Royals Look to Harness the Force of Their Fans on Star Wars Night
Reading, PA - The Reading Royals (21-17-2-0, 44 pts., 4th North) look to harness the force of their home fans on Star Wars Night against the Brampton Beast (16-17-1-2, 35 pts., T-5th North) Saturday at Santander Arena. Reading wears Star Wars jerseys and it's also THON Night; fans that purchase tickets through this link can help Reading raise $5 a ticket for pediatric cancer and THON.
Reading has a 14-7-0-0 record at home, best in the North Division.
The Royals are coming off a 6-2 victory against Manchester last Sunday and the team scored five in the second period, the most by Reading in a frame this season. Brampton has won consecutive games since enduring a six-game losing streak. The Beast defeated Adirondack, 4-1, Friday in New York.
Saturday's showdown is the first Royals game since Monday's CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic. Reading's Michael Huntebrinker scored a goal in the All-Star showcase, but the North Division lost to the South in a 3-on-3 format.
Up Next - Time change reminder and free ticket giveaway The Royals remind fans that Sunday's game against the Beast has been moved to a 3 p.m. start time to accommodate the Eagles' NFC Championship game. Sunday's Royals game is expected to end around 5:30 p.m., more than an hour before kickoff. Meet a bunch of local mascots with Mascot Mania on Slapshot's Birthday. Plus, it's $5 Green Zone tickets and a 4 for $44 Family Day, presented by Safe Berks, Berks Packing and Coca-Cola. It's also a postgame skate after the game, presented by Body Zone.
Post all-star break Royals goaltender John Muse is 7-1-0-0 since returning from Lehigh Valley after Christmas, boosting to a 12-3-1-0 record. He's third in the league with a 2.17 GAA and second with a .933 save percentage.
Matt Willows tops active Reading players in goals (tied with 13), assists (21), points (34) and penalty minutes (36).
Nolan Zajac tops the defense with nine goals and 23 points. Nick Luukko had 20 points all of last season and is already at 16 this campaign (3g).
Fox's strong impression In his second game with the Royals, forward Dillan Fox recorded his first ECHL goal and three points Sunday at Manchester. Fox was the leading goal scorer in the SPHL (15g) when he signed with Reading on Jan. 11. In his time with Mississippi (SPHL), Fox hit three points on four occasions.
The Hummelstown, PA native played four seasons of NCAA Division III hockey at SUNY-Plattsburgh. He has combined for 25 points in 27 games this season.
Scouting Brampton Matt Petgrave was Brampton's representative at the CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic in Indianapolis for Team North and leads the team's defenseman with 13 assists (18 pts.). The Beast's leading scorer, Chris Leveille, has 12 goals. He and Brandon Marino each lit up Adirondack for three points Friday to stay tied for the team lead with 33 points.
Friday, Beast goaltender Zach Fucale stopped 26 of 27 shots in the 4-1 win at Adirondack. Five netminders have played for the Beast this season. Andrew D'Agostini (6-6-0-1, 3.30 GAA, .898 sv.%) and Fucale (3-4-0-0, 2.76 GAA, .912 sv.%) are on the active roster.
Head-to-head matchups The Royals are 1-2-0-0 in the series and defeated the Beast, 3-2, in the last matchup on Jan. 5. Ryan Penny, Chris McCarthy and Derek Whitmore scored. Whitmore has five goals this season and that strike is his only against a team other than Adirondack. John Muse made 42 saves.
Previously, Brampton's Alex Foster recorded three goals in the first two games of the series and Brandon Marino had three assists.
Muse is 1-1-0-0 against the Beast and has allowed five goals. Andrew D'Agostini dropped the last game with three goals allowed on 31 shots.
Reading has yet to see goaltender Zach Fucale, who won four games against the Royals in the 2017 Kelly Cup Playoffs to eliminate Reading in the North Division Semifinals.
G Marcus Hogberg is 2-0-0-0 against Reading but is up in the AHL with Belleville.
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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