Nailers Crown Royals on Late Shorthanded Goal
READING, PA - The Wheeling Nailers entered the All-Star Break with a good taste in their mouths, as they closed out their three-game road trip by taking down the rival Reading Royals, 4-3 at Santander Arena. Troy Josephs notched two goals and an assist, including the game winner, which was shorthanded with 7:23 left in the third period. Jordan Ruby made the win stand up with 33 saves.
The lone goal of the first period went to the Royals on the man advantage. Joe Houk worked the puck around to Josh MacDonald at the top of the right circle. MacDonald let a wrist shot go with traffic in front, and was able to find the back of the net.
The middle stanza was a strong one for Wheeling, who erased a second deficit, before taking its first lead of the evening. Cedric Lacroix flew out of the penalty box, creating a 2-on-1 break with Troy Josephs on the first goal. Josephs sauced a pass over to Lacroix, who snapped the puck into the back of the net. Tyler Brown gave Reading a brief lead by rushing down the right side, before the Nailers answered 1:24 later on the man advantage. Yushiroh Hirano swept a pass through the slot to Renars Krastenbergs, who buried a wide open shot from the right face-off dot. 4:04 after that, Wheeling went ahead, as Troy Josephs stuffed a wraparound inside the right post.
The Royals drew even in the opening minutes of the third period on a rebound strike by Adam Schmidt. However, the Nailers went to one of their most successful areas of the season, as their 12th shorthanded goal was the difference maker. Michael Phillips led Josephs in alone, and Troy whipped a wrist shot past Branden Komm, giving Wheeling a 4-3 lead in a game it won by that score.
Jordan Ruby thwarted 33 of the 36 shots he faced, earning the win for the Nailers. Branden Komm made 27 saves on 31 shots in the loss for Reading.
The Nailers will begin a six-game homestand on Friday night, when they host the Brampton Beast at 7:05 for Faith & Family Night. Other highlight promotions during the homestand include Spouse Day on January 26th, Family Funday on January 27th, and Pups & Pucks on February 2nd. The next big promotional night is Country Roads, featuring a Mason Jar Giveaway to the first 2,000 fans on February 16th. 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. For information on season tickets, group tickets, flex plans, and more, call (304) 234-GOAL.
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Wheeling Nailers forward Troy Josephs
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