Reading Royals weekly wrap-up

Photo by Tom Borland Reading's Brandon Blandina gets to the goal during a recent game.
Photo by Tom Borland Reading's Ethan Cox delivers a check against Kalamazoo's Eric Kattelus.

NOTES OF THE WEEK

1. The Royals went 1-2-0-0 this past week, starting with a 4-1 win inWheeling before losing a two in a row to North Division foes, 5-3 in Toledo on Friday and 6-2 in Cincinnati on Saturday.

2. The Royals, who are 15-12-1-0 through 28 games, are the only team in the ECHL to play fewer than thirty games to this point in the season.

3. The New Years Eve victory for the Royals in Wheeling was Readings fifth win in a span of six games played (12/20 - 12/31). That stretch came directly after the Royals had suffered through a season-long five game winless streak (0-4-1-0) (11/29 - 12/15/13).

4. The Royals win on Tuesday (Dec. 31) was the final game of calendar year, during with the Royals

compiled a record of 54-27-7 in the 88 games played in calendar year 2013, which includes the 22 games it took to capture the Kelly Cup Championship (16-5-1).

5. The win over the Nailers pushed the Royals record to a season-high five games over .500 for the third time this season (9-4-0-0 and 10-5-0-0 were the other two times). That win also pushed the teams record to a season-high seven games over .500 on the road (9-2-1-0).

6. The Royals win in Wheeling was the fourth straight road win for the Royals and stretched the teams road unbeaten streak to five (4-0-1-0). That streak was snapped with the 5-3 loss in Toledo on Friday.

7. The back-to-back losses on Friday in Toledo, and Saturday in Cincinnati marked the first time this season that Reading has suffered regulation losses in consecutive road games.

8. Tuesdays victory over Wheeling pushed the Royals record to 9-2-1-0 against teams from the Atlantic Division. All four games to be played in the upcoming week will be teams from the Atlantic. Including this weeks games, Reading has 19 more games to play against teams from the Atlantic Division.

9. Tuesdays (Dec. 31) game in Wheeling marked the sixth time (ofO what will be 15 games) in which the Royals have faced the Nailers. Reading has compiled a 5-0-1-0 record against the Nailers so far and has gone 3-0-1-0 at Wes-

Banco Arena in Wheeling.

10. The weekends back-to-back losses to North Division foes, the Toledo Walleye and Cincinnati Cyclones, dropped the Royals record to 5-7-0-0 against the North

with 16 more games to be played against teams from that Division.

11. The Royals 5-3 loss to Toledo dropped the teams record to 1-1-0-0 against the Walleye. Both games the Royals have played so far against Toledo have been played at Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio. Reading has three more games to go against the Walleye, with the next two in the series to be played on Jan. 17 and 18 at Santander Arena in Reading.

12. Reading is 0-3-0-0 against the Cincinnati Cyclones and have been outscored, 13-3 by the Cyclones in the three games played between the two teams. The Royals have one more regular season game to go against Cyclones on Jan. 29 in Cincinnati.

13. The only team outside the Atlantic Division against whom the Royals have a winning record is the Fort Wayne Komets (3-1-0-0).

14. Reading gave up an early first goals against in all three games played this past week GA each goal coming progressively earlier in the game. The opposition has scored first in 11 of the last 16 games played by the Royals. Reading has compiled a record of 4-9-0-0 when the opposition scores first.? ? SGY lSG Ў?sOY ?Ў?G? I ??l?

15. On Tuesday in Wheeling, the Nailers scored on their first shot of the game 2:42 after the opening face-off. Reading was able to come back in that game and pull off

the teams fourth come-from-behind win of the year.

16. On Friday (Jan. 3), the Walleye scored on their third shot of the game, 2:25 after the opening face-off. The Royals came back from three separate deficits in this game (0-1, 1-2, and 2-3); but a third period tie-breaking power play by the Walleye (Louis-Marc Aubry) proved to be the game winner.

17. On Jan. 4 in Cincinnati, the Cyclones scored on their second shot of the game, 42 seconds after the opening face-off. That is the earliest that the Royals have been scored upon this year. In this one, Cincinnati built a 5-0 lead before the Royals were able to break through; and Reading was never able to make the late game push needed to pull off a comeback.

18. Tuesdays (Dec. 31) game marked the ninth time this season that the Royals offense has scored four (or more) goals. As of that game, Reading has pulled that feat off in three of the teams prior four games, scoring six in Elmira on Thursday, December 26, and five against the Kalamazoo Wings on Saturday, Dec. 28. Reading is 9-0-0-0 when scoring four or more.

19. The Royals offense was held to three goals in Toledo on Friday and two in Cincinnati on Saturday. The loss in Cincinnati marked the 14th time (in 28 games) that Reading has been held to two goals or less. The Royals are 3-11-0-0 in those games.

20. Reading has scored forty-five (non-shootout) goals in 14 road games this season, which is an average of 3.21 goals per game. The Royals have scored 30 (non-shootout) goals in fourteen home games this year, which is an average of 2.14 goals per game.

21. Overall, Reading has scored 79 goals (including goals credited in the shootout wins), which is an average of 2.82 goals per game (13th in the league).

22. Readings defense held the Nailers to just one goal on Tuesday in Wheeling, marking the sixth time this season that the Royals have held the opposition to one goal or less (6-0-0-0).

23. The teams defense allowed five goals against on Friday in Toledo (although one of those goals was an empty-netter) and six against the Cyclones on Jan. 4 in Cincinnati. Readings defense has allowed five or more goals against only three times this year (0-3-0-0).

24. The Royals have allowed 34 goals in 14 games on the road (2.43 team goals against average); and have allowed 43 goals against in 14 games on home ice (3.07 team GAA).

25. Overall, Reading has allowed 77 goals in 28 games, which translates into a 2.75 team goals against average, which is ninth best in the league.

26. Readings defense held the Wheeling Nailers to just 23 shots in Tuesdays 4-1 win. That game marked the first time in a span of 10 games that Reading has held the opposition to fewer than 25 shots. (Reading held the opposition to fewer than 25 shots in ten of the first 12 games of the season.)

27. Although he Royals were outshot by Toledo (31-25) in Fridays loss, Reading outshot the Cyclones (33-30) in Saturdays 6-2 loss in Cincinnati. That marked only the second time this year that the Royals have outshot the opposition and failed to win the game (7-2-0-0).

28. Overall, the Royals are generating an average of 31.64 shots per game, which is seventh best in the league; while the team is averaging allowing an average of 27.86 shots against per game, which is also seventh

best in the league.

29. Reading bagged a pair of power play goals in Tuesdays 4-1 win in Wheeling. That marked the second consecutive -and fifth time this year that Reading had scored more than one power play goal in a single game. The Royals are 5-0-0-0 when scoring multiple PPGS.

30. Tuesdays game also marked the eighth time this year that Reading scored a power play goal, while not allowing a corresponding power play goal against by the opposition. Reading is 8-0-0-0 in those games.

31. Going into this week, the Royals had gone 4-for-39 on the power play on the road; but proceeded to almost equal the total number of road PPGs the team has scored all year by going 3-for-10 with the man advantage this week, and the team is now 7-for-49 on the road PP (14.3%).

32. Overall, Reading is scoring power play goals at a 16.1% clip (18 for 112), which is eighth best in the league.

33. The Royals allowedand killeda season low one power play chance to the Nailers on Tuesday. As of that game, the Royals penalty killers had only allowed two PPGA in 38 chances for the opposition on the road, which was a league-best 94.7 percent kill ratio. Readings PK then proceeded to give up more PPGAs in the next two games on the road than they had all season (3 PPGA in 6 chances)and have actually been scored upon in three of the last four power play chances for the opposition on the road. Those PPGAs included the third period tie-breaking game-winner in the 5-3 loss to Toledo on Friday.

34. Prior to being held off the score sheet by Cincinnati on Jan. 4, Yannick Tifu has racked up three consecutive multi-point performances , including a three-assist performance it the 4-1 win in Wheeling on Tuesday. He also assisted on the Royals first goal and scored the second in the 5-3 loss in the Royals 5-3 loss in Toledo on Friday. Tifu, who currently leads all players in the Royals active roster with 19 points (7g-12a) in 28 games, has 13 points (4g-9a) in his last nine games. Tifu, who is the second all-time leading scorer for the Royals, has 150 total points (54g-96a) in

152 regular season games with Reading.

35. Domenic Monardo broke a six game goal scoring drought with his team-leading tenth goal of the season, when he scored the Royals second goal with 9.9 seconds left in the second period in the 6-2 loss in Cincinnati on Saturday. Monardo, who has two goals in his last 13 games with the Royals, leads the team with 81 shots on goal.

36. Ryan Cruthers is riding a four game point and assist streak (3g-4a=7pts). His three point performance (2g-1a) in Wheeling on Tuesday, included scoring the third period tie-breaking game winner, which is his 12th career GWG for the Royals - second only to Olivier Labelle (14) in that all-time career category. Cruthers scored a goal and assisted on another in Fridays loss in Toledo to record his fourth multi-point game in 12 played this season. His goal that day was his 60th career goal as a Royals. Cruthers, who is the all-time scoring leader for the Royals, has recorded 181 points (60gO- 121a) in 172 games with the team. (He is second in total games played to Regan Rome, who played 176 games as a Royal.)

37. Sean Wiles is riding a five game point streak (2g-8a), dating back to Nov. 10. He returned to the Royals from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL last Saturday (Jan. 4), and he has recorded nine points in the four games that he has played since that time, which included a team season-high four assist performance in last Tuesdays 4-1 win in Wheeling. All of Wiles 13 points with the Royals (4g-9a) have come in his last eight games with the team.

38. Defenseman Michal Cajkovsky recorded his first multi?goal performance as a pro (2g) in Tuesdays 4-1 win in Wheeling. His goals that night included his first

pro power play goal. (In a span of six games, Cajkovsky had scored his first game winner as a pro, his first shootout winner as a pro, his first short-handed goal as pro, and his first PPG as a pro.) He followed his two goal game on Tuesday by picking up a pair of assists in the 5-3 loss in Toledo on Friday. Cajkovsky leads all defensemen on the team in scoring (5g-7a) and shots on goal (66).

39. Marvin Degon scored his second goal of the season for Readingboth of which have been scored on the power play and both of which have come in the last four gameswhen he scored the Royals first goal in Saturdays 6-2 loss in Cincinnati.

40. Mike Banwell, who picked up a helper in Toledo on Friday, has five of his seven assists for the Royals this season in his last eight games.

41. Bryant Molle engaged in his team leading sixth fight of the season when he tussled with Wheelings Shane Bakker in Tuesdays 4-1 win over the Nailers. Four of Molles fights have been against four different guys from Wheeling (Christian Minella, Patrick McGrath, Chaz Johnson and Bakker). Molle, who leads the Royals with 44 penalty minutes and is tied with Matt Campanale and Sean Wiles for the team lead in plus-minus at plus-2, picked up his third point of the season (0g-3a) when he assisted on Domenic Monardos goal in Saturdays 6-2 loss in Cincinnati.

42. Brandon Blandina was involved in a couple of fights this past week, taking on Patrick McGrath of Wheeling on Tuesday and Josh McFadden of Cincinnati on Jan. 4. Brett Flemming engaged in his second fight of the season for Reading when he fought the Nailers Sahir Gill on Tuesday; and Aaron Gens was involved in his second fight of the year when he took on Cincinnatis Jeremie Malouin on Jan. 4.

43. Goaltender Josh Watson won his first appearance as a professional goaltender when he stopped 22 of 23 shots he faced in Tuesdays 4-1 win in Wheeling. Watson also came on in substitution of Brandon Anderson at the 17:09 mark of the first period (with the team down 3-0). He stopped 18 of 21 shots he faced in that game in 42:51 of game time, but was not the goaltender of decision.

44. In his first game for Reading since December 7, Goaltender Brandon

Anderson made 26 saves on 30 shots in the 5-3 loss to Toledo on Friday. Anderson, who has lost his last three starts and is winless in his last five (0-4-1-0), made six saves on nine shots in 17:09 of game time in Saturdays 6-2 loss in Cincinnati.