READING, PA- The Wheeling Nailers brought their offensive game to Santander Arena on Friday night, as they ran over the Reading Royals to earn their fourth straight victory. Wheeling scored a season-high eight goals on a season-high 50 shots for an 8-3 final score. Jordan Martel became the second Nailer to score a hat trick this season, and he did so as part of a four-point night, while Isaac Belliveau netted the first multi-goal game of his pro career with two and one assist.
The Nailers put forth a dominant effort in the first period, as they outshot Reading 21-6, while netting the opening marker. Jordan Martel picked off a pass in the neutral zone, and proceeded to fly down the left side of the ice. After gaining the blueline, Martel got a step on his defender, which allowed him to drive to the net and sift a backhander through goaltender Nolan Maier.
Wheeling continued to control the contest in the middle frame, as the visitors put three more goals on the board. At the 56-second mark, David Drake caught Reading in the middle of a line change, as he sent Tanner Laderoute on a breakaway. Laderoute busted down the right side, and whizzed a shot into the left side of the cage. The following two strikes came on the man advantage. Davis Bunz let a wrist shot go, which got blocked away. However, the rebound hopped to David Jankowski, who swiped a pass over to Martel for a wide-open slam dunk from the left side. Less than three minutes later, David Jankowski collected a power play goal, as he redirected Justin Lee's feed in the middle of the slot. Period two ended with fireworks, as the second and third pairs of fighting majors were assessed.
More scoring came in the third period. The Royals closed to within two with a couple of goals during a major penalty against Peter Laviolette. Yvon Mongo swung in a shot from the top of the right circle, then Ryan Chyzowski busted down the slot and chipped a shot into the top-left corner. Isaac Belliveau singlehandedly put the Nailers back ahead by four, as he capitalized on a Maier turnover with an open shot into the top-left corner, then zipped a shot over the netminder's right shoulder. Devon Paliani tallied once more for Reading, but that was answered ten seconds later, when Sebastian Dirven deposited a rebound in the crease. Martel completed his hat trick from the left side of the ice with 1:18 to put the final exclamation point on Wheeling's 8-3 triumph.
Taylor Gauthier collected the win for the Nailers, as he denied 21 of the 24 shots he faced. Nolan Maier took the loss for the Royals, as he allowed all eight goals on 50 shots.
The Nailers and Royals will conclude their three-game series in Reading on Saturday at 7:00. 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.