READING, PA- The Wheeling Nailers got one point on Saturday night, but they would have loved to have taken a second one. Wheeling led 2-0 in the first period on tallies by Winston Day Chief and Yushiroh Hirano, before the Reading Royals rallied back to pick up a 3-2 shootout win at Santander Arena. Jordan Ruby made 39 saves in goal for the Nailers.
The Nailers were strong off the rush in the first period, as they jumped out to a 2-0 lead. On the first goal, Dan Fick started with a stretch pass to Cedric Lacroix on the left side of the neutral zone. Lacroix carried the puck in, then swept a pass to Winston Day Chief, who had a tap-in on the right side of the crease. Dane Birks helped start the second tally when he crunched Chris McCarthy to free up the puck. Alec Butcher scooped up the loose biscuit, then fed Yushiroh Hirano, who blasted in a one-timer from the left circle.
One goal was scored in the middle frame, as Reading pulled within one. Chris McCarthy broke in on the right side of the ice, then twirled a pass around to Josh MacDonald, who fired the puck into a wide open cage.
The Royals drew even in the third period. Adam Schmidt bounced the puck to Frank DiChiara, who was open in the slot. DiChiara potted his shot on the left side, which ultimately forced overtime with the score knotted, 2-2.
The extra session couldn't decide anything, leading to a shootout. Alex Roos and DiChiara scored on both attempts for Reading, while Kevin Spinozzi and Zac Lynch came up empty for Wheeling, as the Royals prevailed, 3-2.
Jamie Phillips got the win for Reading, making 20 saves on 22 shots. Jordan Ruby turned in an excellent performance in the shootout defeat for the Nailers, turning aside 39 of the 41 shots he faced during the game.
The Nailers will return home on Sunday for a 3:05 game against the Kalamazoo Wings. Sunday is First Responders Appreciation Night, all fans will receive a team poster, there will be a full team post game autograph session, and all tickets are $12. Also coming up on the schedule is Fan Appreciation Night on Saturday, April 6th. 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.