Christmas with the Reading Royals, Part I

The Reading Royals depart Tuesday for two games on the road before their brief Christmas vacation. As Royals fans wait for the return of their team to the Sovereign Center Dec. 28, they can catch up on some holiday treats from their favorite players.

Find out the traditions, favorite memories, songs, movies and even what they would buy their teammates for Christmas. Many of these questions came from the fans, so a big thank you for participating.

*Read Part II*

No. 1 – G Karel St-Laurent

(Reading Royals)

(Reading Royals)

What is this worst gift you’ve ever received and who did you get it from?
“From my aunt and it was – I hope she won’t read this – a Christmas sweatshirt like you see in the movies.”

What is the one food you refuse to eat at Christmas dinner?
“Beets. Everything about it is nasty – texture, taste, smell. Just awful.”

What is your favorite Christmas song?
“’We Wish You a Merry Christmas.’”

What would you get your roommate, Casey Haines, for Christmas?
“Sleeping [strip] for the nose so that he’ll stop snoring.”

What is your funniest Christmas memory?
“A bunch of us in my family were running around and we always have that uncle that likes to drink a little bit and he fell and fell into the tree. That was a good memory.”

No. 4 – D Rob Kwiet

(Reading Royals)

(Reading Royals)

If you had to pick a gift for a teammate, who would it be and what would you get them?
“I would probably get a razor or some type of trimmer for Dale Mitchell because he’s got the worst facial hair in the league.”

What is this worst gift you’ve ever received and who did you get it from?
“One time in juniors, we did a Secret Santa and they gave me a couple Barbie dolls because I’ve got long hair and they always used to make fun of me, calling me a girl. It was just a funny joke, but it was a pretty bad present. I didn’t do anything with them but throw them in the garbage.”

Who would be the worst at buying gifts on the team?
“Probably [Yannick] Tifu…just the first guy I saw.”

What’s your favorite holiday drink?
“Rum and eggnog.”

What type of holiday traditions do you have?
“Just dinner at home every Christmas. All the family comes over and we have a nice dinner. Unfortunately this year we only get a couple days to get home, so it will be nice to have the time off to see the family and get back to those holiday traditions.”

No. 6 – C Casey Haines


(Reading Royals)

What would you get your roommate for Christmas?
“Well, my roommates were [Chad] Painchaud and [Matt] Caruana. Painchaud got traded and Caruana got called up, but the new guy [Andrew] Favot is in town. I’d buy him a better stick. Although he scored [Dec. 17], he fanned on the shot. I’ll buy him a one-piece stick.”

What is your favorite Christmas song?
“Mariah Carey’s ’All I Want for Christmas is You.’ Easy.”

Who would make the best Santa Claus on the team?
“I would say Dale Mitchell. A little thicker and he’s got a good little moustache going.”

What is this worst gift you’ve ever received and who did you get it from?
“I can’t even think of one. Probably just a bad sweater from grandma or something.”

What is your favorite holiday pastime?
“Anytime during the holidays my family would always sit down and watch National Lampoon’s ‘Christmas Vacation.’ Just everyone being together and that movie is hilarious. It stands the test of time.”

No. 7 – D Denny Urban

(Reading Royals)

(Reading Royals)

What would you get your roommates Dave Cowan and Ray Macias for Christmas?
“I’d probably get Dave a headset for his Playstation. It’s a little loud. Ray, I’d probably get him a case of Mountain Dew. He drinks Mountain Dew a ton, so I’d get him a case and he’d be happy.”

What is your favorite Christmas song that you play in your car on repeat?
“People are probably going to make fun of me, but I’d have to go with *NSYNC’s ‘Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.’ Growing up with two sisters, they loved *NSYNC so they played it a lot. It’s a catchy tune.”

What is the most annoying or worst Christmas song you’ve heard?
“I think it might be from the Jonas Brothers about they want Taylor Swift or something? It’s a kind of bad song right there.”

What is the craziest gift you’ve ever received?
“I’m sure I got some weird stuff when I was a little kid. I’m sure my sisters played a couple pranks and got me some girl’s gift when I was little, but I honestly don’t remember.”

What is your favorite gift you received growing up?
“Probably my first hockey stick I got for Christmas. It was an old, aluminum Wayne Gretzky stick. It made me feel special getting that.”

No. 10 – C Yannick Tifu

(Reading Royals)

(Reading Royals)

What is this weirdest gift you’ve ever received and who did you get it from?
“My parents would give me a gift before they gave me a big gift. They’d give me a utensil or something and you get sad when you’re young. After that they’d give you the big one.”

What are your holiday traditions?
“Growing up as a kid, six of my best friends all lived on the same street, like two blocks away. We’d have a big hockey game outside. Sometimes we’d go out on the ice and sometimes we’d just play in the street in front of our house and have a big game before we go in. We all had our meals separate with our families, but usually that’s the tradition. We did it two years ago, too. Even if we’re 25 years old, we just play the game outside and have some fun.”

What was your favorite Christmas movie?
“National Lampoon’s ‘Christmas Vacation.’ That’s great. Every year I watch it. It’s the best movie.”

If you had to pick a gift for a teammate, who would it be and what would you get them?
“I think it would be [Yannick] Riendeau and I would give him a clown outfit. I think he’s the clown in the room. Every day he shows up to the rink, he’s so hilarious. He’s always happy no matter what happens, win or loss. I think it’s great on the team to have that kind of guy because you lose a big game and he comes in the room and acts funny and brings smiles for everybody.”

What is your funniest Christmas memory?
“I can’t remember a funniest moment. Usually Christmas is always family traditions. If I have maybe not a funniest memory, but probably the best memory is the last Christmas I had with my grandmother. She’s been dead for eight years now and I think it’s probably the best memory I have.“


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Categories: ECHL, Features, Ice Hockey, Sports

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