Road success boosts Royals

An eight-game road trip spanning three weeks and five states has not deterred the Reading Royals. Reading is 4-1-1 through the first six games of the trip, which ends this week. The Royals are 6-2-1 for 13 points, and trail Adirondack by one point for the top spot in the North Division.


After posting a 1-1-1 record in the first three games of the trip at Idaho, the Royals picked up wins in each of their three games last week, starting with a come-from-behind 4-3 victory at Colorado on Wednesday. Reading trailed 2-0 before reeling off four consecutive goals, including three in a 2:58 span early in the third period. Three of the Royals’ four goals in the game came on the power play as Reading went 3-for-10 on the man advantage, with Mike Pereira notching the eventual game-winning tally on a power play 6:08 into the final period. Mark Dekanich earned the win in goal with 31 saves.


Reading then headed north to Rapid City for a pair of games over the weekend and opened the series with a 6-3 win on Friday. Olivier Labelle scored two goals in the win while Steven Swavely (1g-1a), Todd Perry (2a) and Kevin Sundher (2a) added two-point efforts of their own. Martin Ouellette turned aside 18 Rush shots to pick up the win in goal.


The Royals ended the western portion of their road trip with a 5-3 victory on Saturday. Sundher scored a pair of goals for his second straight two-point game and Chris McCarthy chipped in with two assists. Dekanich recorded his second win of the week with 31 saves.


McCarthy leads the way for Reading this season with 10 points (3g-7a) in nine games. Labelle has tallied a team-leading five goals and is tied for second on the team in scoring with Swavely (4g-5a) with nine points each. Swavely’s four goals are tied for fourth among ECHL rookies and his nine points are tied third among first-year players.


With six wins so far this season, head coach Larry Courville has 311 career ECHL wins, which ranks ninth all-time in league history. Courville has won each of his 311 games with Reading, the second-most wins by a coach with one team in ECHL history. Only John Brophy, who picked up 416 wins with the Hampton Roads Admirals from 1989-2000, has more wins with a single team.


Reading plays two more games on its trip, visiting Cincinnati on Wednesday and Wheeling on Friday, before returning home for match-ups against Manchester on Saturday and Atlanta on Sunday.