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Nailers at Royals Game Day Snap Shot

Tuesday, December 6th
Nailers at Royals Game Day Snap Shot

WHEELING NAILERS(9-5-2-0, 20 PTS, T-3rd North, T-6th East)53 GF, 46 GAPP: 20.5% (14-for-70), T-7thPK: 82.8% (53-for-64), 17th

25-F-Josh Shalla (10 goals, 6 assists, 16 points in 16 games)26-D-Kevin Schulze (2 goals, 13 assists, 15 points in 16 games)8-F-Nick Sorkin (5 goals, 9 assists, 14 points in 16 games)17-F-Jordan Kwas (7 goals, 6 assists, 13 points in 16 games)23-F-Garrett Meurs (6 goals, 6 assists, 12 points in 16 games)11-F-Cody Wydo (4 goals, 7 assists, 11 points in 16 games)30-G-JP Anderson (4-0-1 record, 1.79 GAA, .939 Sv% in 5 games)

READING ROYALS(9-8-1-1, 20 PTS, T-3rd North, T-6th East)64 GF, 67 GAPP: 19.4% (13-for-67), 9thPK: 71.4% (51-for-71), 27th

13-F-Olivier Labelle (9 goals, 8 assists, 17 points in 19 games)3-F-Chris McCarthy (7 goals, 10 assists, 17 points in 16 games)23-F-Michael Pelech (3 goals, 11 assists, 14 points in 18 games)14-F-Mike Pereira (6 goals, 6 assists, 12 points in 19 games)10-F-Kevin Sundher (4 goals, 7 assists, 11 points in 17 games)48-D-Florian Iberer (3 goals, 7 assists, 10 points in 19 games)31-G-Mark Dekanich (5-6-2 record, 3.35 GAA, .899 Sv% in 13 games)

Head to HeadSeason Series: Nailers 1, Royals 12015-16 Season Series at Santander Arena: Nailers 3, Royals 2All-Time Series: Royals 85, Nailers 71All-Time Series at Santander Arena: Royals 47, Nailers 31

Got Stuck in the SwampThe Wheeling Nailers suffered back-to-back losses for the first time since the second week of the regular season, when they dropped a pair of contests to the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. Wheeling managed to pick up a point in the series opener, which was a 3-2 overtime decision in favor of Greenville. On Sunday afternoon, the Nailers battled back from one-goal deficits twice, as Garrett Meurs answered a power play goal by Ahti Oksanen, and Jordan Kwas responded after a Bretton Cameron strike. However, Wheeling was unable to pull ahead, as the Swamp Rabbits potted the next two markers to go ahead, 4-2, before Derek Army closed the gap to one. Greenville tacked on one more goal in the final two minutes to complete a 5-3 win. PJ Musico was busy in his first game of the season, as he made 35 saves, defeating Doug Carr, who blocked 20 shots for the Nailers.

Reading is ReboundingThe Reading Royals experienced a very difficult stretch when they finished up their cross-country eight-game road trip, as they were winless in seven consecutive contests entering last weekend. The tides turned around for the Royals, starting in Elmira on Friday night, when Olivier Labelle and Jesper Pettersson scored 57 seconds apart from each other, erasing a 2-1 deficit for a 3-2 triumph. Reading went home the following night to face the Cincinnati Cyclones, and came up with more third period magic. Justin Crandall snapped a 2-2 tie, and Labelle added an empty netter for a 4-2 victory. Finally, the Royals and Cyclones matched up again on Sunday, and after falling behind 2-0, Reading stormed back with five goals in a row, sweeping away Cincinnati with a 5-2 decision. Mark Dekanich was the winning goaltender on Friday and Saturday, while Martin Ouellette came down from AHL Lehigh Valley to start and win Sunday.

Happy to Have Him HereJordan Kwas joined the Nailers in January, when he was claimed off of waivers, after starting the 2015-16 season with the Colorado Eagles, then the South Carolina Stingrays. Since coming to Wheeling, Kwas has had an extremely positive impact, as he finished last season with seven goals and 17 points in 33 regular season, before adding four goals and ten points in 26 playoff contests. Thus far this season, Jordan has posted seven goals and 13 points in the first 16 games of the campaign, ranking second on the club in goals, and first on the squad with a +8 rating. The Cochrane, Alberta native had 33 points in 79 career games before becoming a Nailer, and 30 points in 49 games since. Kwas had a goal in both games against Greenville over the weekend, becoming the sixth Wheeling player this season to score in consecutive games. Josh Shalla has accomplished that feat twice. The Nailers are still in search of their first three-game goal streak by an individual player.

The Road Always Leads Back to PennsylvaniaOlivier Labelle has had two different stints in Europe over the course of the last five years, as he played for Graz EC in Austria from 2012-14, before giving France a try in 2015-16, as a member of Rouen. Both times Labelle returned to North America, he put on a familiar uniform, suiting up with the Royals. Olivier began his professional career in 2006-07 with the AHL's Syracuse Crunch, and also spent one season each with the Utah Grizzlies and Victoria Salmon Kings in the ECHL. In 2009-10, the St. Eustache, Quebec native got his first taste of Reading, and is now playing in his fifth season under head coach Larry Courville. Recently, Labelle has been a point-per-game player at the ECHL level, as he compiled 32 points in 38 games in 2010-11, 57 in 63 in 2011-12, 71 in 72 in 2014-15, and so far this season, he has totaled 17 points in 19 games. Olivier leads the Royals in goals (9), points (17), and power play goals (4), while being the oldest player on the roster.

Next Three at Their PlaceWednesday night marks the third of seven head-to-head meetings between the Nailers and Royals this season, as well as the first of three battles at Santander Arena. The first two matches played at WesBanco Arena saw one result go each way, as Reading took the opening clash, 4-3, before Wheeling answered with a 4-1 victory a few weeks later. Special teams played a big factor in both contests. On October 20th, the Nailers and Royals both lit the lamp twice with the man advantage, including a go-ahead goal by Reading's Michael Pelech in the third period. Then, on November 11th, the lone power play goal was scored by Wheeling's Josh Shalla, which extended the home team's lead to 3-1, with less than ten minutes left to play. Doug Carr was the goaltender of record in both games with the Nailers, while Martin Ouellette got the win and Mark Dekanich got the loss for the Royals. Wheeling will return to Reading in exactly one month, while Reading's next visit to Wheeling takes place on February 4th.

Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
Bloomington Bison
Wheeling Nailers
Saturday, November 2nd
Bloomington Bison @ Wheeling Nailers
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM EDT
WesBanco Arena
Bloomington Bison
BLM Bloomington Bison
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena
Trois-Rivières Lions
Wheeling Nailers
Friday, November 8th
Trois-Rivières Lions @ Wheeling Nailers
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM EST
WesBanco Arena
Trois-Rivières Lions
TR Trois-Rivières Lions
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena
Trois-Rivières Lions
Wheeling Nailers
Saturday, November 9th
Trois-Rivières Lions @ Wheeling Nailers
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM EST
WesBanco Arena
Trois-Rivières Lions
TR Trois-Rivières Lions
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena

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