WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers turned in a solid performance against a heavily traveled opponent on Friday night, and came away with a victory to show for it. The score was tied 1-1 at the end of the second period, before Wheeling took over with three goals in the third period, taking down the Reading Royals, 4-1 at WesBanco Arena. Nick Sorkin extended his point streak to six games, while Doug Carr made 25 saves, and four different Nailers lit the lamp.
The two North Division rivals played to a scoreless tie in the opening period of play, but there was some eventful action going on, including an early fight between Wheeling's Ryan Segalla and Reading's Ryan Penny. The first goal of the night came at the 40-second mark of the middle frame. Christian Hilbrich worked hard behind the cage, then centered a backhand pass to Adam Krause, who pounded the feed home in the low slot. Hilbrich's assist was the first point of his professional career. The lead lasted for just 43 seconds, before the Royals squared the match. Mike Marcou led Justin Crandall in on the right side of the offensive zone. Crandall took a shot which was denied, but the rebound kicked out to Robbie Czarnik, who slammed it back in for the equalizer.
The Nailers were the fresher of the two teams on Friday, and they capitalized on that strength in the third period, pulling ahead, and eventually away. The deadlock got broken at the 5:57 mark. Brett Stern tossed in a shot from the right point, which was stopped by Mark Dekanich. However, the rebound went right to Jordan Kwas, who potted a shot from the left side of the crease. Wheeling extended its lead with a power play strike at 10:16. Josh Shalla glided to the bottom of the right circle, slipping a shot in along the ice for his team leading seventh of the year. Nick Sorkin had the lead assist, giving him at least one point in six straight contests. Sorkin assisted on the final insurance marker of the night, as Derek Army sniped in a wrist shot from the inner edge of the right circle with 2:33 to go for a 4-1 final score.
Doug Carr earned the win in goal for Wheeling, denying 25 of the 26 shots he faced. The losing netminder was Mark Dekanich, who surrendered four goals on 34 shots in the Reading crease.
The Nailers will travel to Brampton on Sunday for a 2:00 game, before returning home to battle the Beast on Tuesday at 11:05 a.m. Education Day is sold out, but tickets are still available for other exciting upcoming home games. The first celebrity appearance takes place on December 3rd, when Wheeling hosts Utah on Pittsburgh Pirates Night, starring Clint Hurdle, the Pirate Parrot, and the Bucco Brigade. To purchase tickets, or to get more information about season tickets, mini plans, group tickets, and more, call (304) 234-GOAL.