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Royals Blanked by Nailers, Thornton Saves 31 in ECHL Debut, 3-0

Saturday, February 10th
Royals Blanked by Nailers, Thornton Saves 31 in ECHL Debut, 3-0

Wheeling, WV - The Reading Royals (17-21-5-2), proud ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, fell to the Wheeling Nailers (28-16-1-1), 3-0, on Saturday, February 10th at WesBanco Arena. Anson Thornton (0-1-0-0) suffered the loss in net for the Royals with 31 saves on 34 shots in his ECHL debut. Taylor Gauthier (17-11-0-1) earned the shutout win in net, his league leading third of the season for Wheeling with 25 saves.


The game remained scoreless at the end of the opening frame for both Reading and Wheeling. Reading had eight shots on goal. Reading failed to convert on the game’s opening power play. Thornton saved all of Wheeling’s 12 shots on goal.

Wheeling broke the scoreless tie 29 seconds into the second period on their first power play of the game. Jordan Martel beat Thornton off of a rebound for his first of three goals in the game. Justin Addamo and Isaac Belliveau earned the helpers on Martel’s team leading 22nd goal of the season. Reading outshot Wheeling 12 to 10 in this middle frame, however trailed at the end of 40 minutes, 1-0. 

In the final frame of the series, at 4:51, Martel deposited a wrist shot past Thornton to extend Wheeling’s lead, 2-0. Tanner Laderoute and Belliveau earned the assists. At 6:05, Martel netted his second hat trick of the season with another wrist shot snapped over Thornton’s glove side. Justin Lee and Louis Roehl earned the helpers on Martel’s hat trick goal. All three hat tricks against the Royals have come by a Wheeling skater (Martel (2), Jordan Frasca).

Taylor Gauthier turned aside all five shots faced in the third period to secure his fifth professional career shutout. The Royals suffered their fourth shutout of the season in the loss.

The Royals return home on Saturday, February 17th for their Reading Premium Night promotional game presented by SlyFox Beer! The home game will feature a pre-game Happy Hour (6-7 PM) and a pre-game photo opportunity with Slapshot in sec. 109 up until 6:15 p.m. presented by Albright College.

To order tickets, visit royalshockey.com/tickets


2023-24 Season Memberships

Reading Royals Season Memberships, six-game plans, ten-game plans, and group tickets are available for the 2023-24 season now 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 22nd season in the ECHL. They won their first Kelly Cup championship in 2013 and have clinched playoff berths in 12 of the previous 13 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.