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Nailers at Royals Game Day Snap Shot, Oct. 28

Sunday, October 28th
Nailers at Royals Game Day Snap Shot, Oct. 28

WHEELING NAILERS(1-2-0-0, 2 PTS, T-5th Central, T-12th West)7 GF, 11 GAPP: 28.6% (4-for-14), 2ndPK: 75.0% (9-for-12), 23rd

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

15-F-Eliot Grauer (2 goals, 1 assist, 3 points in 3 games)27-F-Zac Lynch (1 goal, 2 assists, 3 points in 3 games)21-F-Cam Brown (3 assists, 3 points in 3 games)10-F-Troy Josephs (1 goal, 1 assist, 2 points in 1 game)17-F-Winston Day Chief (1 goal, 1 assist, 2 points in 1 game)5-D-Dan Fick (1 goal, 1 point in 2 games)1-G-John Muse (1-0-0 record, 1.85 GAA, .949 Sv% in 1 game)

READING ROYALS(2-1-1-2, 7 PTS, T-3rd North, T-7th East)19 GF, 20 GAPP: 25.0% (7-for-28), 3rdPK: 83.3% (20-for-24), 13th

NHL Affiliate: Philadelphia FlyersAHL Affiliate: Lehigh Valley Phantoms

19-F-Alex Krushelnyski (1 goal, 7 assists, 8 points in 6 games)21-F-Frank DiChiara (2 goals, 3 assists, 5 points in 5 games)17-F-Michael Huntebrinker (1 goal, 4 assists, 5 points in 4 games)14-F-Adam Schmidt (1 goal, 4 assists, 5 points in 6 games)12-F-Steven Swavely (2 goals, 2 assists, 4 points in 6 games)25-D-Nick Luukko (2 goals, 2 assists, 4 points in 6 games)33-G-Branden Komm (2-1-2 record, 2.96 GAA, .910 Sv% in 5 games)

Head-to-HeadSeason Series: Nailers 1, Royals 0Season Series at Santander Arena: Nailers 1, Royals 0All-Time Series: Royals 96, Nailers 77All-Time Series at Santander Arena: Royals 53, Nailers 35

Put One in the Win ColumnThe Wheeling Nailers earned their first victory of the season on Saturday night, and they did so in exciting fashion, going to a shootout in their game against the Reading Royals at Santander Arena. After a scoreless first period, Wheeling fell behind early in the middle frame, but battled back, thanks to some strong work around the net by Winston Day Chief, who deposited his first goal with his new team. The Nailers went ahead during the opening minutes of the third period, as Troy Josephs roofed a wrist shot from the right circle on the power play. Reading answered to force overtime, where it peppered the Wheeling cage, but John Muse held on, making 37 saves during the contest, leading it into a shootout. Neither team was able to light the lamp during the first three rounds, but that changed in round four, as Cam Brown flipped a shot over the goaltender's right leg pad for the 3-2 Nailers win.

Lots of Extra Hockey EarlyThe Reading Royals have gone past regulation in three of their first six games this season, and all three decisions have gone to their opponents, including Saturday night's clash with the Nailers. Reading has yet to win a game when scoring the first goal, and that trend continued on Saturday, as Steve Johnson collected his first professional goal, tapping in the rebound of Michael Huntebrinker's shot off the right post. The Royals fell behind after back-to-back strikes by Wheeling, but rallied to earn at least one point for the fifth time in six games, thanks to Alex Krushelnyski, who tallied on a breakaway with 10:45 remaining in regulation. That was the last time that Reading found the twine, as the home side was denied on eight shots in overtime and four shootout attempts. Angus Redmond made 31 saves during the game, and was then bested on one of four shootout attempts.

Josephs Jumps into the LineupTroy Josephs played his first game of the season for the Nailers on Saturday night, after suiting up in one game with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, and his presence certainly made an impact. His line with Cam Brown and Winston Day Chief accounted for both of the team's goals, as well as one-third of the shot total during regulation and overtime, as the trio recorded 11 of the 33 tries. With the additions of Josephs and John Muse from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton earlier in the week, Wheeling now has seven affiliated players on its roster, with the other five being Johnny Austin, Dane Birks, Brown, Renars Krastenbergs, and Kevin Spinozzi. The Royals also have seven players on their roster with either NHL or AHL contracts, including Saturday night's starter, Angus Redmond, who comes from the Anaheim Ducks organization.

History Repeats Itself in Unique WaysThe ECHL followed in the footsteps of the NHL and AHL by establishing 3-on-3 hockey for overtime, and thus, shootouts have become significantly fewer and farther between. The Nailers have had their three fewest shootout appearances in team history over the course of the last three years, as they played in three last season, one the season before, and four in 2015-16. However, the shootout has come onto the scene more than one would expect for the team's first victory of a campaign. Saturday night marked the seventh time in the 27-year history of the club that win number one came via the shootout. The previous six took place in 1994, 1999, 2000, 2004, 2005, and 2016. Saturday's triumph was also the first for Nailers Head Coach Mike Bavis and Nailers Assistant Coach Dylan Clarke.

Move Over JohnstownSunday afternoon marks the second of eight head-to-head meetings between the Nailers and Royals this season, as well as the second of four battles at Santander Arena. Wheeling got the season series started on a positive note with Saturday's shootout win, which was surprisingly the first shootout between the two long time rivals since November 20, 2013. One has to go back a few more months to find the last time the Nailers earned a shootout win against Reading, which was achieved on January 30, 2013 with Zach Hansen's clinching tally. Sunday will be the 174th time that Wheeling takes the ice against the Royals, making that the most games for the Nailers and Thunderbirds against any single opponent, surpassing the 173 games played against the Johnstown Chiefs. The most games played against one city is 206 against the Toledo Storm and Walleye. Reading's season debut at WesBanco Arena will be game 175, which takes place on November 21st.

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