1. Home
  2. News
  3. Game 16 Preview: Reading at Wheeling

Game 16 Preview: Reading at Wheeling

Wednesday, November 21st
Game 16 Preview: Reading at Wheeling

Pre-Thanksgiving throwdown with traditional rival

Wheeling, WV – The Reading Royals (5-4-2-4, 16 pts., 4th North), proud ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, travel west to Wheeling for the first time this season to face the Nailers (5-6-1-0, 11 pts., 4th Central) Wednesday at 7:05 p.m.Reading plays the Nailers once and Adirondack twice this week. The Royals are at home Fri., Nov. 24 at 7:00 p.m. vs. the Thunder for “Black Friday.” Three of the next four Royals game are away from Santander Arena.Last game, Steven Swavely scored two points (1g) for the third straight game, but Newfoundland tallied a pair in each the second and third periods to jolt past Reading, 5-2.The Nailers are on their first three-game winning streak of the season, sweeping a “three-in-three” at Jacksonville, South Carolina and Greenville last weekend. Troy Josephs scored twice for the Nailers Sunday in a 5-4 OT win vs. the Swamp Rabbits.  Listen to today’s game at Mixlr.com/ReadingRoyals, with coverage starting 15 minutes before puck drop.Swavely burning Steven Swavely has scored in three straight games (5g) to tie a career-best goal streak. He last registered goals in three consecutive contests as a rookie Jan. 27-29, 2017. During that streak, Swavely collected  multi-point games (3g, 4a) in all three.During this stretch, his five goals are the most the Reading native has had in a three-game span. He has three career multi-goal games, two coming in the last week vs. Worcester and Newfoundland. Coincidentally, his mother, Ms. Sue Swavely, sang the Canadian National Anthem in both home games vs. Newfoundland and Swavely potted goals in each contest.Short-handed banditCaptain Nick Luukko scored the Royals’ first short-handed goal of the season Saturday against Growlers netminder Mario Culina. It was Luukko’s second career short-handed tally. He last scored down a man November 9, 2016 against the Cincinnati Cyclones. Luukko has seven points (3g, 4a) in 15 games. The Royals scored six short-handed goals last campaign.  Scouting the NailersWheeling swept a road “three-in-three” in three different cities for the second time in Nailers history, achieving the weekend sweep Sunday with an overtime victory, 5-4, over Greenville. Prior to this weekend, the Nailers had last accomplished the feat in 1995 at Hampton Roads, Roanoke and Richmond.Since falling to 1-5-0-0 and last in the Western Conference, Wheeling has ripped off four wins in six games (4-1-1-0). During the uptick, the squad is outscoring foes, 21-12. Second-year forward Troy Josephs tops the ECHL with eight goals (10 pts.) during that span.Josephs is second in the league with 11 goals and tops the Nailers in points (14).Former Royals netminder John Muse has split time with fourth-year netminder Matt O’Connor. Muse has won consecutive starts and is 4-4-0-0 with a 2.73 goals against average and .901 save percentage. O’Connor is 1-1-1-0 with a 2.65 goals against average and .896 save percentage. The Nailers allow the fewest shots on goal per game in the ECHL (27.50).The Season Series: Royals 1-0-0-1 vs. Wheeling The Royals battled back from a one-goal deficit and smoked the Nailers for four goals in the third to take the second matchup of the season series, 5-2, Oct. 28 at Santander Arena. Josh MacDonald scored a penalty-shot goal late in the middle period to tie the game. He is one of five Royals – Alex Krushelnyski (2g), Michael Huntebrinker (1g, 1a), Chris McCarthy (1g, 1a) and Charlie Vasaturo (2a) – with multiple points in the series.Wheeling won its first game of the season in the shootout, 3-2, Oct. 27 vs. Reading despite 31 saves (2 GA) from Angus Redmond. The Royals have scored six goals in two games vs. John Muse.Cam Brown is tied for best on the Nailers with two points in the series (2a) and scored the game-winning shootout goal in the third round Oct. 27. Winston Day Chief, Troy Josephs and Kevin Spinozzi each have one goal and two points through the first couple of matchups.At their barn The Royals have 43 wins and 42 losses all-time at Wesbanco Arena, with Reading going 3-0-2-0 in West Virginia last season. The last two seasons, Reading is 6-1-2-0 at Wesbanco Arena.The teams square off for the 175th time Wednesday, the most either squad has played another opponent. In  the first two games of the season series, the Royals surpasses Johnstown as Wheeling’s most-common historical foe.Reading is 97-60-17 all-time vs. Wheeling.Black Friday vs. Adirondack: Fri., Nov. 23 at 7:00 p.m.PA Lottery Voucher Giveaway vs. Kalamazoo: Fri., Nov. 30 at 7:00 p.m.

About the RoyalsThe Royals have been owned by serial entrepreneur Jack Gulati since 2014 and are entering their 18th ECHL season. Proudly affiliated with the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers and AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms, Reading plays in the Santander Arena, located in downtown Reading, PA at 700 Penn Street. The Royals won the Kelly Cup in 2013, have made the playoffs in nine straight seasons and are four-time division champions.Listen to all Royals broadcasts at Mixlr.com/ReadingRoyals or by downloading the Mixlr App from the App Store or Google Play.