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READING, Penn. – After a long summer filled with changes throughout the organization, the 18th season of Reading Royals hockey kicked off Saturday night.

Nailers forward Frankie DiChiara pushes the puck through the neutral zone during Saturday night’s season opener against Worcester. Photo: Sarah Pietrowski/The Sin Bin

Game #1 vs. Worcester at Santander Arena

The Royals home-opener was a night cows would love, as more than 5,000 fans obsessively rang their cowbells all night long. On the ice, the Royals took on the Worcester Railers for the first of six meetings throughout the season. It was a goaltending showdown between Branden Komm and Mitch Gillam through the first 60 minutes with both goalies only allowing one goal each. Less than two minutes into the extra frame, Josh Holmstrom was able to silence the Royals fans, and their cowbells, by scoring the game-winner to give Worcester a 2-1 victory.

Game #2 vs. Worcester at Santander Arena

The puck trickles past Worcester netminder Mitch Gillam during Sunday’s rematch between Reading and Worcester. Photo: Sarah Pietrowski/The Sin Bin

After falling short on opening night, the Royals fought back and responded with a 6-4 victory Sunday afternoon. The Royals went 4-for-6 on the power play on Sunday and 5-for-11 with the man-advantage overall during the weekend. Forward Shane Walsh picked up two goals for the Royals, but, the key moment of the game came when midway through the third period when Branden Komm snuffed out a Tyler Barnes penalty shot. That moment seemed to stymie the Worcester’s push.

The game also saw a combined 54 penalty minutes, after only a combined 18 the prior night. The game also featured three fights, something the Royals don’t do that often.

Comings and Goings

Following the game on Sunday, head coach Kirk MacDonald made his first trade of the season, acquiring forward Alex Roos from the Cincinnati Cyclones for future considerations. Roos originally signed with Cincinnati back in September after spending last season at the University of Michigan after transferring from Colorado College. While a Wolverine, Roos played in only 13 games and picked up six points (three goals, three assists).

Coming Up…

The Royals hit the road for a pair of games this weekend, visiting the Maine Mariners for the first time this Friday night at 7:15 pm ET. On Saturday, the Royals travel to Manchester for a rematch of last season’s North Division Semifinal against the Manchester Monarchs. Faceoff for that contest is set for 5:15 pm ET.

Reading returns home for games on October 27 and 28, when they host the Wheeling Nailers for the first time this season.

As for updates on these games and all 72 Royals games throughout the 2018-19 season, be sure to give me a follow on Twitter @SinBinRoyals.

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