Royals Visit Brampton for First of Two
Brampton, ON - The Reading Royals (13-6-4-0, 30 pts., 2nd North) visit the Brampton Beast (13-8-1-0, 27 pts., 3rd North) for the first of four straight games Saturday at 7:15 p.m. Two of the games are in Canada; a back-to-back Saturday and Sunday completes Reading's four-game road trip. The Royals and Beast square up for consecutive meetings Dec. 13-14 at Santander Arena, with Star Wars Night on the Friday and Affiliation Night on Saturday, pres. by The Works in Wyomissing. Reading is two points back of Newfoundland for first.
The Royals have dropped two of the last three in regulation after rattling off points in nine straight, which remains the longest point streak by any team this season. Reading managed to cut a couple of three-goal deficits to one Wednesday at Newfoundland, but two empty-net tallies silenced the Royals, 6-4. The Royals still have the most wins (8) of any team ever against the Growlers.
Among highlights, Frank DiChiara registered his second straight multi-assist game and is now riding a career-best seven-game point streak (2g, 11a). With 28 points, DiChiara is five behind the league leader Ralph Cuddemi (20g, 13a). Cuddemi became the first player in Royals history to reach 20 goals by early December. Reading's single-season best for goals is 39 by Brian McCullough in 2002-03.
The Royals and Beast haven't played yet this season; Reading has played every other North Division team this season. The squads match eight times this campaign. Brampton took four of five meetings last season and the Royals went 1-1-0-0 at the CAA Centre in 2018-19.
Broadcast Coverage: Watch: BCTV (Ch. 15 Comcast, Ch. 19 Service Electric)| Listen: mixlr.com/readingroyals
Goals: Cuddemi (20)
Assists: DiChiara (18)
Points: Cuddemi (33)
PIM: Mitchell (43)
+/-: Knodel/Gaudreau (12)
Goals: Sparks (10)
Assists: Vallorani (16)
Points: Vallorani (25)
PIM: Petgrave (41)
+/-: Miller (15)
A Royals win would...
Be the second straight vs. Brampton in the all-time series...Snap a three-game losing streak...Make Reading 8-3-3-0 all-time in Brampton.
The Streaking Four
Ralph Cuddemi, Frank DiChiara, Eric Knodel and Max Willman have all recorded arguably the best months of their careers to carry the point production for the Royals offense.
For Cuddemi, it's no match; he's riding a career-long 11-game point streak and has a league-best 14 goals and 22 points since Nov. 7. He won Warrior Hockey ECHL Player of the Month in November and is the fastest ECHL player to 20 goals since the league switched stat-keeping services in 2006-07.
DiChiara has points in a pro-best seven straight to push into the league's top-five with 28 points. He has seven multi-point efforts in his last ten games.
Knodel has a defenseman-best 15 points since Nov. 7 (2g). Last season, he had two months where he hit at least a baker's dozen points.
The rookie Willman is riding a seven-game point streak and clips at just better than a point-per-game pace this season (11 GP, 3g, 9a).
This day in Royals history
On Dec. 7, 2002, the Royals earned a 6-0 win over Richmond, their second-most-lopsided win in team history at that time. Jeff Sanger blocked 32 shots for Reading's first shutout win of the season. That 2002-03 team averaged 3.62 goals per game and was led by all-stars D Simon Tremblay, F Brian McCullough and F Brad Rooney. McCullough (39g, 95 pts.), Rooney (27g, 87 pts.) and Steve Rymsha (38g, 77 pts.) all remain the leaders for most points in a season by a Royals player. Interestingly, Ralph Cuddemi has more goals at this point of the season than any of the three did on Dec. 7, 2002.
Tis the Season of Setting Records
Reading plays nine more games in December and sees the ice at Santander Arena for three home games.
Since 2001, the Royals have an overall record of 126-71-22 in December. Last season the team went 8-2-1. In the 2012-13 season the Royals went 10-0-1 on their way to becoming the Kelly Cup Champions. Their Dec. 2012 performance remains tied for the Royals' regular season record for consecutive games without a regulation defeat.
The Royals set the team record for fastest goal in a period Dec. 15 last season vs. Allen; Steven Swavely tallied six seconds into the second period of a 4-2 win. The Royals matched the record for fastest back-to-back goals scored at home on Dec. 28, 2017; Michael Huntebrinker and Jimmy Devito scored seven seconds apart in a 6-2 victory over the Worcester Railers.
Reading faced a team-record 57 shots against on Dec. 9, 2011 and managed to skate away with a 4-3 win versus the Wheeling Nailers. The most shots faced during a single game this season is 41 in a 4-2 victory over the Toledo Walleye on Nov. 29 (Ustimenko, 39 SVS).
Upcoming Home Games
Friday, Dec. 13 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Brampton (Star Wars Night): Character Appearances | Lightsaber Training Session | Free Souvenir Cup Refills | Postgame Party with players at Cheers! Restaurant at the DoubleTree Hotel.
Saturday, Dec. 14 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Brampton (Affiliation Night) Toss Bears on the ice after the Royals' first goal | Plush Bear giveaway to first 1,500 fans | Slapshot invites local mascots including Flyers Mascot Gritty to the game | Gritty Meet and Greet Add-Ons Available | Philadelphia Flyers Theme Affiliation Jerseys - Game Worn Jersey Auction Online | $1 Frozen Treats
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