READING, PA- Mark Dekanich had himself a night in goal for the Reading Royals, and unfortunately, the Wheeling Nailers were on the opposite side of the ice. Reading scored three times in the first period and once in the second, while Dekanich turned in a 50-save shutout, as the Royals defeated Wheeling, 4-0 at Santander Arena.
The first period featured some tough sledding for the Nailers, who found themselves trailing by three. Reading opened the scoring at the 11:59 mark, with a goal off of the rush. Michael Huntebrinker dropped a pass back to Scott Tanski, who stepped up to the left face-off dot, and ripped a wrist shot into the right side of the cage. With 1:33 to go, Matt Willows extended the advantage, curling his way to the top of the left circle, and ringing a shot in off of the right post. Eight seconds after that, Huntebrinker drilled in the rebound of Ryan Penny's initial attempt.
The Royals added to their lead with one goal in the middle frame. Chris McCarthy led the way on a 2-on-1 break. The Wheeling defender slid down to block the pass, but McCarthy was patient enough to slid a pass around the stick to Willows, who deposited a shot from the right side.
The Nailers recorded 21 shots in the second period and another 17 in the third, but were unable to break through, as Reading shut the door for the 4-0 final.
Mark Dekanich was magnificent for the Royals, stopping all 50 shots he faced. Adam Morrison made 31 saves on 35 shots for Wheeling.
The Nailers and Royals will meet again at Santander Arena on Saturday at 7:00. Wheeling's next home game takes place on December 22nd, which is the Ugly Sweater Party against the Brampton Beast at 7:05. Any fan who wears an ugly sweater to the game will receive a buy one, get one ticket voucher for a future game. The next big promotional game is Bricks & Kids Night on January 13th. To purchase tickets, or to get more information about season tickets, flex plans, group tickets, holiday packs, and more, call (304) 234-GOAL.