READING, PA- The Wheeling Nailers faced a challenging situation on Sunday afternoon, as they were playing with lots of new faces in the lineup. The Reading Royals took advantage at Santander Arena, picking up a 6-0 victory, as Wheeling played the first of six straight road contests.
The Royals scored twice in a span of 1:06, grabbing a 2-0 lead in the opening stanza. On the first tally, Michael Huntebrinker bumped a pass to himself off of the right wing wall, before setting up Alex Krushelnyski, who swatted in a shot from the left side of the slot. Matt Willows battled his way through on the right side for the second strike, roofing a shot into the top-right corner of the cage.
The lead was extended in the middle frame. At the 3:15 mark, Matias Cleland sent a pass low in the zone, which ended up banking off of Huntebrinker's skate, setting up Brian Morgan, who flipped a shot into the top-left corner. 2:18 later, Adam Schmidt created a play with his speed, allowing Scott Tanski to feed Steven Swavely on the right side of the slot. Wheeling made a goaltending change, but one more goal went in with 12 seconds left in the stanza, as Nolan Zajac wired in a one-timer from the blueline.
Krushelnyski tacked on one more goal in the third period, putting the finishing touches on the 6-0 win for the Royals.
Branden Komm was perfect in goal for Reading, stopping all 25 shots he faced in the shutout. Adam Morrison made 11 saves on 15 shots for Wheeling, including three breakaway stops, before giving way to Colin Stevens, who was 10-for-12 in relief.
The Nailers will continue their six-game road trip on Wednesday against the Kalamazoo Wings at 7:00. Wheeling will also visit Adirondack, Manchester, and Worcester on its journey. The Nailers will then begin a three-game homestand on March 7th, which is Education Day #2 against the Worcester Railers at 10:45 a.m. That homestand will also feature Ladies Night on March 9th and Pittsburgh Penguins Night on March 10th. The two latter matches will both be played against Reading. To purchase tickets, or to get more information about season tickets, flex plans, group tickets, and more, call (304) 234-GOAL.