WHEELING, WV- Sunday afternoon's game between the Wheeling Nailers and Reading Royals at WesBanco Arena was significantly closer than the score from the previous night, but unfortunately, the end result went to the visitors. The Royals got a pair of goals from Kenny Hausinger, as well as the 200th ECHL win by Pat Nagle, as they were victorious, 3-2. Sam Houde had a goal and an assist for Wheeling.
The Nailers did their best to hold off an early storm by Reading, who outshot the home side, 11-3, which was also assisted by three power plays. The lone marker of the first period came on a Royals man advantage just 1:58 into the match. Jacob Pritchard wound his way around the back of the net, and centered a backhand pass to the slot, where a one-timer was pounded in by Kenny Hausinger.
The older Hausinger brother struck again at the 5:17 mark of the second period, when he picked the top-right corner with a wrist shot from the right dot. Wheeling started to turn momentum around in the latter stages of the frame, and finally broke through with 1:45 on the clock. Justin Almeida and Josh Victor teamed up to deny a Reading rush, and it ultimately turned the other way. Sam Houde flew down the right side, then swooped to the middle and dragged the puck around Pat Nagle's right leg. The assist was Victor's first ECHL point.
With 6:40 left in the game, the Royals got a key insurance tally to extend their lead. Trevor Gooch jammed a puck on goal, which was kept out. However, the puck squeezed out to Brad Morrison, who was able to bank a shot in from the goal line. Josh Maniscalco threw in a wrist shot to bring the Nailers back within one during 6-on-5 play, but a tying goal wasn't in the cards, as Reading hung on, 3-2.
Pat Nagle earned the win for the Royals, as he made 25 saves on 27 shots. Brody Claeys gave Wheeling a strong effort by stopping 26 of the 29 shots he faced, but suffered the defeat.
The Nailers will play their next four games on the road, as they will visit Indy on March 18th, 19th, and 23rd, with a trip to Kalamazoo mixed in on March 20th. Wheeling's next home game is Throwback Night on Friday, March 25th at 7:10, which will feature special guests Louis Dumont and Paul Bissonnette. The Nailers will also be wearing specialty jerseys, and it's a Frosty Friday with $2 beer specials. The opponent that evening is Kalamazoo. Season memberships, single game tickets, and partial packages are available, and fans can get more information by calling (304) 234-GOAL. 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.