Royals One Point Back of Fourth and Final Playoff Spot with Win at Adirondack
Glens Falls, NY - Four Reading Royals scored and Nick Luukko tied the Royals all-time defenseman points record (86) to sling the Royals over the Adirondack Thunder, 4-1, Friday at Cool Insuring Arena and move one point back of the fourth and final playoff spot in the North Division. Reading has 76 points and Brampton has 77. The Royals complete the regular season Saturday vs. Adirondack. Brampton has two games remaining and owns the first tiebreaker on Reading. Maine is also still alive for the final spot at 75 points with two games left in their season.
The Royals have won five straight games and Jamie Phillips blocked 25 shots (1 GA) in his 10th straight start. Reading is on a seven-game point streak (6-0-0-1).
The Royals scored the opening two goals in the first 12:09 past Alex Sakellaropoulos (loss, 32 saves, 4 GA). Jacob Graves and Chris McCarthy scored nine minutes apart. After the Thunder scored late in the second, Reading responded with less than a minute to go in the frame to take a 3-1 lead. Tyler Brown scored after deking Desmond Bergin, driving the left post and twisting it in. Luukko scored in the third period on a breakaway at 4-on-4, assisted by Huntebrinker. The goal tied Luukko with Simon Tremblay for the most points ever by a Royals blue liner.
The Royals' final home game of the regular season is Sat., Apr. 6 at 7:00 p.m. on FANdemonium with prize giveaways at every whistle.
Graves scored the game's first goal on a shot through traffic from the high slot at 3:12 of the first. Kevin Goumas and Alex Roos played catch behind the Thunder cage and Roos flipped the puck to Graves. The third-year blue liner has four goals this season.
At 12:09, McCarthy lasered a wrist shot on the rush short side past Sakellaropoulos. Josh MacDonald bumped it to him up at the left-wing red line. McCarthy cut the Adirondack line and fired from the circle. Reading out shot Adirondack, 12-4, in the first.
The clubs exchanged goals in the second. First, with 3:06 left in the second, Mike Szmatula won the face-off to Matias Cleland left point and he wristed it off a stick and in at the right post.
Brown's highlight-reel goal returned the lead to two entering the third, 3-1. Frank Hora hummed it to Goumas, who quickly caromed it to Brown. The eighth-year professional swiveled the puck through defender's Desmond Bergin's legs, then walked the left goal line and back-handed the puck far post and in at the right post.
In the third, Michael Sdao and Charlie Vasaturo were called for coincidental minor penalties and 30 seconds later, Luukko scored. The Thunder turned the puck over at the Royals line and Huntebrinker saucered it to Luukko. The defenseman went on the breakaway and aimed it over the glove for his 10th of the season.
The Royals and Thunder each went 0-for-3 on the man up.
Regular Season Finale
Sat., Apr. 6: FANdemonium with prize giveaways at 7:00 p.m. vs. Adirondack
1) The Royals will hand out prizes to fans at every stoppage in play!
2) Season Ticket Holder jersey off our backs
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