READING, PA- The Wheeling completely dominated the Reading Royals for the second straight night, as a crowd of 5,290 at Santander Arena was silenced. All 17 skaters in Wheeling's lineup registered at least one point, as the Nailers scored three goals in the first period, four goals in the second, and one more in the third for an 8-2 triumph. Lukas Svejkovsky and Dillon Hamaliuk both turned on the red light twice, while Jaxon Castor earned his fourth straight win with 27 saves. The win was Wheeling's fifth straight, and all five have come on the road.
The Nailers fended off an early attack by Reading, and then quickly went to work, as they lit the lamp three times in the first period. The opening marker came at the 13:51 mark. Thimo Nickl stepped into a slap shot from the right point, which he drilled into the right side of the cage. 1:17 later, Lukas Svejkovsky added to the advantage. Peter Laviolette won a battle along the end boards, and swung the puck back to Louie Roehl at the right point. Roehl immediately spotted Svejkovsky in the left circle, where he clobbered a one-timer into the left side of the net. With less than one minute left on the clock, Wheeling tacked on another. David Drake tossed a shot on goal from high on the left side, and the rebound kicked out to Dillon Hamaliuk, who dragged the puck to his left and tucked it into the open side of the twine.
The visitors kept the pedal to the metal in the middle frame with four more goals to up their lead to 7-1. Reading got on the scoreboard at the 2:20 mark, when Tyson Fawcett touched in a centering pass from Koletrane Wilson. Justin Lee got that goal back for the Nailers, when he clobbered a slap shot from the left point two seconds after a power play had expired. At the 9:30 mark, Wheeling chased Ryan Kenny from the Royals crease, when Hamaliuk spun his second of the night into the right side of the goal from the right side of the slot. Nolan Maier entered, and was greeted by a 2-on-1 rush from Svejkovsky and Cédric Desruisseaux in a matter of 1:32. Svejkovsky delivered the first pass, then got the return feed, which he wired into the top-right corner. Matt Koopman added one more with seven seconds left in the second, when he dribbled in a loose puck from the right side of the crease.
Matthew Quercia sifted in the final Nailers tally of the night, and Adam Brubacher collected one more for Reading to give the game its 8-2 final in Wheeling's favor.
Jaxon Castor put forth a strong performance in goal for the Nailers, as he denied 27 of the 29 shots he faced, which included nine shots in the opening ten minutes of play, when the game was scoreless. Ryan Kenny got the loss for the Royals, as he gave up five goals on 15 shots, before Nolan Maier allowed three goals on 15 shots in relief.
The Nailers will play one more road game on Wednesday night at 7:35, when they visit the Cincinnati Cyclones. Wheeling's next home game is Friday, February 2nd against Orlando at 7:10, which is a Frosty Friday. Saturday, February 3rd is Pups & Pucks Night, when fans can bring their dog to the game and meet Clifford the Big Red Dog, courtesy of WVPB. The next Big Six Promotional Game is Pittsburgh Penguins Night on Saturday, February 10th, starring two-time Stanley Cup Champion Trevor Daley. 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.