Royals Home Opener vs. Maine Saturday
Reading, PA - The Reading Royals (1-1-1-0, 3 pts., T-3rd North) celebrate their home opener for the 2019-20 season, presented by Tower Health UPMC Health Plan, Saturday at 7:00 p.m. vs. the Maine Mariners (0-1-0-1, 1 pt., 6th North). Tonight's home opener is presented by Illusion Sound & Lighting. The Royals play 36 home games at Santander Arena this season and Saturday kicks off a back-to-back against division rival Maine.
The Royals and Mariners match eight times this season, with four showdowns in downtown Reading.
Block Party, Penn State Berks vs. Lehigh men's hockey at 2:00 p.m., $1 Royals Pretzels (at block party and in the arena while supplies last), Restore the Roar Light Stick giveaway
2:00 p.m.: Penn State Berks Men's Hockey vs. Lehigh (free admission with purchase of an opening night ticket)
3:00 p.m.: Block Party begins on Penn Street between 7th and 8th street
4:30 p.m.: Red Carpet Presentation
5:00 p.m.: Performance by the band "Cracker"
6:00 p.m.: Doors Open
7:00 p.m. Puck Drop
Broadcast Coverage: Listen on Deibler Dental In-Arena Broadcast (99.3 FM) | Listen at Mixlr.com/ReadingRoyals
Last time out
The Royals scored three power-play goals for the first time since Dec. 2018, but Newfoundland found twine four times on the man up and shuttered Reading, 7-3, Tuesday in Newfoundland.
Reading took three of a possible six points to begin the season at the defending Kelly Cup Champions; Reading holds an all-time record of 3-3-1-0 at Newfoundland, tied with Brampton for the most victories ever at Mile One Centre against the Growlers.
Eric Knodel, Trevor Yates and Garrett Mitchell scored all of Reading's goals on the man up. Mitchell and Knodel tallied in the final period, with Reading trailing by multiple goals.
Knodel's quick points
With a two-point effort (1g, 1a) on Tuesday, defenseman Eric Knodel has boosted to three points through his first three games of the season. He generated two points in the final eight minutes of the third and both scoring plays originated on his shots; first, Knodel ripped it off Garrett Mitchell's stick and in, then slapped it through Maksim Zhukov at the deep slot for his first Royals goal.
Both of his points came on the power play; he registered 25 man-up points last season and 30 in 2017-18.
Maine has scored four goals this season; two by a different skater each game. Friday at Worcester, forward Dillan Fox tallied a couple of first-period tallies to provide the Mariners a 2-0 lead, but the Railers came from behind to take the game in a shootout, 3-2. In Maine's first game last weekend, Taylor Cammarata scored twice in a 5-2 defeat vs. Adirondack.
Cammarata and captain Zach Tolkinen (3a) lead the team with three points.
The team has three goalies on the roster; Francois Brassard (injured reserve), Tom McCollum and Connor Lacouvee. McCollum started Maine's first game and made 38 of 42 denials in defeat. Lacouvee got his turn Friday at Worcester, turning aside 32 of 34. In the shootout, the second-year netminder blocked two of three shots faced.
Maine's power play is 1-for-8 and has surrendered two man-up tallies on ten chances.
History vs. Maine
The Royals won their last two games of 2018-19 against the Mariners to finish with a 5-3-0-0 mark. The Mariners are in their second ECHL season.
The last time the teams played at Santander Arena Mar. 29, forward Corey Mackin potted his first professional goal and Reading ran away from Maine, 6-2. The Royals have outscored the Mariners, 10-3, in the last two meetings.
The Royals have come from behind to defeat the Mariners in four of the eight all-time meetings, while Maine has yet to overcome a deficit and earn two points. Last season's series featured a single game decided by one, which the Royals took, 4-3, in a shootout Nov. 2.
A Royals win would...
Mark the fourth straight season Reading has earned at least a point in the home opener. Under Kirk MacDonald, the squad is 1-0-1-0 in home openers. The Royals have won four of the last six opening games at Santander Arena; all-time, Reading is 8-7-2-2 in the first game at Santander Arena.
Single-game tickets and mini-plans are on sale by visiting royalshockey.com/promotions, calling 610-898-7825 and visiting Santander Arena and The Weidenhammer Box Office at 700 Penn Street, Reading, PA.
Reading's new five-game mini-plan includes a meal for every game, a Reading Royals Hat, an exclusive fan experience, an autographed team picture and a guaranteed giveaway for each of the 5 games. Purchase your seat or seats today by calling 610-898-7825 or by visiting https://bit.ly/2LSHBp8.
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