WHEELING, WV- Education Day has typically been very successful for the Wheeling Nailers, who entered Tuesday morning with a 12-1-3 record in their last 16 contests started before noon. Despite a terrific crowd of 5,140 at WesBanco Arena, the end result wasn't what the home team had in mind. The Reading Royals got two goals and two assists from Thomas Ebbing, en route to a 5-1 road triumph. Carlos Fornaris' first pro goal was the lone marker for the Nailers.
The Royals put lots of pressure on Wheeling during the first period, and that led to a couple of goals. On the first tally, the Nailers were in the midst of a line change. Luke Stork immediately fed the puck ahead to Hayden Hodgson, who broke down the middle and ripped a shot through goaltender Emil Larmi. A little more than five minutes later, Reading struck again, when Thomas Ebbing lunged out to deposit the rebound of Garrett Cecere's initial attempt.
Reading extended the lead with two more goals in the middle frame, as Rob Michel rifled home a shot from the slot during the opening minutes, before a snipe by Hodgson with 4:03 remaining. Sandwiched in the middle of those was the first marker of the day by Wheeling. Spencer Trapp drove to the goal and dribbled a backhander that sat on the goal line. Carlos Fornaris found the loose puck and poked it into the cage for his first professional goal.
Ebbing's second tally of the match was the lone scoring in the third period, as the Royals completed their 5-1 win.
Felix Sandstrom got the victory in net for Reading, as he made 17 saves on 18 shots. Emil Larmi came up with 33 saves on 38 shots in the loss for the Nailers.
The Nailers will continue their homestand with a Frosty Friday against the Cincinnati Cyclones at 7:05. Then, Saturday is St. Hat Tricks Day at 7:05 against the Indy Fuel. The Nailers will wear special jerseys, the first 2,000 fans will receive a free hat, and there will be Irish drink specials. Friends & Family Ticket Packages are available for all Saturday home games, which include four tickets, four Tito's Sloppy Doggs and a $10 voucher to the team shop for $52. 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, partial plans, and more, call (304) 234-GOAL.