READING, PA- The Wheeling Nailers faced a tall hill to climb in the early stages of Saturday night's game against the Reading Royals at Santander Arena. Reading jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the opening 21 minutes of play. The Nailers didn't go away quietly, as they put forth a strong comeback effort, and pulled to within goal, before running out of time in a 4-3 Royals win. Brooklyn Kalmikov and Justin Addamo both scored their first pro goals for Wheeling, who also got one from Cam Hausinger.
The Royals came out with a strong first period, which they bookended with a pair of goals. The first tally came at the 1:34 mark. Yvan Mongo's tight angle shot from deep on the left side got kept out, but Max Newton followed and was able to jam in the rebound. Newton was also responsible for the second marker of the stanza with 1:06 left on the clock. Shane Sellar made a pass from beneath the goal line, which connected with Newton at the top of the crease. Newton got the puck up quickly, as he lifted a shot up and under the crossbar.
The offensive part of the game picked up drastically in the middle frame, in addition to the physicality, as four goals were scored and 32 penalty minutes were handed out. All four strikes came during man advantages. 43 seconds into the period, Reading extended its lead. Trey Bradley's right side shot got booted away, but the rebound went directly to Shane Sellar, who potted his shot from the left circle. The Nailers got on the scoreboard less than two minutes later while playing 4-on-3. Brooklyn Kalmikov attempted to shift in a shot from on top of the crease, and he got a helping hand from Cam Hausinger, who flew in to roof the loose puck. Trey Bradley slapped in the Royals' third power play goal of the evening from the left side of the slot, before Wheeling got another one back. Chris Ortiz slid a pass across the high slot to Brooklyn Kalmikov, who smoked in a one-timer from the right face-off dot for the first tally of his pro career.
Another player achieved a first in the third period, as the Nailers closed the gap to one. Cédric Desruisseaux had his initial shot stopped, but Justin Addamo sped in to drill home the rebound from the right side of the ice for his first goal as a pro. Addamo also had a fight in the second period, which put him an assist shy of a Gordie Howe Hat Trick. Wheeling poured everything it had on the net in the final frame, as it outshot Reading, 17-2. Unfortunately, a tying goal wasn't in the cards, as the Royals held on for the 4-3 decision.
Nolan Maier collected his first win for Reading, as he stopped 30 of the 33 shots he faced. Tommy Nappier made 21 saves on 25 shots for the Nailers.
The Nailers will play one more road game on Wednesday morning at 10:35, when they visit the Toledo Walleye. Wheeling will then return to WesBanco Arena for a three-game homestand. Friday, November 11th is Military Appreciation Night and a Frosty Friday, as the Nailers battle Kalamazoo at 7:10. Then, Fort Wayne comes to town for a 7:10 Saturday game and a 4:10 Sunday tilt. Saturday, November 12th is Martial Arts Night and Sunday, November 13th has a post game skate with odd-numbered players. Season memberships, Big 6 ticket plans, and single game tickets are available for the 2022-23 season by visiting wheelingnailers.com or 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.