WHEELING, WV- The way a team starts a game can set the tone for the night, and on Friday night, the Reading Royals rode a hot start all the way to the finish line. Reading scored three times in the first period, including two in the opening four minutes of play, as the visitors collected a 4-2 win at WesBanco Arena. Samuel Tremblay and Justin Addamo scored for Wheeling, who also saw Roy Kanda drop the gloves in his ECHL debut.
The first period featured loads of scoring, but unfortunately for the Nailers, three of the four strikes went into their net. Reading opened the scoring just 1:19 into the match. Charlie Gerard's shot missed wide, but the rebound wobbled out to Max Balinson, who clobbered a one-timer off of the left post and in. Wheeling tied the score 1:19 later. David Drake tossed a shot toward the goal, which got tipped into the cage by Samuel Tremblay for his second goal in as many games. However, just nine seconds after that, the Royals regained the lead. Brendan Hoffmann centered a pass to Jacob Gaucher, who slammed in a one-timer from the low slot. It took a little while longer for the next goal to go in, and that was Balinson's second of the stanza, as he deposited a cross-ice feed from Gaucher into the wide-open left side of the twine.
Only one puck found the net in the middle frame, and it was the visitors, who extended their lead to three. Hoffmann broke down the left side of the ice, and proceeded to roof a wrist shot up and under the crossbar.
The Nailers got one goal back in the latter stages of the third period, as Justin Addamo redirected Cam Hausinger's feed at the top of the crease. Wheeling outshot Reading, 29-15 during the final two frames, but the Royals took their early start into the win column, 4-2.
Josh Boyko earned the victory for Reading, as he denied 35 of the 37 shots he faced. Tommy Nappier took the loss for the Nailers, as he made 23 saves on 27 shots.
The Nailers and Royals will close out the 2022 calendar year with Wheeling's traditional New Year's Eve game on Saturday at 6:10. The first 1,500 fans will receive a 2023 wall calendar. Wizards & Wands is also right around the corner on Saturday, January 14th. That night will feature a wand giveaway, a wizarding school acceptance letter, quidditch during intermission, a sorting hat station, butter beer, specialty jerseys, and more. 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.