READING, PA- The Wheeling Nailers got their first win of the 2018-19 season in dramatic fashion on Saturday night, as they faced their longtime rivals, the Reading Royals, at Santander Arena. The contest took until the fourth round of a shootout to get decided, and that's when Cam Brown was the hero, netting the winning goal for the Nailers. John Muse was terrific in goal with 37 saves in the game and four more in the shootout, while Brown, Troy Josephs, and Winston Day Chief all had two-point nights in the 3-2 Wheeling triumph.
After a scoreless first period, both teams dented the twine in the middle frame. Reading was first on the scoreboard at the 1:45 mark. Michael Huntebrinker's shot from the right circle rang off of the post, before bouncing out to Steve Johnson, who swatted in a backhander from the low slot. The Nailers responded less than seven minutes later. Cam Brown centered the puck to the top of the crease, where Winston Day Chief battled home his first goal in a Wheeling uniform.
Wheeling took its first lead of the night at the 2:34 mark of the third period. Troy Josephs ripped a wrist shot from the right face-off dot, flying it into the top-right corner of the cage. Cam Brown picked up the lead assist, giving him a pair of helpers in the contest. The Royals battled back to draw even, as Alex Krushelnyski broke away and scored on his backhand.
That tally ultimately forced overtime and then a shootout, thanks in large part to John Muse and the Wheeling penalty kill, which turned in a perfect 5-for-5 effort. The netminders matched each other save-for-save until round four, when Muse denied Nick Luukko, opening the door for Cam Brown, who waited out Angus Redmond, before lifting a shot over his right leg pad for the 3-2 Nailers victory.
John Muse got the win against his former team, making 37 saves on 39 shots for the Nailers, before blocking all four shootout attempts. Angus Redmond turned away 31 of 33 shots for Reading, before being bested on one of four shootout attempts.
The Nailers and Royals will meet again in Reading on Sunday at 4:00. Wheeling plays its first home game on November 3rd against the Indy Fuel, featuring a pregame concert by Logan Wojcik, the induction of the Wheeling Hockey Hall of Fame's Class of 2018, and the debut of the team's new alternate jersey. The Wheeling Nailers, considered one of the top things to do in Wheeling, West Virginia, provide affordable family entertainment for fans throughout the Ohio Valley. For information on season tickets, group tickets, flex plans, and more, call (304) 234-GOAL.