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Nailers at Royals Game Day Snap Shot

Sunday, October 22nd
Nailers at Royals Game Day Snap Shot

WHEELING NAILERS(3-0-0-0, 6 PTS, 1st North, 2nd East)16 GF, 12 GAPP: 38.9% (7-for-18), 1stPK: 57.1% (8-for-14), 27th

23-F-Garrett Meurs (4 goals, 3 assists, 7 points in 3 games)21-F-Cam Brown (1 goal, 5 assists, 6 points in 3 games)24-F-Reid Gardiner (2 goals, 3 assists, 5 points in 3 games)16-F-Derek Army (1 goal, 4 assists, 5 points in 3 games)18-F-Hunter Fejes (4 goals, 4 points in 3 games)26-D-Kevin Schulze (4 assists, 4 points in 3 games)30-G-Colin Stevens (2-0-0 record, 3.92 GAA, .896 Sv% in 2 games)

READING ROYALS(1-0-0-0, 2 PTS, 5th North, T-8th East)5 GF, 4 GAPP: 0.0% (0-for-2), T-23rdPK: 83.3% (5-for-6), 17th

19-F-Alex Krushelnyski (1 goal, 1 assist, 2 points in 1 game)11-D-Adam Comrie (2 assists, 2 points in 1 game)14-F-Adam Schmidt (2 assists, 2 points in 1 game)4 players tied (1 goal, 1 point in 1 game)2 players tied (1 assist, 1 point in 1 game)1-G-John Muse (2-2-0, 2.78 GAA, .925 Sv% in 6 games in 2016-17)

Head to Head2016-17 Season Series: Royals 5, Nailers 22016-17 Season Series at Santander Arena: Royals 2, Nailers 1All-Time Series: Royals 89, Nailers 72All-Time Series at Santander Arena: Royals 49, Nailers 32

A Big Win for a Big CrowdThe Wheeling Nailers were welcomed home by a terrific crowd of 4,857 fans on Saturday night in their home opener at WesBanco Arena, and those fans were rewarded with the 18th home opening victory in team history. The Nailers fell behind 2-0 on a pair of power play goals by the Cincinnati Cyclones, before starting to turn the game around with a man advantage marker of their own. A battle in front of the net resulted in Cam Brown potting the first home goal of the year. Less than four minutes later, Reid Gardiner took a pass from Brown, burying a shot from the left circle for the equalizer. With 6:36 to go in the third period, Wheeling took the only lead it needed, when Derek Army wrapped the puck inside of the left post, following Zach Tolkinen's initial shot. Former Cyclone Kenny Ryan iced the 4-2 triumph with an empty netter, while Colin Stevens made 30 saves for his second straight win in goal.

More Exciting than they Bargained forThe Reading Royals finally played their season opener on Saturday night, as their original opening series against the South Carolina Stingrays got moved to November. Reading was more than ready to get the season started, exploding out of the gates with four goals in the first 21:41 of action. Chris McCarthy and Alex Krushelnyski scored 14 seconds apart during the opening two minutes of play, before Matt Willows tacked on one more tally in the final minute of the opening frame. Tyler Brown upped the lead to 4-0, as the Royals appeared to be off and running. The Adirondack Thunder got their game going in the second period, pulling to within a goal at 4-3, before JC Campagna notched the tying goal with 9:05 left in the third period. Reading ended up getting the win in overtime, as Derek Whitmore needed just seven seconds to give his team the 5-4 win. Mark Dekanich was the winning netminder, as he made 29 saves.

Coming Back with the Best of ThemIn their first three games of the season, the Nailers have been victorious three times, and in all three victories, Wheeling came from behind. The opposing team has scored the opening goal in all three of the games, which has included a pair of 2-0 scores to start in consecutive Saturday games. But the determined Nailers have battled their way back all three times, pulling even before the second period buzzer. Wheeling has had great success in the second and third periods thus far, outscoring the opposition 12-8, while outshooting teams 95-85. The Nailers have also continued to be extremely strong on the power play, leading the ECHL with seven goals on 18 chances, while firing a shot on goal every chance they get. Wheeling has recorded two of the league's first six periods with at least 20 shots on goal, and leads with an average of 45.33 shots on goal per game.

Time to Tackle the DivisionAfter taking on the South Division's Greenville Swamp Rabbits twice and the Central Division's Cincinnati Cyclones once, Wheeling will play its first three games against North Division opponents, beginning on Sunday afternoon, when they visit the Reading Royals. The Nailers have a heavier dose of divisional foes in 2017-18, as they will play exactly half of their games (36 of 72) against the Adirondack Thunder, Brampton Beast, Manchester Monarchs, Reading Royals, and Worcester Railers. The first three divisional clashes all take place on the road, as Wheeling will travel to Brampton for a two-game set next weekend, completing a brief stretch of three tilts away from the Ohio Valley. The first home game against a North Division opponent takes place on November 14th, when the Adirondack Thunder visit WesBanco Arena for the first time since October 30, 2015. Reading starts the campaign by playing six of its first seven contests against the North Division, with the lone exception taking place on Thursday, when the Toledo Walleye pay a visit. The Royals play 57 of their 72 games in the division.

Our Most Frequent OpponentSunday afternoon marks the first of 11 head-to-head meetings between the Nailers and Royals this season, as well as the first of six battles at Santander Arena. This is the 17th year that Wheeling and Reading will do battle, with Sunday's game serving as the 162nd in the regular season during that time. That total is the second most against any single opponent for Wheeling, trailing only the 173 regular season matches played against the Johnstown Chiefs. After back-to-back season series wins by the Nailers in 2014-15 and 2015-16, the Royals got the upper hand in 2016-17, winning five of the seven games played. Sunday's contest serves as a bit of a feeling out process, before the two rivals really get a taste of each other by playing six games in 21 days from November 26th to December 16th. November 26th is the next trip to Reading for the Nailers, while the Royals will make their season debut at WesBanco Arena during a back-to-back set on December 1st and 2nd.

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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