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Nailers vs. Royals Game Day Snap Shot

Sunday, April 2nd
Nailers vs. Royals Game Day Snap Shot

WHEELING NAILERS(33-27-8-0, 74 PTS, 5th North, 10th East)230 GF, 222 GAPP: 19.8% (63-for-318), 8thPK: 75.4% (196-for-260), 27th

11-F-Cody Wydo (30 goals, 27 assists, 57 points in 67 games)26-D-Kevin Schulze (12 goals, 45 assists, 57 points in 64 games)8-F-Nick Sorkin (13 goals, 40 assists, 53 points in 55 games)23-F-Garrett Meurs (23 goals, 27 assists, 50 points in 67 games)14-F-Tyler Currier (19 goals, 27 assists, 46 points in 69 games)17-F-Jordan Kwas (20 goals, 24 assists, 44 points in 58 games)29-G-Sean Maguire (13-14-4 record, 3.15 GAA, .898 Sv% in 32 games)

READING ROYALS(37-25-4-2, 80 PTS, 4th North, 6th East)236 GF, 205 GAPP: 16.6% (39-for-235), 15thPK: 84.1% (196-for-233), 6th

70-F-Robbie Czarnik (22 goals, 34 assists, 56 points in 62 games)15-F-Matt Willows (21 goals, 34 assists, 55 points in 60 games)19-F-Justin Crandall (20 goals, 33 assists, 53 points in 62 games)13-F-Olivier Labelle (23 goals, 26 assists, 49 points in 62 games)9-F-Ryan Penny (23 goals, 24 assists, 47 points in 68 games)48-D-Florian Iberer (9 goals, 31 assists, 40 points in 66 games)31-G-Mark Dekanich (17-12-4 record, 3.05 GAA, .908 Sv% in 35 games)

Head to HeadSeason Series: Royals 4, Nailers 2Season Series at WesBanco Arena: Royals 2, Nailers 1All-Time Series: Royals 88, Nailers 72All-Time Series at WesBanco Arena: Nailers 40, Royals 39

No Clinching on Our IceThe Wheeling Nailers prevented the Brampton Beast from locking up a playoff spot on Friday night, while keeping their own aspirations for postseason hockey alive. Wheeling was determined from the start, busting out to a 3-0 lead before the first period buzzer sounded. Cody Wydo opened the scoring, converting on a breakaway, off of a perfect pass by Ross McMullan. Daniel Leavens upped the lead 4:14 later, when he deposited the rebound of Kevin Schulze's shot on the power play. Tally number three came courtesy of a one-timer by Tyler Currier in the right circle, which was set up by Kale Kerbashian. Brampton got on the board with a man advantage marker in the second period, but the Nailers went back up by three, when Leavens broke free for his second of the contest. The Beast attempted to claw back again with two goals in the final frame, but that's as close as things got, as Wheeling held on for the 4-3 win. Sean Maguire made 32 saves, defeating Andrew D'Agostini in net.

Instead, it Happened One Night LaterThe Reading Royals were unable to accomplish what the Nailers did, as the Beast continued east on their travels, punctuating a three-game road trip with a playoff clincher at Santander Arena on Saturday night. Reading looked to duplicate Wheeling's strong start, as Matt Willows put the host squad on the board at the 1:06 mark of the first period. With under a minute to go, Brampton pulled even, as David Pacan began to introduce himself to the game. Pacan gave the Beast their first lead of the game at the 4:12 mark of the middle frame, before Steven Swavely knotted things up for the Royals. 2:03 into the third period, Pacan completed his hat trick, starting off a three-goal period for the visitors, as Willie Corrin followed, and with 2:42 left, Pacan potted his fourth of the night and league-leading 40th of the season. Andrew D'Agostini made the 5-2 score stand with 31 saves, topping Mark Dekanich, who had 28 stops for Reading.

It's Cool to Reach 30Cody Wydo opened the scoring in Friday night's game, collecting his 30th goal of the season, which is the most for anyone on the 2016-17 Wheeling roster. In fact, Wydo became the first Nailers player to score 30 goals in a season since 2009-10, when Thomas Beauregard lit the lamp 34 times. Since then, Wheeling had two players knock on the door twice, as Chris Barton tallied 29 goals in 2011-12, and Derek Army put 29 pucks in the net during his rookie season of 2014-15. Cody becomes the 21st player in the 25-year history of the team to score 30 goals in one season, and his 54 career goals rank 11th in team history. With an assist later in the first period, Wydo also accumulated his 57th point of the year, putting him into a tie with Kevin Schulze for the most points on the club this season.

Must Win TerritoryTwo of four teams have qualified for the Kelly Cup Playoffs out of the North Division, as Adirondack and Brampton both punched their tickets this week. That leaves two spots open, with three teams battling - Manchester, Reading, and Wheeling. The task for the Nailers is as direct as it ever will be, especially for Sunday. If Wheeling defeats Reading in regulation, overtime, or a shootout, its playoff hopes will live for at least another three days. If the Nailers fall to the Royals in regulation, they will be eliminated from postseason contention for the first time since 2012-13. If Wheeling picks up one point, but takes it on the chin in overtime or a shootout, the result of Manchester's home game against Elmira (starts at 3:00) will determine the fate. All three teams enter Sunday with four games remaining on the slate, and this will be the final head-to-head clash involving the three. 11 of 16 playoff spots have been accounted for throughout the league, with Greenville clinching on Friday, while Toledo became the second team to secure a division title. The Central Division is the only grouping with first round opponents settled.

Always Meaningful With ThemSunday afternoon marks the seventh and final head-to-head meeting between the Nailers and Royals this season, as well as the fourth and final battle at WesBanco Arena. Reading has already clinched the win in the season series for the first time in three years, having won two of three contests in each building. The most recent match took place on February 4th, when the Royals erased 2-0 and 3-2 deficits to edge Wheeling, 4-3 in overtime on Jesper Pettersson's overtime strike. That tilt also featured a hat trick for Reading's Matt Willows, marking the fourth season in a row that has seen a hat trick in a game between the two rivals. Reading has an opportunity to lock up a playoff spot on Sunday in the same building in which it saw it season end last May in game seven of the Eastern Conference Semifinal Series. Olivier Labelle is the active player with the most points in the season series, as he leads the Royals with seven points. Cody Wydo leads the Nailers with four goals and six points, giving him career totals of 12 goals and 20 points in his career against Reading.

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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