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Nailers at Royals Game Day Snap Shot Oct. 27

Saturday, October 27th
Nailers at Royals Game Day Snap Shot Oct. 27

WHEELING NAILERS(0-2-0-0, 0 PTS, 6th Central, 13th West)4 GF, 9 GAPP: 25.0% (3-for-12), T-3rdPK: 57.1% (4-for-7), 27th

NHL Affiliate: Pittsburgh PenguinsAHL Affiliate: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

15-F-Eliot Grauer (2 goals, 1 assist, 3 points in 2 games)27-F-Zac Lynch (1 goal, 2 assists, 3 points in 2 games)12-F-Renars Krastenbergs (2 assists, 2 points in 2 games)5-D-Dan Fick (1 goal, 1 point in 2 games)21-F-Cam Brown (1 assist, 1 point in 2 games)23-F-Michael Phillips (1 assist, 1 point in 2 games)1-G-John Muse (19-5-2 record, 2.24 GAA, .931 Sv% in 26 games last season)

READING ROYALS(2-1-1-1, 6 PTS, T-3rd North, T-5th East)17 GF, 17 GAPP: 30.4% (7-for-23), 2ndPK: 86.4% (19-for-22), 11th

NHL Affiliate: Philadelphia FlyersAHL Affiliate: Lehigh Valley Phantoms

19-F-Alex Krushelnyski (7 assists, 7 points in 5 games)14-F-Adam Schmidt (1 goal, 4 assists, 5 points in 5 games)21-F-Frankie DiChiara (2 goals, 2 assists, 4 points in 4 games)12-F-Steven Swavely (2 goals, 2 assists, 4 points in 5 games)25-D-Nick Luukko (2 goals, 2 assists, 4 points in 5 games)17-F-Michael Huntebrinker (1 goal, 3 assists, 4 points in 3 games)30-G-Angus Redmond (4-9-3 record, 3.93 GAA, .876 Sv% in 21 games)

Head-to-Head2017-18 Season Series: Royals 7, Nailers 42017-18 Season Series at Santander Arena: Royals 4, Nailers 2All-Time Series: Royals 96, Nailers 76All-Time Series at Santander Arena: Royals 53, Nailers 34

Doubling up the Games for the WeekendThe Wheeling Nailers will play their first two-game weekend of the season, as they close out their four-game road stretch with a couple of clashes against the Reading Royals at Santander Arena. Last weekend, the Nailers opened the scoring in their contest with the Cincinnati Cyclones at U.S. Bank Arena, as Zac Lynch drove to the net, depositing a feed from Cam Brown. Cincinnati pulled even with a deflection goal by Jordan Sims, before taking the lead later in the stanza, courtesy of Justin Vaive's tip-in of Jesse Schultz's slap pass from the point. Spencer Dorowicz added a shorthanded strike in the third period, and Eric Knodel tacked on one final insurance marker for a 4-1 decision. Michael Houser made 33 saves in the win for the Cyclones, while Matt O'Connor twisted away 21 shots for Wheeling.

First One Goes to the New GuysThe Reading Royals suffered their first regulation loss of the season on Wednesday night, after earning points in four straight tilts with a 2-0-2 mark. The setback came against one of the two newest clubs in the ECHL this season - the Newfoundland Growlers. Similar to the Nailers on Saturday, it was Reading who scored the first goal of the evening, as Frankie DiChiara connected on the power play. The lead lasted for less than three minutes, as Sam Babintsev brought Newfoundland even, also finding paydirt on the man advantage. Anthony Cortese started the season with the Royals, but never appeared in a game with the club, before being acquired by the Growlers, and he made his former squad pay, netting what turned out to be the winning goal with 2:47 left in the middle frame. Giorgio Estephan tacked on an empty netter for the 3-1 final, which was backstopped by Michael Garteig's 26-save effort. Branden Komm was 26-of-28 for Reading.

The Moose Returns to ReadingWelcome news came Wheeling's way earlier in the week, as goaltender John Muse was reassigned to the Nailers by the Pittsburgh Penguins from AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Muse is playing in his eighth professional season, and while he has a Kelly Cup Championship on his resumé, one could argue that 2017-18 was one the best regular seasons of his career. The 30-year old posted 30 victories between Reading and AHL Lehigh Valley, in addition to a goals against average under 2.50 at both locations, and a save percentage over .915 with both teams. 14 of those 30 wins came at Santander Arena, where he has a 16-2-0 career record. Muse's former teammate Branden Komm has made all five starts between the pipes for the Royals, going 2-1-2. Komm was 3-0-0 against Wheeling last season, while the Nailers have yet to face Angus Redmond, who is under NHL contract with the Anaheim Ducks.

Former Nailers Getting AcquaintedA pair of former Nailers got to know each other in a less than friendly way on Wednesday, when the Royals and Growlers met for the first time as divisional rivals. Following Newfoundland's tying goal, there was an altercation in front of the Growlers bench, as 2017-18 Wheeling defenseman Dan Milan had words with Brady Ferguson. 2015-16 Nailers defenseman James Melindy got involved in the scuffle, but did so by coming off of the bench, leading to a five-game suspension. Melindy and Milan lead their teams in penalty minutes with 35 and 21 respectively, and have both eclipsed the 100-penalty minute mark on multiple occasions in their careers. Milan is coming off one of his best offensive seasons with five goals and 16 points for Wheeling last season, and is currently second among Reading blueliners with one goal and three points in five games.

A Rivalry in Different ConferencesSaturday night marks the first of eight head-to-head meetings between the Nailers and Royals this season, as well as the first of four battles at Santander Arena. Wheeling enjoyed success against Reading for back-to-back seasons in 2014-15 and 2015-16, winning both season series, while capturing a memorable seven-game playoff series win in 2016. Since then, the Royals have had the advantage, coming out on top in 12 of 18 confrontations, including seven of the 11 played last season. One player the Nailers will look at for success against Reading will be Zac Lynch, who led the Manchester Monarchs with five points in their opening round sweep of the Royals in the 2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs. After the pair of matches this weekend, Reading will make its first visit of the season to West Virginia on Thanksgiving Eve - November 21st. 2018-19 will be the seventh time in 18 seasons that the Nailers and Royals are in different divisions, and the first time they are in opposite conferences.

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