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Nailers at Royals Game Day Snap Shot

Friday, December 15th
Nailers at Royals Game Day Snap Shot

WHEELING NAILERS(14-9-2-0, 30 PTS, 2nd North, 4th East)93 GF, 81 GAPP: 22.5% (25-for-111), 1stPK: 78.9% (86-for-109), 24th

11-F-Cody Wydo (12 goals, 17 assists, 29 points in 24 games)23-F-Garrett Meurs (12 goals, 12 assists, 24 points in 22 games)24-F-Reid Gardiner (11 goals, 13 assists, 24 points in 25 games)11-F-Cam Brown (4 goals, 19 assists, 23 points in 25 games)18-F-Hunter Fejes (13 goals, 7 assists, 20 points in 25 games)26-D-Kevin Schulze (1 goal, 7 assists, 8 points in 12 games)29-G-Adam Morrison (2-5-0 record, 2.89 GAA, .905 Sv% in 7 games)

READING ROYALS(13-8-2-0, 28 PTS, T-3rd North, T-5th East)74 GF, 65 GAPP: 13.8% (13-for-94), 22ndPK: 86.4% (70-for-81), 7th

90-F-Matt Willows (7 goals, 14 assists, 21 points in 23 games)27-F-Mark Naclerio (10 goals, 10 assists, 20 points in 23 games)9-F-Ryan Penny (7 goals, 8 assists, 15 points in 23 games)8-D-Nolan Zajac (6 goals, 9 assists, 15 points in 23 games)14-F-Adam Schmidt (3 goals, 11 assists, 14 points in 21 games)3-F-Chris McCarthy (7 goals, 6 assists, 13 points in 23 games)31-G-Mark Dekanich (7-5-1 record, 3.08 GAA, .905 Sv% in 13 games)

Head to HeadSeason Series: Royals 3, Nailers 2Season Series at Santander Arena: Royals 2, Nailers 1All-Time Series: Royals 92, Nailers 74All-Time Series at Santander Arena: Royals 51, Nailers 33

A Win Plus a MilestoneThe Wheeling Nailers added to their rich history on Tuesday night, and did so in quick fashion, as they opened the scoring just 2:28 into their match against the Indy Fuel at WesBanco Arena. Freddie Tiffels' shot from the left circle bounced in off of an Indy defender for the 6,000th goal in team history. Wheeling added to its lead at the 9:24 mark of the second period, when Cam Brown scored off of the rush during a stretch of 4-on-4 hockey. Indy battled back to even things up during the latter stages of the middle frame, as Matt Rupert netted a shorthanded tally, and Jack Burton lit the lamp after his penalty had expired. In the third period, Troy Josephs put the Nailers back on top for good, drilling in a pass from Cody Wydo for a 3-2 result. Adam Morrison stopped all 13 shots he faced in the third period, and ended up with 35 saves for the night, as he earned his second straight win.

Manchester Wears the CrownThe Reading Royals are coming off of their worst loss of the season, as they were dominated 5-0 by the Manchester Monarchs on Saturday at SNHU Arena. In addition to the one-sided score, the North Division leading Monarchs also controlled the game in shots on goal, blowing out Reading, 46-19 in that category. Manchester scored once in each of the first two frames, with Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman connecting 3:22 into the contest, and Zac Lynch getting on the board with 5:34 remaining in period two. Joel Lowry added to the advantage at the 10:22 mark of the third, before Lynch and LaVallee-Smotherman tacked on their second strikes of the evening to put a bow on the offense. Charles Williams made 19 saves for his first career shutout, while Mark Dekanich came up with 41 stops for the Royals.

Bolstering the BluelineDefense has been a strong area for the Nailers in recent games, as they have allowed three goals or less to their opponents in each of their last five contests. However, on Friday night, two key players will make their returns to the lineup. Jeff Taylor has finished serving his five-game suspension, which he received from the December 2nd match against the Royals at WesBanco Arena. Taylor first joined Wheeling from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on November 10th, and has recorded six points in 12 games. Also expected to take the ice on Friday is Kevin Schulze, who missed 13 straight games due to injury. Schulze racked up eight points in his first 12 games of the year, following a 60-point campaign in 2016-17, which earned him ECHL All-Rookie Team and All-ECHL Second Team honors. The Nailers have three other players who remain out with injuries - Dalton Reum, Kenny Ryan, and Colin Stevens.

Half of the Time it's One or the OtherVariety hasn't exactly been a theme of the schedule for the Royals, who will play their 24th, 25th, and 26th games of 2017-18 this weekend, facing off against two clubs that they know all too well. Friday and Saturday will be the sixth and seventh games against Wheeling, and Sunday will be the seventh game against Adirondack, meaning over half (14 of 26) of the games will have been played against two teams. Those tilts are a big reason why the Royals find themselves on the inside of the playoff picture, as they have gone 9-1-1 in the first 11, including a perfect 6-0-0 mark against the Thunder, who happen to be tied with Reading for third place. The Royals are currently in the midst of a stretch in which they play 24 consecutive divisional games, including four more with Adirondack after this weekend. The Nailers will play their next four games against the North Division, having gone 5-4-1 in their first ten tussles with Adirondack, Brampton, Reading, and Worcester (haven't played Manchester yet).

This Place Looks FamiliarFriday night marks the sixth of 11 head-to-head meetings between the Nailers and Royals, as well as the fourth of six battles at Santander Arena. Wheeling last traveled to Downtown Reading nine days ago, when a pair of first period goals by the home team ended up being enough for a 2-1 Royals win and a 3-2 edge in the season series. The majority of the games have taken place in the last three weeks, and during that stretch, each squad has one home win and one victory on enemy ice. Four of the five clashes have been decided by one goal, including two which needed extra hockey to determine a winner. Hunter Fejes leads all players in the set with five goals, and is tied with Mark Naclerio, as both players have accumulated seven points. Four different goaltenders have played for the Nailers, while Reading could have its third netminder appear in the crease at some point during the weekend.

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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