This week's Reading Royals wrap-up

Photo by Tom Borland Reading's Mike Banwell gets in a scrape during a recent game.

27. After giving up a power play goal against in four consecutive games (March 1 - March 9), the penalty kill blanked the opposition’s power play in all four games played this past week (5-5). Reading’s PK has kept the opponents’ PP off the board 36 times this year and the team has gone 27-7-1-1 in those games.

28. Overall, Reading is killing at an 85.5% clip (30 PPGA in 207 chances for the opposition), which is fifth best in the league. The kill has been better on the road (88.7 percent) than it has been at home (82.7 percent).

29. The Royals average giving up just 3.39 power play opportunities against per game, which is the third fewest in the league, trailing the Cincinnati Cyclones (3.03) and South Carolina Stingrays (3.14).

30. Three times this past week, the Royals scored a power play goal, while keeping the opposition’s power play off the board. Sunday’s 3-2 overtime loss to Wheeling marked the first time this year that Reading has accomplished this feat and not won the game (16-0-1-0).

31. Ryan Cruthers, who is riding a three game point streak (1g-2a), leads the Royals with 48 points (13g-5a) in 43 games, which places him tied for 16th place in league scoring. Although his seven-game point streak was snapped on Wednesday in Elmira, Cruthers has 15 points (2g-13a) in his last 13 games. He leads the Royals with 13 multi-point performances, and 17 power play points (3g-14a). Cruthers played in his team leading 200th career game as a Royal on Friday night in Wheeling—and scored his 68th career goal for Reading that night—three short of the all-time career lead held by Olivier Labelle, Cruthers is the career all-time leading scorer for Reading with 215 points (68g-147a) in 202 games with the team.

32. Yannick Tifu is riding a six game point streak (5g-4a=9pts). Tifu, who has scored at least one goal in four of his last six games, has played to a plus in four in his last six games—and played even in the other two in that span. Tifu scored the game’s first goal in Sunday’s 3-2 overtime loss, marking the fourth time this year that he has bagged the ‘FG’ which is tied with T.J. Syner for the team lead in that category. Tifu played in his 174th career game as a Royal on Sunday, which is third all-time behind Cruthers (202) and Reagan Rome (176). He is the second all-time career leader in points as a Royal with 172 (64g-108a). Tifu, who played in his 450th ECHL game on Sunday (game number 607 career-wise) has recorded 491 total points during his time in the ECHL (159-332a).

33. Sean Wiles has ten points in his last ten games (5g-5a). He scored the game’s first goal on Saturday (his second FG of the year), which also proved to be his fifth game-winner of the season - second to Josh Brittain (6). On March 12 in Elmira, Wiles scored his fourth power play goal of the year to tie that game at one, 13:09 into the second period. Wiles’ 18 total goals is second on the team to Domenic Monardo.

34. Domenic Monardo has five goals in his last five games. Monardo, who leads the Royals with twenty-three goals, scored the third period tie-breaking game winner in Elmira last Wednesday, which proved to be his fourth GWG of the season. Monardo’s 23 goals leads all first-year pros in the ECHL. His 37 points (23g-14a) in 60 games is 12th in the rookie scoring race. His nine power play goals and 180 total shots on goal leads the Royals and all rookies, as well.

35. T.J. Syner returned to the Royals line-up on Sunday after missing five games to injury and he promptly extended his current point streak to five

games (3g-2a) by picking up a helper on the Royals’ second goal (to take a 2-1 lead) by Domenic Monardo 2:49 into the second period.

36. Defenseman Michal Cajkovsky assisted on the Royals’ lone goal (by Ryan Cruthers) in Wheeling on Friday. Caj Cajkovsky has thirty-two points (12g-20a) in 56 games which leads all first-year defensemen in the league and is tied for eighth amongst all defensemen in the league. Cajkovsky’s 161 shots is third most amongst d-men in the ECHL.

37. Defenseman Marvin Degon assisted on Reading’s third goal (by Yannick Tifu) in the team’s 4-0 win over Elmira on Saturday. Degon has 31 points (5g-26a) in 57 games, which places him tied for 10th amongst defenseman. In 45 games with Reading (his first 12 games of the year were with Elmira), Degon has 26 points (5g-21a) and has played to a plus-5 (+5).

38. Ethan Cox scored his eleventh goal of the year 39 seconds into the third period to give Reading a 2-0 lead on Saturday against the Jackals. Cox is playing plus-12 (+12) for the Royals this season, which is tied for second (with Julien Cayer) amongst forwards on the team.

39. Josh Brittain, who picked up an assist on March 15 (on Reading’s fourth goal by Domenic Monardo) and Sunday (on the team’s second goal by Monardo) has seventeen points (7g-10a) in his last 17 games. Brittain engaged in his first two fights as a Royal this past week, taking on Maxim Lamarche of Elmira on Wednesday at First Arena and dropping with Harrison Ruopp of Wheeling on Sunday.

40. Brandon Blandina, who recorded an assist on the third-period tie-breaking game-winner by Domenic Monardo on Wednesday in Elmira, leads all Reading forwards at plus-14 (+14) in 45 games with the Royals.

?41. Matt Campanale (a former Elmira Jackal, as with Brandon Blandina) also picked up an assist on Monardo’s third-period tie-breaking GWG March 12. Campanale also assisted on Sean Wiles’ game-winner against the Jackals on Saturday. Campanale now has 21 points (6g-15a) in 60 games, which surpasses the 19 points (4g-15a) in 68 games (with Elmira and Las Vegas) that he had last year. He is one point shy of his career best (6g-16a=22pts in 58 games with the Jackals in 2011-12).

42. Aaron Gens, playing as a forward in last Wednesday’s 3-1 win in Elmira, scored the Royals’ third-period insurance goal 7:41 into the final frame. He also picked up a pair of assists to record his third multi-point performance of the year in Saturday’s 4-0 win over the Jackals. His first assist that night came on the game winner by Sean Wiles. Gens, who played as a forward for most of the weekend, transitioned to defense in Sunday’s game after Bryant Molle was injured with 37.9 seconds remaining in the first period. Gens’ five goals and 18 points in 39 games with Reading this year are career highs.

43. Although Kevin Walrod’s five-game point streak was snapped on Wednesday in Elmira, he did pick up a helper on Ethan Cox’s insurance goal 39 seconds into the third period in Sunday’s 4-0 win over the Jackals. Walrod, who has 16 points (4g-12a) in thirty games with the Royals, is playing to a plus-11 (+11) with Reading and a plus-14 (+14) overall, which includes five games with Evansville.

44. Defenseman Bryant Molle registered a personal season high five shots on goal in Friday’s 5-1 loss in Wheeling. Molle leads the team in plus-minus at plus-15. His 94 penalty minutes also leads the team. Molle was injured with 37.9 seconds left in the first period on Sunday - and missed the remainder of the game—by what appeared to be an intentional but-end to the face by Wheeling’s Carter Rowney.

45. Jesse Todd picked up his seventh assist of the season on Ethan Cox’s third period insurance goal in Saturday’s 4-0 win over Elmira.

46. Goaltender Brandon Anderson stretched his current win streak to six with a pair of wins this past week, stopping 31 of 32 shots in Elmira on March 12, then blanking the Jackals for the second time this season with a 22-save shutout on March 15.