READING, PA- After going 1-3-1 on their five-game road trip, the Reading Royals returned home tonight before hitting the road again. Saturday night, the Royals took on the Jacksonville Icemen. Saturday was the first-ever meeting between the Royals and the re-located Icemen out of two this season. The Royals will travel down to Florida to take on the Icemen in early March.

Throughout the team’s first nine games, Royals head coach Kirk MacDonald kept rotating goalies and tonight was no exception. John Muse got the start between the pipes for the Royals.  As for Jacksonville, head coach Jason Christie decided to give Colton Phinney the nod in net tonight for his professional debut. The 24-year-old is playing in his first professional season after signing with the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League following his college hockey days at Princeton University, where during his senior season became the Tigers all-time saves leader. While at Princeton. Colton went up against another Ivy League graduate in Royals forward Mark Naclerio who went to Brown University.

Photo: Ryan Bizzaro/ The Sin Bin

During tonight’s national anthem players from both the Royals and the Icemen held the American Flag which was a nice gesture to see on this Veterans Day. With less than four minutes to go into the first, the Royals found the scoreboard first thanks to the hometown hero Steven Swavely. Adam Schmidt and James de Haas with the helpers on Swavely’s second lamp-lighter of the season.

The Royals would double their lead less than six minutes into the second thanks to Matt Wilkins. Tyler Brown would pick up the lone helper on Wilkin’s first of the season. The Icemen would found the scoreboard on a power-play goal by Emerson Clark. Chase Harrison and Jan Kostalek were given the helpers on Clark’s second of the year. Jacksonville’s one-goal deficit wouldn’t last long as a little over a minute later Adam Schmidt would find the back of the net for the first time this season on a beautiful backhand making it 3-1 Royals. James de Haas and Frank Hora picked up the helpers this go around.

Royals forward Matt Willows would make Jacksonville’s hole deeper to climb out of with his third of the season. Ryan Penny and the man with the hot stick de Haas with the assists. With 1:01 to go in the game Alex Krushelynski would put the nail in the Icemen coffin with an empty-netter. Steven Swavely and Muse with the assists on Krushelynski’s fifth of the season.  

When the final horn sounded the Royals defeated the Jacksonville Icemen Saturday by a score of 5-1 improving their overall record to 6-3-1-0 and a perfect 5-0 on home ice.  

NEXT UP: The Royals will begin a mini three-game road trip Wednesday morning up in Manchester against the Monarchs. Puck drop is at 10:00 AM EST.

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