Ustimenko's 33-Save Shutout Extends Royals to Six-Game Win Streak, 3-0
Reading, PA - The reigning ECHL Goaltender of the Month Kirill Ustimenko blocked 18 shots in the first period and 33 for the game to stymie the Worcester Railers, 3-0, Sunday at Santander Arena. Ustimenko has two career shutouts (Nov. 16 vs. WHL), both of which have come at home and when making at least 30 saves. Reading is on a season-long, six-game winning streak and boasts a four-point lead over Brampton and Maine for second place in the North Division.
In the third, Reading limited Worcester to six shots and Thomas Ebbing added an empty-net goal in the final minute. Jakub Skarek made 25 saves and allowed two goals in defeat.
Brayden Low opened the scoring with his 14th goal of the season at 11:38 of the first, the third time in his Reading career he's tallied the game's first goal. Matthew Strome fed him net front and Low was all alone, faking to the back hand before turning forehand and slipping it through the five hole.
Steven Swavely scored his ninth of the season with a swift tuck home in front of Skarek at 1:27 of the second. While Corey Mackin danced inside and out to the left circle, Swavely cut to the crease and directed the Mackin pass high over the netminder.
The Royals visit Wheeling Wed., Feb. 19 at 7:05 p.m. before returning home Fri., Feb. 21 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Newfoundland and Sat., Feb. 22 at Brampton at 7:00 p.m. Friday's game includes a free beer fest at tasting stations on the concourse until 8:00 p.m., plus a chance to meet Flyers alumni Brad Marsh, Jim Watson and Riley Cote ahead of the Mar. 28 Royals Alumni vs. Flyers Alumni Game with a team trading card giveaway, presented by Outten.
Saturday's game 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).
18 shots not an early factor
The Railers took 18 shots in the first on Reading, tied for the most the Royals have surrendered in a frame this season, but Kirill Ustimenko was perfect. It was the most-prolific save total for a period in Ustimenko's career.
Brayden Low's opening goal came on Reading's 7th shot of the period. Reading finished with eight in the frame, notching one after Low's goal in the first's final eight minutes.
20 at home
Sunday's win marked the second time in the Kirk MacDonald era (2017-18) the squad has earned at least 20 home wins. Reading is second in the conference with a 20-5-2-0 mark in Berks County.
It's the 12th time the Royals have earned at least 20 victories at Santander Arena in a regular season. The record for home wins is 26, accomplished during the 2012-13 championship campaign. The Royals have qualified for the Kelly Cup Playoffs 13 times, 11 of which have come when the squad has made it to at least 20 wins at home.
Last season, the Royals won 16 games at home.
Penalty kill fun
The Royals' penalty kill has gone 26-for-30 over the last ten games. Reading is 8-1-1-0 over the last ten.
Upcoming Home Games: royalshockey.com/promotions
Fri., Feb. 21 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Newfoundland (Trading card giveaway, Flyers alumni at game)
Beer fest: free beer at tasting stations on concourse until 8:00 p.m. | Meet Flyers alumni Brad Marsh, Jim Watson and Riley Cote ahead of the Mar. 28 Royals Alumni vs. Flyers Alumni Game | Trading Card Giveaway presented by Outten | Purple Goes Green Presented by Berks Nature | $1 Frozen Treats | Kid's Report Card: Bring by your report card that has an 'A' on it and earn a free kids ticket for a future game
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)
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ECHL Stories from February 16, 2020
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