The Newfoundland Growlers return home after a seven game road trip where they’ll host familiar foes, the Reading Royals, in a three game set kicking off on Thursday night at Mary Brown’s Centre.
Newfoundland faced plenty of adversity during their recent travels as their lineup was depleted by injuries and COVID related complications.
With several new faces in the lineup, the Growlers showed plenty of grit last weekend against the Allen Americans across three games last weekend, but ultimately lost all three contests — the most recent a 4-2 decision on Sunday afternoon.
Reading was last in action this past Saturday where they fell 2-1 on the road against the Maine Mariners. Despite the loss, the Royals remain one of the hottest teams in the league, boasting an 8-3-1-0 record in the month of January.
These two last met two months ago at Mary Brown’s Centre where the visiting Royals managed to steal two out of three games to take the series including a 4-2 win on Saturday, December 4th in the rubber match.
If the dropped December series isn’t enough motivation for the Growlers on its own, the current North Division standings should give Newfoundland some added incentive. As it stands, the Growlers trail the first place Royals on points percentage having played four fewer games than Reading.
In a trio of games between the top two teams in the division, both sides will have plenty of hope in coming out on top as they try and separate themselves from the pack.
Puck drops is set for 7:00 pm on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening. Growlers fans can watch all three games live on FloSports (subscription required), listen to the call on Mixlr, or follow along on Twitter (@NLGrowlers) for game updates and highlights.
WHO TO WATCH:
NFL – Jeremy McKenna (F): In what was a difficult three games this past weekend in Texas, McKenna was one of the notable bright spots for Newfoundland. Picking up a point on four of the six goals the Growlers scored and firing a whopping 16 shots on goal against Allen across the three games, the 22-year-old improved his season tally to eight points (2G, 6A) in eight games played this season.
REA – Patrick Bajkov (F): Currently leading the way in both goals (15) and points (29) for the Royals this season, Bajkov poses a major threat for Newfoundland to try and limit. The 24-year-old picked up three points in the December series against the Growlers.