READING, PA — After opening the new year in thrilling fashion with a 2-1 overtime win back on Wednesday, the Reading Royals returned home to begin a five-game homestand as they took on the Brampton Beast. Tonight marked the third meeting of the season between the two teams out of nine. Tonight was also the Beast first trip to Reading since they eliminated the Royals in six games in the 2017 North Division Semifinals.

After a stellar performance in the net back on Wednesday night, Royals head coach Kirk MacDonald went with John Muse in net to kick off this homestand. As for Brampton head coach Colin Chaulk, he went Andrew D’Agostini in net. D’Agostini only started one game for the Beast in the playoffs last year against the Royals and ended up getting the loss despite his 34 saves on 36 Royals shots in a 2-1 Reading victory.

On the first power play of the game, the Royals would strike first as captain Derek Whitmore squeaked one past D’Agostini for his fifth lamplighter of the season. Mark Naclerio was credited with the only assist. Whitmore’s goal was the Royals 100th goal of the season. The score would remain 1-0 Reading after 20 minutes of hockey. Less than two minutes into the second period the Beast tied the contest at one apiece as Wilie Corrin blasts one past Muse for his second of the season. Chris Leveille and 2018 ECHL All-Star Matt Petgrave with the assists. Less than three minutes later the Royals would regain the lead on Ryan Penny’s ninth of the season. His linemates Mark Naclerio and the former Brampton Battalion Scott Tanski picked up the assists this go around. The Royals would keep chipping away off D’Agostini in the second period as Chris McCarthy from right in front of the net gave the Royals a two-goal cushion. Michael Huntebrinker and Matt Willows with the assists on Chris’s ninth goal of the season.

The Beast would not go down quietly as with less than six minutes to go in regulation Luc-Olivier Blain cut Reading’s lead in half. Brandon MacLean with the lone assist on Blain’s fourth of the season. When the final horn sounded the Royals would hold on to defeat the Brampton Beast tonight by the score of 3-2 improving their record to 18-14-2 behind a 42 save performance by John Muse. The Royals will be back in action tomorrow night as they will host the Worcester Railers.

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