earned the victory. Cam Bakker potted the empty-net strike in the final minute to stop Reading from tying the game.
The Nailers have fallen to last in the Central Division over the current 1-9-0-0 span in which the squad has been outscored, 41-18. This cold stretch started with the loss vs. Reading Feb. 19. Wheeling is on a season-worst, six-game losing streak and is allowing 4.8 goals per game in the six (10 GF, 29 GA).
Reading is home for the first-ever "Green Ice Weekend" Mar. 13-14 with multiple chances to win luxury prizes ($10,000 Friday, Jeep Compass Limited Saturday pres. by Savage Auto Group) if a fan can guess which Royals player will record a hat trick. Reading will wear special theme jerseys on both nights. Grab $1 green beers and $1 domestics on Friday and giveaways both nights (Deibler Dental Coaster on Friday, BSOHA Puck on Saturday).
Broadcast Coverage: Watch on BCTV (Ch. 15 Comcast, Ch. 19 Service Electric) and ECHL.tv. Listen on mixlr.com/readingroyals.
Goals: DiChiara (22)
Assists: DiChiara (37)
Points: DiChiara (59)
PIM: Mitchell (106)
+/-: Knodel (26)
Goals: Cam Brown (18)
Assists: Cam Brown (23)
Points: Cam Brown (41)
PIM: Holmstrom (49)
+/-: Johnson (6)
Head-to-head season-series leaders
Royals goals - Low (4) | Nailers goals - Scarfo (3) |
Royals assists - Swavely (7) | Nailers assists - Powell (4)
Royals points - Swavely (9) | Nailers points - Scarfo/Powell (5)
Royals PIM - Low (8) | Nailers PIM - Butcher (12)
Royals +/- - Knodel (8) | Nailers +/- - Scarfo (3)
Despite the historic rivalry between the teams, the Royals and Nailers exchanged blueliners the day before the ECHL trade deadline; Aaron Titcomb joined Reading in exchange for Jeremy Beaudry. Titcomb has played three games with Reading and the team is 2-1-0-0 with the 6-foot-4, 210-lb., right-handed shot in the lineup. The native of Charlestown, MA had somewhat of a homecoming weekend following the trade, playing in New England against Maine and Worcester before his first Royals home game Sunday against Brampton.
Titcomb played at Santander Arena six times while with Wheeling.
Beaudry has yet to register a point with the Nailers in three games, all defeats. He scored 20 points (4g) in 39 games with Reading.
Morning men of 2019-20
The Royals are 2-0-0-0 in games contested before noon this season, last defeating Maine on Jan. 7, 2-1, in Reading's first-ever Education Day Game. Matthew Gaudreau and Corey Mackin scored for Reading.
In the team's first morning game, Ralph Cuddemi scored twice, Frank DiChiara had two points and the Royals never trailed in a 6-4 win at Worcester Nov. 13.
Reading is in its 19th ECHL season and has faced Wheeling every campaign since 2001-02. Reading owns an all-time advantage of 105-65-17. The Royals are 5-2-0-0 against Wheeling this season and Reading has won the last five games.
The Royals and Wheeling each have 46 wins in games contested in West Virginia.
With two games to go in the series, Reading has already clinched a season-series "win" by taking five of the opening seven games. Tuesday's game marks the fourth trip of the season to Wesbanco Arena, where Reading has played the most (92 games in West Virginia) of any ECHL venue in the Royals' 19-season history.
Reading is 1-2-0-0 at Wesbanco Arena this campaign.
The Royals rolled to a 6-3 win in the last series matchup Feb. 19 in Wheeling; Brayden Low scored two points and six Royals potted markers.
Currently riding a five-game head-to-head winning streak, Reading has used balance to its advantage; 11 Royals have scored against Wheeling this season. Steven Swavely has nine points (2g) to lead all.
Felix SandstrÃ¶m has a 2-1-0-0 mark against the Nailers (3.03 goals against average and .890 save percentage). Tom McCollum has not faced the Nailers while with Reading. Alex D'Orio has dropped the last two matchups against Reading (2.79 GAA, .914 sv.%). Emil Larmi and Jordan Ruby have given up ten goals in their three combined losses to Reading (0-2-1-0).
Upcoming Home Games: royalshockey.com/promotions
Fri., Mar. 13 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Norfolk (Mental Health Awareness Night)
If a Royals player records a hat trick at the game, one fan will win $10,000 | Special Theme Jersey | Green Ice for the First Time in Royals History | Mental Health Awareness Night | College ID Night: $5 tickets with valid college ID at box office| $1 Green Beer and $1 Domestic Beers | Deibler Dental Royals and Flyers Alumni Coaster Set Giveaway
Sat., Mar. 14 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Norfolk (Autism Awareness, Scout and Teacher Appreciation)
Sensory-friendly game, with subdued atmosphere with music and lighting, plus quiet spaces in the arena | Green Ice
3 Lucky Fans will each get to pick a player they think will score a Hat Trick in a contest to win a Jeep Compass Limited | Autism Awareness jerseys | Scout & Teacher Night | BSOHA Royals Puck Giveaway | $1 Rainbow treat or Dippin' Dots | Diaper Drive to benefit Mary's Shelter in Reading
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