The Reading Royals just had a phenomenal weekend. The Royals seem to be clicking on every level as they took down the Adirondack Thunder (5-1), Fort Wayne Komets (6-1), and Manchester Monarchs (6-3) on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday respectfully. There were two huge factors that contributed to the weekend sweep: a high-powered offense and stellar goaltending.
Let’s start with the offense. The Royals had no problem when it came to getting their offense going this past weekend, outscoring their opponents 17-5. “How do they score so many goals in just three nights,” you ask? By sharing the love, of course! All but three players registered at least one point during the games this weekend. Even Mark Dekanich, the goalie during Friday night’s game, registered an assist.
Steven Swavely could arguably be named the offensive MVP of this weekend. Swavely registered a multi-point game in each of the three games this weekend (1G, 2A; 1G, 1A; 1G, 1A). He led the team this week with seven points total.
Johnny McInnis and Ian Watters both put in marvelous weekends, too. McInnis scored his first goal as a Royal on Friday night. Apparently, he liked it so much that he scored another two for his first hat trick as a Royal. He would go on to score another goal and assist on Sunday to bring his weekend total to five points.
Watters could be named Best Supporting Actor this weekend (possibly getting ready for the Oscars?), racking up a total of five assists throughout the three games. He scored two assists both Friday and Saturday nights while registering his fifth total assist during Sunday’s game.
The Royals are proving that there is something to the “home ice advantage.” The Saturday and Sunday home game wins extended the Royals’ record at home to 13-3-0 in their last 16 games.
We have all heard the phrase “the goalie’s standing on their head” but this weekend we saw it in action. Mark Dekanich got the nod against the Thunder on Friday while Martin Ouellette faced the Komets and Monarchs back-to-back the next two days. Together, they faced a total of 104 shots while only letting in five goals.
Dekanich, who played Friday night against the Thunder, ended up facing a total of 39 shots while making 38 saves. He also was perfect during both of the Royals’ penalty kills.
Ouellette ended up playing a back-to-back on Saturday and Sunday against the Komets and Monarchs respectfully. On Saturday, Ouellette faced 26 shots and only let in one goal during their 6-1 victory. He was also perfect on all four of their penalty kills. On Sunday, Ouellette made 36 saves on 39 shots in the Royals’ 6-3 victory over the Monarchs.
The Royals are a dangerous team right now. They are scoring very effectively across all four lines while their goalies seem to be two of the most athletic brick walls I’ve ever seen. If Reading can continue what they’re doing through the back-half of the season, they could be the team to beat in the East.