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Royals Come Back to Split Weekend Set with Nailers

Sunday, October 28th
Royals Come Back to Split Weekend Set with Nailers

READING, PA- The Wheeling Nailers and Reading Royals split their two-game weekend set at Santander Arena, as the Nailers won the opener, before Reading rebounded on Sunday afternoon. The score was 1-1 after two periods, but the Royals offense turned things on in the third period, tallying four times for a 5-2 result in their favor. Kevin Spinozzi and Nick Saracino had the goals for Wheeling, while Josh MacDonald scored on a penalty shot and added to assists for the Royals.

The Nailers got on the scoreboard first at the 4:01 mark of the opening stanza. Cedric Lacroix won a face-off in the left circle of the offensive zone, and got some help from teammate Alex Rauter, who swiped the puck back to the point. Kevin Spinozzi immediately stepped into a shot, blasting it into the top-right corner of the net.

Wheeling maintained its lead until the closing minutes of the second period, when Reading pulled even with a penalty shot. Josh MacDonald was hooked on his way to the net, giving him the opportunity, which he converted, sneaking a shot through the legs. The goal ended a run of five straight penalty shot saves by Nailers goaltenders, dating back to 2016.

Scoring increased drastically in the third period. The Royals took their first lead of the day at the 1:36 mark, when Alex Krushelnyski drilled in the rebound of MacDonald's initial shot. Wheeling had a quick answer from Nick Saracino, who shelved a wrist shot from the right circle. Unfortunately, the rest of the frame went to Reading. Chris McCarthy tipped in Charlie Vasaturo's point shot for what turned out to be the winning goal at 9:59. 1:06 later, Adam Schmidt added insurance from the slot, before Michael Huntebrinker's empty netter made the final score 5-2.

Branden Komm got the win in goal for the Royals, turning aside 32 of the 34 shots he faced. John Muse suffered the defeat for the Nailers, making 28 saves on 32 shots.

The Nailers have concluded their season-opening four-game stretch on the road, and now look forward to their home opener on Saturday night against the Indy Fuel at 7:05. Opening Night will feature 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.

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