Royals Make First Trip to Newfoundland
St John's, NL - The Reading Royals (8-7-2-4, 22 pts., 4th North), proud ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, have made it to Mile One Centre for the club's first-ever away games at the league-best Newfoundland Growlers (16-6-1-0, 33 pts., 1st North) Friday at 5:30 p.m. Reading plays the Growlers twice this weekend, concluding the weekend set Saturday.
Reading is coming off a road victory Sat., Dec. 1 at Adirondack, 3-1. Netminder Callum Booth the first 24 shots he faced and finished with 31 shots. Chris McCarthy, Adam Schmidt (GWG) and Michael Huntebrinker scored for Reading.
The Growlers ride a four-game point streak (3-0-1-0) into the back-to-back home games. Newfoundland has held the best record in the North Division since Nov. 9. Last weekend, the Growlers swept a back-to-back with their maple-leafed foe, Brampton.
The Royals are seeking their first win against Newfoundland, with the Growlers taking the opening three matchups at Santander Arena.
The Royals return home for a Weekend of Giving Fri., Dec. 14 - Sun., Dec. 16 with games at Santander Arena on three straight days vs. Allen, pres. by the Salvation Army and Met-Ed. The Weekend of Giving features a clothing drive, toy drive and food drive, plus the team's annual Teddy Bear Toss Sat., Dec. 15 at 7:00 p.m. with all proceeds on $5 tickets going back to the local Salvation Army on Community Night. The money raised and good donated with stay locally in Reading and Berks County.
Listen to today's game at Mixlr.com/ReadingRoyals, with coverage starting 15 minutes before puck drop.
McCarthy's December swing
Chris McCarthy scored Reading's first goal Saturday at Adirondack, his first in 14 games. He was also on the ice for the Royals' insurance goal in the third period of the 3-1 win. A slower starter the last two seasons, McCarthy has 11 points in 21 games this campaign. Last season, at this point, he had registered seven goals and 12 points through 21 games. He and Matt Willows became the Royals' top-scoring duo by season's end, as the linemates finished top-two on Reading in both goals and points. McCarthy was second on the team in both categories (22g, 59 pts.) to Willows (32g, 74 pts.).
In December 2017, McCarthy turned up his production with 10 points (2g) in 14 games.
In his first season with Reading (2016-17), McCarthy topped Reading with 19 points in the team's first 22 games.
The fifth-year professional from Collegeville, PA has 58 goals and 156 points through 193 ECHL games. He is two helpers away from 100 in his ECHL career.
Over the last two weeks, the Royals have made 22 roster transactions. Here's a recap of some of the most-notable moves.
Nov. 24: The Royals signed G Nick Niedert to an ECHL deal, as the goalie won his first ECHL game in 1032 days that night vs. Adirondack.
Nov. 30: The Royals acquired D Joe Houk from Greenville for future considerations. D Dan Milan was subsequently dealt to the Swamp Rabbits Dec. 4 to complete the future considerations trade.
Dec. 1: G Callum Booth was reassigned to Reading from Charlotte (AHL) by the Carolina Hurricanes. That same day, Booth made 31 saves to erase Adirondack, 3-1.
The Royals have also announced G Austin Lotz has been released.
Head to Head
Seven Royals have generated multiple points against the Growlers this campaign. Steven Swavely has two multi-point games vs. Newfoundland to lead the Royals with three goals and four points in the series. He and Josh MacDonald are Reading's only pair with multiple goals against the Growlers. Scott Dornbrock scored two points in his professional debut against Newfoundland Nov. 16.
In cage, Branden Komm is Reading's only active netminder to see time against the Growlers, surrending two goals in a 3-1 defeat Oct. 24.
In the opposite cage, both Michael Garteig (5 GA in 2 GP) and Mario Culina (1 GP, 2 GA) are undefeated in the series. Garteig made 40 saves to defeat Reading, 5-4, in overtime Nov. 16. Since Oct. 24, a win vs. Reading, Garteig has registered a league-best 10 wins (10-2-0-0 record) to go along with a 2.30 goals against average and .930 save percentage.
Newfoundland has gone 11-1-1-0 since that start of November, outscoring opponents, 55-30, in that span (4.2 GF/gm, 2.3 GA/gm). Brady Ferguson has posted a team-high 17 points (8g) since Nov. 1, tied with Scott Pooley for the most tallies in that span. Pooley registered his first professional hat trick last Fri in a 7-4 win vs. Brampton.
Ferguson and Giorgio Estephan each have a team-high 12 goals and 25 points. Newfoundland ranks in the league's top five in goals for, goals against, power-play percentage and penalty kill percentage.
Michael Garteig has posted a league-best 12 wins (12-5-1-0, 2.50 GAA, .925 sv. %). He leads the league in minutes and saves. Reading Royals, proud ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, announced Tuesday defenseman Dan Milan has been traded to Greenville, completing a future considerations deal from Nov. 30 in which the Royals acquired defenseman Joe Houk from the Swamp Rabbits.
Houk has joined the Royals roster as the club embarks to St. John's, NL for a back-to-back road weekend against the Newfoundland Growlers Fri., Dec. 7 - Sat., Dec. 8.
Milan skated in 17 games with Reading and accumulated one goal, four points and a team-high 55 PIM. He leads the ECHL with 15 minor penalties and received two fighting majors while with Reading.
Houk is entering his fifth professional season. Last campaign, the Richboro, PA native scored nine goals and 29 points in 43 games, earning a spot in the 2018 CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic. He has not played this season.
A former UMass-Lowell standout, Houk stands 6-foot and weighs 205 pounds. In 2016-17, he scored a career-high 16 goals (4th among ECHL defensemen) and 47 points in 69 games for Greenville.
The Royals return home for a Weekend of Giving Fri., Dec. 14 - Sun., Dec. 16 with games at Santander Arena on three straight days vs. Allen, pres. by the Salvation Army and Met-Ed. The Weekend of Giving features a clothing drive, toy drive and food drive, plus the team's annualTeddy Bear Toss Sat., Dec. 15 at 7:00 p.m.with all proceeds on $5 tickets going back to the local Salvation Army on Community Night. The money raised and good donated with stay locally in Reading and Berks County.
Need to Know: Weekend of Giving events vs. Allen Americans
Fri., Dec. 14 at 7:00 p.m.: Clothing Drive, 4-for-48 Family Pack (4 tickets, 4 burgers, 4 sodas for $48)
Sat., Dec. 15 at 7:00 p.m.: Community Night with $5 tickets (all proceeds to Salvation Army), Teddy Bear Toss, Food Drive, Holiday Ornament Giveaway to the first 2,000 fans, Royals will wear Ugly Christmas Sweater jerseys
Sun., Dec. 16 at 5:00 p.m.: Toy Drive at Santander Arena, plus have a personal meet-and-greet with SpongeBob SquarePants with the Royals SpongeBob VIP Package as he visits Santander Arena. The Royals will wear SpongeBob jerseys and Allen will wear Patrick Star jerseys.
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