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Royals Win 8th Consecutive Thanks to 3 Early Strikes

February 21, 2020 - ECHL (ECHL) - Reading Royals News Release

Reading, PA - The Reading Royals earned a season-best eighth consecutive win after three first-period goals powered them past Newfoundland, 4-3, Friday at Santander Arena. The Royals (31-13-5-0, 67 pts.) sit six points behind first-place Newfoundland (36-15-0-1, 73 pts.) in the North Division with two games in hand.

Felix Sandström stopped 28 of 31 shots for his fifth consecutive victory.

Win streak facts

Eight straight wins is the longest win streak since Kirk MacDonald became Royals Head Coach in 2017.

The streak matches the team's longest winning streak since 2016-17.

The Royals have outscored foes, 39-15, during the eight games, including a +17 goal differential in the second period (21 GF, 4 GA).

Sat., Feb. 22 vs. Brampton at 7:00 p.m. is Marvel Night with a Spider-Man Meet-and-Greet, Marvel poster giveaways for the first 1,000 fans and one fan has a chance to win four first-class flight tickets and a trip to Universal Studios in Orlando if a Royals player gets a hat trick (pres. by Berkshire Travel).

Forward Matthew Strome opened the scoring five minutes into the first period with his sixth goal of the season. Forward Lewis Zerter-Gossage (Royals debut) recorded the secondary assist on Strome's high-glove finish.

The Growlers tied the game four minutes later when Matt Bradley beat a screened Sandström blocker side from the right face-off circle.

The Royals required 15 seconds to retake the lead for good; Frank DiChiara scored left doorstep on a rebound, stuffing it past a sprawled Parker Gahagen (Loss, 4 GA, 21 svs) for his 17th strike of the campaign.

Brayden Low added the eventual game-winning goal with 1:17 remaining in the first. Low crossed the offensive blue line, deked right through two Growlers defenders and backhanded it through Gahagen's five-hole to make it 3-1.

In the second, Hayden Hodgson extended the Royals' lead to 4-1 after Newfoundland defenseman Trent Bourque fanned on a point shot, which gifted Hodgson a breakaway glove-side goal.

Newfoundland cuts it to one late

Despite leading 4-1 entering the third, Newfoundland scored twice, including a strike in the final ten seconds, to make it a one-goal game. Two and a half minutes into the third, Newfoundland dipped the deficit to two. Justin Brazeau skated up the left wing down low and beat Sandström high-glove on the doorstep, making it 4-2.

Newfoundland added a third goal with 9.6 seconds to play. Zach O'Brien found a loose puck on the doorstep in traffic and tucked it low.

Sandy's fifth straight win

Felix Sandström's 28-save performance extended his win streak to five games, which dates back to a 7-2 home win vs. Atlanta on Feb. 7.

Sandström picked up his 11th win on the season (11-10-0-0) and fourth against Newfoundland. In his past five starts, Sandström has stopped 114 of 126 shots faced.

Middle Frame Domination

Friday marked the 17th game in a row in which the Royals scored a goal during the middle period. The streak started on Jan. 4 against Worcester, a 5-2 loss.

The Royals are 13-3-1-0 since Jan. 4 and are outscoring opponents 34-9 in the second period during the 17-game span. Reading has tallied 21 second-period goals during the active eight-game win streak.

Upcoming Home Games:

Sat., Feb. 22 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Brampton (Marvel Night)

Spider-Man Meet-and-Greet | Marvel Poster giveaway for the first 1,000 fans | Girl Scout Night | Abilities in Motion Night | Special Spider-Man Theme Jerseys | One fan has a chance to win four first-class flight tickets and a trip to Universal Studios in Orlando if a Royals player gets a hat trick (pres. by Berkshire Travel)

Wed., Feb. 26 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Maine

Free Souvenir Cup Refills at the concession stands

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.

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