Royals Have Unique Promotion to Finish Weekend vs. Beast
Reading, PA - The Reading Royals (22-17-2-0, 46 pts., 4th North) are coming off a come-from-behind 4-3 shootout victory against the Brampton Beast (16-17-1-3, 36 pts., 5th North) and finish up the weekend with a rematch Sunday at 3:00 p.m. from Santander Arena.
Saturday, 5,720 fans watched Reading defeat Brampton in a shootout, 4-3. John Muse made a professional-high 47 saves. The series is tied, 2-2, and the Royals have won the last two matchups. The Royals are a point behind Wheeling and Adirondack for second in the North Division.
John Muse is 8-1-0-0 since returning from Lehigh Valley on Dec. 27 with a with a 1.87 goals against average and .945 save percentage. Saturday's win (47 saves, professional high) boosted him to a 14-4-1-0 record, 2.20 GAA and .934 save percentage. He has made nine starts in the last 12 games. Prior to Saturday, he had never made more than 43 saves in any of his 233 professional starts.
The native of East Falmouth, MA is 11-2-0-0 in 13 home games. The Royals have scored 3.69 goals a game to support him in contests at Santander Arena.
Morgan finds place in lineup Brian Morgan scored his fifth goal of the season to tie the game early in the third at three Saturday vs. Brampton. A first-year forward, Morgan has played in 18 straight games since the Royals signed him in December. He has tallied nine points. His top ECHL effort is a three-point game (1g, 2a) against Adirondack on Dec. 30. He started the season in Pensacola and had six goals and 12 points. After graduating from Maine in 2015-16, Morgan spent his graduate transfer season at UConn in 2016-17.
Last Time Out: Brian Morgan tied the game early in the third, Michael Huntebrinker scored the winner in the shootout and John Muse made a professional-high 47 saves to boost the Royals to a 4-3 victory over the Brampton Beast Saturday at Santander Arena.
Huntebrinker and Nick Luukko scored in the shootout and Muse made two stops to end the skills competition a round early. Chris Leveille missed the net on Brampton's final shootout attempt. Muse made a low save on Cody Donaghey to begin the shootout.
In the second, third and overtime frames, the seventh-year professional Muse made 36 saves on 37 shots. He kicked aside three shots in overtime. Andrew D'Agostini allowed two shootout goals and denied 31 shots in defeat.Better make the home dates count The Royals play the middle game of a three-game home stand Sunday and Reading possesses a division-best 15-7-0-0 home record. After today's contest, they are home to Toledo on Wednesday before starting a six-game road trip.
Reading leaves for the trip on Fri., Jan. 26 and does not return home until the early hours of Super Bowl Sunday (Sun., Feb. 4). The Royals have three games in six days, traveling around the area to Wheeling, Brampton and Adirondack. Immediately following the game against the Thunder on Tues., Jan. 30, the Royals venture south to Norfolk, VA for a pair of games against the Admirals.
Next, the team enjoys a day in Reading before another 300-mile bus trip to Worcester.
Here we are at 24 The Royals end their stretch of 24 straight games against a North Division rival Sunday and Reading is 12-10-1-0 through the first 23. The Royals play their first game outside the division in more than a month vs. Toledo on Wed., Jan. 24. Reading was third in the North (10-7-1-0) when the stretch began and the Royals are fourth in the North but a point back of second entering Sunday's game.
The Royals haven't played a game against a cross-division opponent since Nov. 29 at Cincinnati. Over the 23 games, the Royals have gone 4-2-0-0 against Worcester and 3-1-1-0 vs. Wheeling.
Since the stretch began, Matt Willows leads the team with 13 assists and 20 points (7g). Michael Huntebrinker is best on the Royals with 10 goals (15 points).
Many of Reading's top performing skaters against the Beast have been called up to the AHL. Alex Krushelnyski (2g vs. BRM), Steven Swavely (2g) and Chris McCarthy (1g) are all in Lehigh Valley. Ryan Penny (1g) signed a PTO with Binghamton earlier this month.
Without these pieces, Matt Willows leads the Royals with a goal and three points in the series. Michael Huntebrinker has a goal and two points.
John Muse has allowed eight goals in three games against Brampton (2-1-0-0 record). Mark Dekanich made 30 saves (5 GA) in a loss Nov. 19. Beast goalie Andrew D'Agostini is 0-1-0-1 against Reading and allowed six goals.
Alex Foster (3g) leads the Beast in goals against the Royals.
About the Royals: The Royals have been owned by serial entrepreneur Jack Gulati since 2014 and are in their 17th ECHL season. Proudly affiliated with the NHL's Philadelphia Flyers and AHL's Lehigh Valley Phantoms, Reading plays in the Santander Arena, located in downtown Reading, PA at 700 Penn Street. The Royals won the Kelly Cup in 2013, have made the playoffs in eight straight seasons and are four-time division champions.
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