Reading Royals Report – December 2012

This article can be found published in the April issue of Center Ice Hockey Magazine and on their website.
Goaltender Philipp Grubauer set a franchise record in his first season with the team. (Mike Ashmore)

Goaltender Philipp Grubauer set a franchise record in his first season with the team. (Mike Ashmore)

It was a slow beginning to the 2012-13 season for the Reading Royals, to say the least.

The team, pieced together by head coach Larry Courville and assignments from the newly-affiliated Hershey Bears took four games until they were in the win column and another four to reach that point again.

The Royals looked dismal with a lowly 1-5-0-1 record and sat in the basement of the Atlantic Division and 13th in the conference, but it all changed after a meeting Oct. 26 and turned the hopes of the season around shortly after.

“The guys showed a lot of character and had a team meeting after the Wheeling game where we lost 7-3,” Courville said. “I know we lost the two games right after that, but we played really hard and really well.”

So well, in fact, that the team went on to break a franchise record and win 11 consecutive games to catapult them to top of the division and second in the conference.

The Royals shattered the previous franchise record of nine straight set in the 1993-94 season and matched in 2004-05.

The Royals faced their first loss of the month on Nov. 24 against the Evansville IceMen, but bounced back quickly four days later with their 13th win of the season.

Philipp Grubauer also placed himself in the record books as the first goaltender in team history to win 10 straight games. He also sits fourth in the league with a 2.19 goals-against average, ninth with a .913 save percentage and second in wins with 10.

During the streak, Courville made one of his characteristically dazzling trades by sending rookie Jesse Todd out to the San Francisco Bulls in return for veteran Evan Barlow.

Barlow didn’t need any time to fit in with the team and scored eight points in eight periods. His time with the Royals was cut short due to his performance and was brought up to the Bears.

The team scoring leader is Denny Urban, who is in his second full season with the club. The defenseman has scored 19 points (9G, 10A) in 20 games, followed by forward David Marshall (4-14-18), Barlow (6-9-15) and Yannick Tifu (4-10-14).

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Categories: ECHL, Ice Hockey, Sports

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