Teams Per: 1 2 3
REA: 1 1 2 =4
WHL: 2 0 1 =3
REA: 2-0-0-0 = 4
WHL: 0-1-1-0 = 1
REA: Ouellette (26/29)
WHL: Carr (25/29)
REA: 2 - 3
WHL: 2 - 5
Wheeling, WV – The Reading Royals (win, 2-0-0-0) of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, defeated the Wheeling Nailers (loss, 0-2-1-0), 4-3, at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling, West Virginia.
In the first game back to Wheeling since Reading was knocked out of the post-season by the Nailers in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals on an overtime game winner last May, the Royals fell behind early 2-0, but the team was able to regroup and ring off four straight and win the team’s first road game of the year.
Wheeling struck on the team’s second shot 4:15 into the game when the Royals got caught in a bad line change and defenseman Ethan Prow sprang Garrett Meurs down the left side. Meurs ripped a snap shot across the body of goaltender Martin Ouellette for his first of the year.
1:58 later, while playing on the power play for the first time in the game, the Nailers stretched the lead to 2-0 on their next shot, which came off the stick of Josh Shalla from the top of the right circle.
Reading cut the lead in half on the team’s first power play chance of the night 8:46 into the first period, when Florian Iberer set one on a tee for Mike Marcou, who ripped a shot from the point into a pile out in front, where Olivier Labelle found the puck and forced it home for his third in two games—all three on the power play.
The Royals tied the game at two 6:29 into the second when Labelle sprang Chris McCarthy on a charge into the offensive zone, where he snapped a long shot from the high slot that buzzed by goaltender Doug Carr for his second of the year.
After killing off 1:27 of five-on-three against early in the third, the Royals took the team’s first lead of the game, 10:01 into the final frame on another net-front play—this one by Mike Pelech. Maxim Lamarche fired a shot from the point that hit a stick of a Wheeling defender and fell to Pelech, who buried it for his first of the year.
The Royals got what proved to be the game winner forty-seconds later when Ryan Penny freed Matt Wilkins into the offensive zone. Wilkins laid down a quality deke and slid a twenty-one foot shot through the legs of Carr for his first as a pro.
Wheeling drew within one forty-six seconds after that on their fifth power play chance of the night when multiple Nailers crashed hard into the net, pushing Ouellette into the cage which slid hard off the moorings; however, it didn’t appear that the puck had crossed over the goal line. Nonetheless, the goal was awarded, making it a one-goal nail-biter down the stretch.
The Royals return to action tomorrow (Friday, October 21 @ 7:00 pm) when the Manchester Monarchs visit Santander Arena. The Royals will celebrate German Heritage Night with the first 2000 fans twenty-one years of age and older receiving a beer stein courtesy of DeWalt’s Brewing. The Royals will also wear special Halloween-styled jerseys, which fans can purchase at BidPal.net/GoRoyals. Young fans are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes; and older fans can participate in the pre-game (6 – 7 pm) craft beer tasting party for $35.00 (includes ticket) or just $20.00 for season ticket holders courtesy of DeWalt Brewing.
End 16 10-20