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Nailers at Royals Game Day Snap Shot

Thursday, January 5th
Nailers at Royals Game Day Snap Shot

WHEELING NAILERS(14-11-2-0, 30 PTS, 5th North, 9th East)88 GF, 85 GAPP: 16.4% (20-for-122), 14thPK: 75.4% (86-for-114), 27th

26-D-Kevin Schulze (4 goals, 20 assists, 24 points in 27 games)22-F-Adam Krause (8 goals, 13 assists, 21 points in 19 games)23-F-Garrett Meurs (10 goals, 10 assists, 20 points in 27 games)11-F-Cody Wydo (9 goals, 11 assists, 20 points in 27 games)8-F-Nick Sorkin (7 goals, 12 assists, 19 points in 22 games)17-F-Jordan Kwas (8 goals, 9 assists, 17 points in 27 games)29-G-Sean Maguire (2-3-0 record, 3.59 GAA, .872 Sv% in 5 games)

READING ROYALS(16-11-1-1, 34 PTS, 4th North, 6th East)102 GF, 87 GAPP: 21.2% (21-for-99), 4thPK: 79.0% (79-for-100), 24th

3-F-Chris McCarthy (12 goals, 14 assists, 26 points in 26 games)13-F-Olivier Labelle (12 goals, 11 assists, 23 points in 29 games)19-F-Justin Crandall (8 goals, 12 assists, 20 points in 23 games)70-F-Robbie Czarnik (8 goals, 12 assists, 20 points in 25 games)9-F-Ryan Penny (7 goals, 13 assists, 20 points in 29 games)48-D-Florian Iberer (6 goals, 12 assists, 18 points in 29 games)60-G-Drew Fielding (2-0-0 record, 0.85 GAA, .967 Sv% in 3 games)

Head to HeadSeason Series: Royals 2, Nailers 1Season Series at Santander Arena: Royals 1, Nailers 0All-Time Series: Royals 86, Nailers 71All-Time Series at Santander Arena: Royals 48, Nailers 31

Tight Tilt in ToledoThe Wheeling Nailers are one of two teams who have earned a victory during the 2016-17 season at Huntington Center, but on Tuesday night, they fell just short of a second triumph against the league leading Toledo Walleye. Toledo's Evan Rankin scored the lone goal of the first period, before the two sides combined to light the lamp six times in the middle frame of the seesaw affair. Garrett Meurs netted Wheeling's first marker of the evening, when he finished off Jordan Kwas' pass after a turnover. Alden Hirschfeld put the Walleye back on top with a power play goal, which was answered 36 seconds later by Derek Army, who got the final whack during a scramble in the crease. At the 9:58 mark of the stanza, Christian Hilbrich gave the Nailers their only lead of the game, when he batted home his own rebound. However, the final two strikes went Toledo's way, as Hirschfeld tipped in his second of the contest, and Shane Berschbach banged in a rebound on a power play for the winning goal in a 4-3 decision. Jake Paterson made 31 saves in the triumph, whille Doug Carr turned away 24 shots in the Wheeling cage.

A Royal Ripping of the JackalsThe Reading Royals have also been in action once since the holiday break, as they played host to the Elmira Jackals on Wednesday night at Santander Arena. With 3:22 remaining in the first period, Olivier Labelle tipped in Chris McCarthy's attempt, putting the home team ahead. Reading never looked back, and went on to drive the Jackals away in the final two periods. In the second stanza, Ryan Penny and Florian Iberer scored 45 seconds apart from each other, as the lead was increased to three. Then, in the final frame, Robbie Czarnik tacked on two insurance markers for a 5-0 final score. In addition to the score, the Royals had full control of the game, outshooting Elmira, 30-16. Drew Fielding was the beneficiary of his team's terrific play, as he needed just 16 saves for the shutout win. Jason Kasdorf came up with 25 stops in the losing effort for the Jackals.

Big Players Having Big ImpactsTwo of the tallest forwards on the roster for the Nailers are 6-foot-7 Christian Hilbrich and 6-foot-3 Nick Sorkin, and while their size can be tough to look over (in person and on paper), both players have also been performing in a big way as of late. On Tuesday night in Toledo, Hilbrich broke a 2-2 tie around the midway mark of the game for his fourth goal and 13th point of the season. The rookie out of Cornell University had a bit of a slow start to his professional career, but has turned it on to the tune of points in six straight games, which matches the team's high mark for the season, set by Sorkin in late October and early November. Speaking of Nick, he is also on positive run, as he has collected at least one point in five consecutive games. Two of those contests took place prior to a five-game stint with the AHL's San Diego Gulls. Adam Krause (who stands 6-foot-3) has the next longest point streak on the team, as he enters Friday with a three-game run.

Movement in the CreaseOver the past couple of weeks, Wheeling and Reading have both been experiencing some shuffling with their lineups, particularly in the goal creases. On Thursday, Doug Carr was loaned by the Nailers to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, meaning that Friday's starting nod will go to Sean Maguire. Maguire has won each of his last two starts, as he made 23 saves last Tuesday against Manchester, before turning in a 16-save effort in a 2-1 victory over Cincinnati last Thursday. The Royals have been utilizing the services of Mark Dekanich and Martin Ouellette for the majority of their games this season, as the two have combined to earn a decision in 27 of the team's 29 contests. Dekanich is hurt and Ouellette is with the AHL's Lehigh Valley Phantoms, which has opened the door for Drew Fielding, who has won both of his starts. Reading has recently received Austin Lotz from Tucson of the AHL, who made five appearances with the Rapid City Rush. Since they last met, the Royals have also added Matt Willows and Johnny McInnis, while trading away Michael Pelech.

Four has Been the NumberFriday night marks the fourth of seven head-to-head meetings between the Nailers and Royals this season, as well as the second of three battles at Santander Arena. Each of the first three games have seen the winning team score four goals, with Wheeling taking a 4-1 decision at home on November 11th, and Reading picking up a 4-3 road win on October 20th, in addition to a 4-2 victory in the lone prior clash in Pennsylvania on November 30th. Six of the 18 goals scored in the series have come on the power play, with each team converting three times. Four different players have recorded three points - Jordan Kwas and Cody Wydo for the Nailers, and Olivier Labelle and Florian Iberer for the Royals. Both teams will get their first look of the year at the opponent's starting goaltender, as Doug Carr, JP Anderson, Mark Dekanich, and Martin Ouellette have been between the pipes in the first three tilts. After Friday, Wheeling will make only one more trip to Reading, which takes place on January 21st. The Royals will come to WesBanco Arena once more in February, then finally in April.

Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
Faith & Family Night
Sunday, March 3rd
Faith & Family Night
Puck Drops:
4:10 PM EST
WesBanco Arena
Cincinnati Cyclones
CIN Cincinnati Cyclones
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena
Education Day
Tuesday, March 19th
Education Day
Puck Drops:
10:45 AM EDT
WesBanco Arena
Indy Fuel
IND Indy Fuel
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena
Frosty Friday
Friday, March 22nd
Frosty Friday
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM EDT
WesBanco Arena
Kalamazoo Wings
KAL Kalamazoo Wings
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena

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