Royals Seek 5th Straight, Start Back-To-Back with Nailers
Wheeling, WV - The Reading Royals (6-3-1-0, 13 pts., 1st North) remain two points ahead for first place in the North Division entering action Friday at 7:05 p.m. at the Wheeling Nailers (4-3-1-0, 9 pts., T-4th Central). The Royals have won four straight games, all by one goal, and Reading's last regulation loss came at Wheeling Oct. 26, 3-1.
All six Royals wins have been by a goal, matching the team's number of one-goal wins in 2018-19. Wheeling has dropped two straight games (0-1-1-0) since winning their first four home games. The Nailers are 4-0-0-0 at home.
Reading hosts Wheeling Saturday at 7:00 p.m. on "Harry Potter Night" to conclude the home-and-home, featuring a $1 Butterbeer and $1 Domestic Drafts, a wizard scarf giveaway to the first 100 fans in attendance dressed as a character from the movies, wizard broom ball during intermission, "Harry Potter" photo-op stations, a sorting hat on the concourse and the first-ever "find the golden snitch" competition (first fan to find the hidden snitch on the concourse will drop the puck).
Broadcast Coverage: Watch on BCTV (CH. 15 Comcast, CH. 19 Service Eletric) | Listen on Mixlr.com/ReadingRoyals
Four and more
With current four-game winning streak, Reading is 13-3-1-1 over the last 18 games and outscoring foes, 64-49. The record over that stretch constitutes the best 18-game run in the Kirk MacDonald era.
The Royals ended last season on a six-game winning streak and eight-game point streak, their longest streaks ever to end a regular season.
The current 18-game sample mirrors recent strong starts in the Kirk MacDonald era. MacDonald took over for the last three games of the 2016-17 season and won all three, then began 2017-18 with a 4-0-0-0 record and 10-5-1-0 start (13-5-1-0 record through first 18 games of coaching career). Reading ended 2017-18 with a 5-1-1-0 mark, then started 2018-19 with a 5-1-1-2 record (combined 10-2-2-2).
Reading has won three games in a row nine times since MacDonald became Head Coach and achieved five winning streaks going four games or longer.
With a 6-3-1-0 record, the Royals have matched their third-most wins ever through the first ten games of the regular season. The best-ever start happened in 2013-14, when Reading began 8-2-0-0. In four of the last five seasons, the Royals have won six of ten games to open.
Since Kirk MacDonald became Head Coach, the Royals have gone a combined 17-8-5 in the season's first ten games over three seasons.
1-0 and 4-in-5 rarity
The Royals won their first 1-0 game Sunday, defeating Adirondack with 27 saves from Felix SandstrÃ¶m and a second-period winner from Ralph Cuddemi. It was Reading's first "1-0 win" since Martin Ouellette shut out the Thunder on Mar. 13, 2016. The Royals have had 17 games ever decided by a 1-0 score, winning seven of them.
The Sunday victory also gave the Royals four straight wins in a five-day span, the first such occurrence since Feb. 4-8, 2015. Those four wins (one at Wheeling and three straight vs. Florida) were part of Reading's franchise-best 12-game winning streak and 14-game unbeaten stretch from Jan. 17 - Feb. 14.
Goals: DiChiara/Cuddemi (6)
Assists: Mitchell (6)
Points: Cuddemi/DiChiara (11)
PIM: Mitchell (20)
+/-: Gaudreau (10)
Goals: Drozg (5)
Assists: Hirano/Saracino (7)
Points: Hirano (11)
PIM: Hawkins (19)
+/-: Cam Brown (4)
A Royals Win Would...
Be the 101st ever vs. Wheeling...Be the third vs. an out-of-division opponent this season...Give Reading their first road win in November.
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