Royals Visit Worcester with Magic Number at 3
Worcester, MA - The Reading Royals (35-16-5-1, 76 pts., 2nd North) can clinch a berth in the 2020 Kelly Cup Playoffs as Reading ventures to the DCU Center for a battle at the Worcester Railers (19-35-4-0, 42 pts., 6th North) Saturday at 7:05 p.m.
Royals clinch a playoff berth Saturday with
Reading wins AND Adirondack loses
Reading loses in overtime/shootout AND Adirondack loses in regulation
Reading's magic number is three entering the game Saturday. The Royals lead the season series against Worcester, 6-4-1-0, and Reading has points in their last six head-to-head matchups with the Worcester Railers.
The Royals' next home game is Mar. 8 at 4:00 p.m. vs. Brampton for First Responders Night, pres. by Met-Ed. Reading is home for the first-ever "Green Ice Weekend" Mar. 13-14 with multiple chances to win luxury prizes ($10,000 Friday, Jeep Compass Limited Saturday pres. by Savage Auto Group) if a fan can guess which Royals player will record a hat trick. Reading will wear special theme jerseys on both nights. Grab $1 green beers and $1 domestics on Friday and giveaways both nights (Deibler Dental Coaster on Friday, BSOHA Puck on Saturday).
Last Time Out
Friday at Maine, Tom McCollum blocked 28 shots and made a game-clinching glove with 15 seconds left to savor a 2-1 win. Pascal Laberge scored the game-winning goal four minutes into the third. Reading is five points back of Newfoundland for first and the Royals lead Maine and Brampton by nine points for second. Newfoundland clinched a playoff berth Friday with a win vs. Adirondack (57 points).
Reading has points in five straight games (4-0-0-1).
Broadcast Coverage: Watch on BCTV (Ch. 15 Comcast, Ch. 19 Service Electric). Listen on the Deibler Dental In-Arena Broadcast 99.3 FM (for those at the road game) and at mixlr.com/readingroyals
Goals: Cuddemi/DiChiara (21)
Assists: DiChiara (36)
Points: DiChiara (57)
PIM: Mitchell (106)
+/-: Knodel (26)
Goals: Pierog (22)
Assists: Almeida (21)
Points: Almeida (37)
PIM: Turcotte (153)
+/-: Hitchcock (1)
Laberge scores again
Pascal Laberge scored in the third period Friday, the eventual game-winning goal in a 2-1 win over Worcester. He has game-winning strikes in back-to-back games and four of his six goals have been game-winning strikes. He scored Reading's first game-winner of the season, tallying ten seconds after Brayden Low to end a captivating 6-5 opening-night victory over Newfoundland Oct. 11.
Combined between the AHL and ECHL, Laberge has tallied 13 times this season. He has three goals since being reassigned to the Royals in February (3+2. 7 GP).
Head-to-head season-series leaders
Royals goals - Gooch (6) | Railers goals - Pierog (8)
Royals assists - Mackin (9) | Railers assists - Almeida (7)
Royals points - Mackin (12) | Railers points - Pierog (11)
Royals PIM - DiChiara (21) | Railers PIM - Olsson (26)
Royals +/- - Knodel (9) | Railers +/- - Pierog (6)
Season series v Worcester
Reading leads the season series against the Worcester Railers, 6-4-1-0, and enters the game on a four-game series winning streak. After this faceoff at the DCU Center, the teams meet once more at Santander Arena Mar. 25. Both teams have won two games on home ice.
Corey Mackin leads Reading in points, earning more than one point per game (11gp, 12pts). Trevor Gooch has scored six of his 11 goals against the Railers to lead the Royals. Nic Pierog tops the Railers in goals (8) and points (11).
Frank DiChiara has racked up 21 of his 23 total PIM against his former squad. He trails Mackin with ten points (4g).
Tom McCollum has been between the pipes for Reading against the Railers once this season (Mar. 1). In the 4-1 victory, he made 30 saves to improve to 2-1-0-0 against Worcester this season. Felix SandstrÃ¶m has played two games in the series (0-2-0-0, 3.64 GAA, .870 sv%).
Both Ian Milosz and Evan Buitenhuis have nearly matching goals against averages in the series. Milosz evenly split his four games played 2-2-0-0 (3.02 GAA, .910 sv%). Buitenhuis has a winning edge with 3-2-0-0 (3.04 GAA, .901 sv%).
Reading has allowed only four man-up goals on 35 Railers chances this season, giving them an 88.6% success rate on the power play. The Royals had a similar success rate last season at 88.9%.
All-time series v Worcester
Reading has 15 wins all time against Worcester (15-11-4-1). They lead the series in points (35 vs. 33), but Worcester leads by one win. All time at the DCU Center, Reading trails 6-7-1-1.
The recent run of four consecutive wins against the Railers and points in six straight (5-1-1-0) is the best ever by Reading vs. Worcester. Over the six games, the Royals have notched 25 goals and limited the Railers to eight.
The teams meet twice this March. Last season, the squads clashes once in March.
Upcoming Home Games: royalshockey.com/promotions
Sun., Mar. 8 at 4:00 p.m. vs. Brampton (First Responders Game, Pres. by Met-Ed)
Game pres. by Met-Ed - the Reading Fire/Police squads face the Allentown squads before the game at 12:30 p.m. - 1 ticket includes admission to both games | $1 Hot Dogs, Sodas and Nachos | Touch a Truck Event for Kids | Faith & Family Night - Church Group Rates Available | Heaven's Thunder music performance | Last Postgame Party of the season with players at Cheers! Restaurant at the DoubleTree Hotel.
Fri., Mar. 13 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Norfolk (Mental Health Awareness Night)
If a Royals player records a hat trick at the game, one fan will win $10,000 | Special Theme Jersey | Green Ice for the First Time in Royals History | Mental Health Awareness Night | College ID Night: $5 tickets with valid college ID at box office| $1 Green Beer and $1 Domestic Beers | Deibler Dental Royals and Flyers Alumni Coaster Set Giveaway
Sat., Mar. 14 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Norfolk (Autism Awareness, Scout and Teacher Appreciation)
Sensory-friendly game, with subdued atmosphere with music and lighting, plus quiet spaces in the arena | Green Ice
3 Lucky Fans will each get to pick a player they think will score a Hat Trick in a contest to win a Jeep Compass Limited | Autism Awareness jerseys | Scout & Teacher Night | BSOHA Royals Puck Giveaway | $1 Rainbow treat or Dippin' Dots | Diaper Drive to benefit Mary's Shelter in Reading
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