Barratt Tallies Three Points, Royals Drop High-Scoring Affair to Nailers, 6-5
Wheeling, WV - The Reading Royals (36-22-4-0), proud affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, fell to the Wheeling Nailers (26-32-5-0), 6-5, on Saturday, March 25 at WesBanco Arena. The Royals opened their two-game series in Wheeling with their third-straight loss to the Nailers thai season. Bailey Brkin (5-9-2) suffered the loss in net for Reading with 23 saves on 29 shots faced. Brad Barone earned the win in net for Wheeling with 21 saves on 26 shots faced (11-15-5-1).
Evan Barratt scored the game's opening goal 1:07 into the first period to put Reading in front with his first of two goals in the game. With the final touch on a tic-tac-toe connection between Tyler Hedit and Charlie Gerard, Barratt scored his 19th goal of the season to improve Heidt's point streak to five games as well as earn Gerard his 100th point of his ECHL career. The opening goal was the only time Reading led in the game.
Wheeling surged back with three-straight goals before the end of the first period. Gianluca Esteves scored the 11th shorthanded goal allowed by the Royals this season before Cédric Desruisseaux scored his team-leading 27th goal of the season 87 seconds later to put the Nailers ahead, 2-1.
Peter Laviolette extended Wheeling's lead to two with his first of two goals in the game. With 5:34 left in the opening period, the rookie forward deflected a pass from Jarrett Lee past Brkin for his second goal of his professional career. Laviolette earned his first multi-goal game of his professional career in the second period. Laviolette shoveled a backhand shot past Brkin to put Wheeling back into the lead after Colin Felix and Shane Sellar scored two-straight goals for Reading to open up the second period.
Charlie Gerard tied the score, 4-4, with his team-leading 30th goal of the season 9:14 into the middle frame. Max Newton and Mason Millman each earned one of their two assists on Gerard's second point of the game. On the goal, Newton earned his team-leading 18th mutli-point game of the season while Gerard and Millman earned their 16th and 8th multi-point games of the season respectively.
After T.J. Fergus scored his fourth goal of the season with 1:08 remaining in the second period, Evan Barratt scored his second goal of the game with 10 seconds left in the middle frame, 5-5. Barratt's 20th goal of the season earned Philadelphia's NHL-contracted forward his fifth multi-goal game of the season.
Wheeling scored the lone goal of the third period to take their fourth lead of the game. Jordan Frasca led an odd-man rush into Reading's zone and delivered a wrist shot over Brkin's left shoulder to put the Nailers in front for good, 6-5. Under an NHL contract with Pittsburgh, Frasca scored his seventh goal of the season and game-winning goal to the high-scoring affair.
The Royals were outshot by the Nailers with 26 shots to Wheeling's 29 in the game. Reading suffered their fifth loss (2-5) to Wheeling this season and fell to a 112-89 record all-time against the Nailers.
The Royals conclude their three-game road-trip in Wheeling on Sunday, March 26 at 4:10 p.m. at WesBanco Arena. The Royals return home on Wednesday, March 29 to host the Adirondack Thunder at 7:00 p.m. at Santander Arena. The home game features a Wild Wednesdays promotional game.
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ECHL Stories from March 25, 2023
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