READING, PA- The Wheeling Nailers had been playing lots of high-scoring games in the month of December, so they were due for a victory in a goaltending dual. On Wednesday night in Reading, they got a great performance from Taylor Gauthier, who made 30 saves to give his team an excellent chance for a win. Cédric Desruisseaux and Samuel Tremblay rewarded their keeper, and Tremblay's game winner was the first goal of his pro career, as the Nailers came out on top, 2-1.
The two sides played a scoreless first period, which was a great scenario for the Nailers, who took the lead with a pair of goals in the final seven minutes of the middle frame. The first tally came shortly after a power play expired. Davis Bunz cycled the puck deep from the right point to Justin Addamo behind the cage. Addamo quickly spotted Cédric Desruisseaux, who slammed in a one-timer from the right side of the crease. Then, with two minutes to go, Gianluca Esteves' shot from the left wall produced a juicy rebound, which kicked right to Samuel Tremblay, who deposited his first professional goal.
Wheeling maintained its 2-0 lead for most of the third period, before the Royals spoiled the shutout bid with 3:50 left on the clock. Alec Butcher's right circle shot got stopped, but the rebound went to Jacob Gaucher, who rolled in the goal. Taylor Gauthier shut the door from there on the late Reading surge, as the Nailers closed out the 2-1 road triumph.
Taylor Gauthier was terrific in goal for Wheeling, as he thwarted away 30 of the 31 shots he faced. Kaden Fulcher made 29 saves on 31 shots in the loss for the Royals.
The Nailers and Royals will make their way to WesBanco Arena for the rest of the week, where they will clash on Friday at 7:10 and Saturday at 6:10 to close out 2022. Friday's game will be a Frosty Friday with $2 beers, then Saturday's tilt on New Year's Eve will feature a team calendar giveaway to the first 1,500 fans. Wizards & Wands is also coming up soon on Saturday, January 14th. Ticket packages 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.