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Balinson's Three-Points Propel Royals Over Nailers, 4-2

Saturday, December 31st
Balinson's Three-Points Propel Royals Over Nailers, 4-2

Wheeling, WV - The Reading Royals, proud affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, defeated the Wheeling Nailers, 4-2, on Friday, December 30th at WesBanco Arena. The Royals improved to 17-8-1 with their eighth win on the road this season (8-4-1). Josh Boyko earned the win in his Royals debut with 35 saves on 37 shots faced while Nailers goalie Tommy Nappier saved 23 of 27 shots faced in the loss (3-6-0).


Each team scored goals in the opening 3:38 of regulation among a four goal first period. Reading opened the scoring 1:16 into the game on Max Balinson’s first of two goals in the period. Wheeling tied the score 2:19 later on a redirection from Samuel Tremblay before Reading gained the lead back nine seconds later. Brendan Hoffmann centered the puck from behind Wheeling’s net for Jacob Gaucher skating in the slot. Gaucher blasted a one-timer past Nappier for his tenth goal of the season and sixth goal in his last six games. The goal set a new career high point streak of six games Gaucher, and was the rookie forward’s first of two points in the game (1G, 1 A).

Balinson scored an insurance goal 11:20 into the first period which proved to be the game winning goal. Gaucher connected with the defenseman in the left face off circle as the final seconds expired on Reading’s second of two power plays in the game. With the man-advantage, Balinson was left uncovered and used the open ice to snap his second goal of the period past Nappier for his third goal of the season. The goal earned Balinson his first multi-goal game of his professional career. 

The three goal output in the first period by Reading was the third time the Royals scored three or more goals in the opening period of play this season. They had previously scored three goals against Maine on December 21st and four goals against Worcester on November 16th.

In the second period, Balinson earned an assist to set a career high three point night as he was credited the secondary assist on Hoffmann’s fourth goal of the season. Jordan Timmons earned the primary assist as he and Hoffmann each tallied their second points of the game for their second and first multi-point games of the season respectively. Hoffmann’s goal clipped the top left corner of Wheeling’s net to put Reading ahead heading into the third period, 4-1.

The Nailers answered Reading’s three-straight goals with 4:41 remaining in regulation. Justin Addamo settled and deposited his team leading 11th goal of the season on a feed from Cam Hausinger around Reading’s cage. The lone goal of the third period was just the second of 37 shots from Wheeling’s offense to beat Boyko as the rookie goaltender made diving stops and saves in the splits in his first win as a Royal.  

The Royals even the season series with Wheeling, 2-2, (112-86 all-time) and improve to 14-0-1 when leading after two periods.

The Royals close out their three-game series with the Nailers in Wheeling, West Virginia on Saturday, December 31st in the final game of the calendar year. The Royals return home on Saturday, January 7th to host the Worcester Railers in the Star Wars and Pediatric Cancer promotional night. Order tickets and see the full ~ promotional schedule ~ now!

Upcoming Games:

  • Star Wars Night - Jan. 7 vs. Worcester
    • Join the Royals and your favorite characters from a galaxy far, far, away at Star Wars night!
    • Youth padawan training classes
    • Costume contest
    • Chewbacca impression contest
    • Specialty jersey debut
    • $2 off craft beers 6-7:00 PM
  • Wizards Night - Jan. 13 vs. Adirondack
    • Royals Players' house competition
    • Chase the snitch on the concourse
    • $2 off domestic drafts 6-7:00 PM
    • Butterbeer
    • Wizard-themed games
    • 4 for $60 deal including 4 tickets, hot dogs, drinks, and thundersticks presented by Deibler Dental
    • Job fair
  • Flintstones Night - Jan. 14 vs. Adirondack
    • Yabba dabba doo! Join the Royals for Flintstones night, and bid on their game-worn specialty jerseys!
    • Double Tree post-game party
    • $2 off craft draft beers 3-4:00 PM
    • Yabba-Dabba-Doo voice contest
    • Flintstone costume contest
    • Rubble pudding eating contest

Four-Game Plan

Join the Reading Royals for FOUR of our biggest games of the year at home! Four-game plan ticket package includes tickets to the following specialty games:

Affiliation Night - January 28th @7:00 p.m.

Pink in the Rink - February 4th @7:00 p.m.

St. Hattrick's Day - March 18th @7:00 p.m.

Fandemonium - April 15th @7:00 p.m.

In addition to a ticket to each game, you will get a burger and soda per ticket, as well as a Royals hat. Contact the Royals front office for pricing details. Quantities are limited so reserve your seat now!2022-23 Season Memberships

Reading Royals season tickets, flex memberships and group tickets are available for the 2022-23 season by visiting the Royals’ box office at Santander Arena or by calling 610-898-7825. 

About the Royals

The Reading Royals, proud affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, are in their 21st season in the ECHL. They won their first Kelly Cup championship in 2013 and have clinched playoff berths in 11 of the previous 12 seasons. They are five-time division champions and were the 2021-22 Eastern Conference champion. The Berks County Convention Center Authority (BCCCA), founded in 1996, owns the Royals and oversees operations at Santander Arena.