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Nailers vs. Royals Game Day Snap Shot, February 13

February 13, 2019 - ECHL (ECHL) - Wheeling Nailers News Release

Wheeling Nailers (21-22-5-1, 48 Pts.) vs. Reading Royals (21-19-3-5, 50 Pts.), 7:05 p.m.

WHEELING NAILERS

(21-22-5-1, 48 PTS, 6th Central, 10th West)

167 GF, 164 GA

PP: 21.9% (46-for-210), 3rd

PK: 80.7% (176-for-218), 21st

NHL Affiliate: Pittsburgh Penguins

AHL Affiliate: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

27-F-Zac Lynch (14 goals, 33 assists, 47 points in 49 games)

9-F-Yushiroh Hirano (14 goals, 25 assists, 39 points in 44 games)

23-F-Michael Phillips (15 goals, 19 assists, 34 points in 49 games)

21-F-Cam Brown (8 goals, 26 assists, 34 points in 30 games)

4-F-Alex Rauter (10 goals, 23 assists, 33 points in 41 games)

22-D-Kevin Spinozzi (11 goals, 17 assists, 28 points in 26 games)

31-G-Jordan Ruby (5-3-2 record, 2.54 GAA, .917 Sv% in 12 games)

READING ROYALS

(21-19-3-5, 50 PTS, 5th North, 9th East)

141 GF, 151 GA

PP: 17.5% (31-for-177), 14th

PK: 79.2% (126-for-159), 24th

NHL Affiliate: Philadelphia Flyers

AHL Affiliate: Lehigh Valley Phantoms

3-F-Chris McCarthy (11 goals, 39 assists, 50 points in 48 games)

14-F-Adam Schmidt (14 goals, 18 assists, 32 points in 48 games)

21-F-Frank DiChiara (13 goals, 14 assists, 27 points in 47 games)

16-F-Alex Roos (9 goals, 10 assists, 19 points in 31 games)

25-D-Nick Luukko (6 goals, 13 assists, 19 points in 48 games)

9-F-Brayden Low (9 goals, 9 assists, 18 points in 40 games)

33-G-Branden Komm (5-5-2 record, 2.72 GAA, .915 Sv% in 14 games)

Head-to-Head

Season Series: Nailers 3, Royals 3

Season Series at WesBanco Arena: Royals 2, Nailers 1

All-Time Series: Royals 99, Nailers 79

All-Time Series at WesBanco Arena: Royals 45, Nailers 43

One of Each on the Trip

The Wheeling Nailers traveled to New England for three games over the weekend, and came home with one of each result. Wheeling started with a 4-3 overtime loss in Manchester on Friday, then picked up a 5-1 victory in Worcester on Saturday, before falling short in a 4-1 defeat at Maine on Sunday. The finale had a scoreless first period, before the Mariners capitalized on a 5-on-3 in the early stages of the middle frame, as Terrence Wallin tapped in a loose puck on the left side of the crease. Greg Chase extended the lead at the 5:14 mark for a 2-0 score at intermission. Michael Phillips brought the Nailers within a goal, when he slammed home a one-timer from the right circle with 8:49 left in the third. However, Wheeling was unable to find an equalizer, and Maine got two late strikes from Wallin and Drew Melanson for the 4-1 final. Connor LaCouvee made 34 saves in the win, while Jordan Ruby stopped 30 of 33 shots for Wheeling.

No Beauties Against the Beast

The Reading Royals suffered back-to-back home losses against the Brampton Beast, and were only able to muster up one goal against Etienne Marcoux, who denied 57 of the 58 shots he faced. Saturday night was the more impressive of the performances by Marcoux, as he turned in a 41-save shutout in a 4-0 thumping. Brampton got its goals from David Vallorani, Jackson Leef, Artur Tianulin, and Austin McEneny. Two nights later, the Beast put the heat on early, taking 22 shots in the first period alone, while building a 2-0 lead, as Matt Petgrave and Vallorani lit the lamp. Tyler Brown finally solved Marcoux at the 12:27 mark of the middle stanza, but Tianulin and Nathan Todd salted a 4-1 Brampton win away in the third. Branden Komm played both games in net for the Royals, making 51 saves on 57 shots.

Done with the Long Trips

In terms of travel, life is getting a lot easier for the Nailers, as they enter the final 23 games of the regular season. Wheeling just completed one of its two longest road trips of the season, as it traveled a total of 1,604 miles, while playing games in three different states. From this point on, the Nailers will spend just four nights away from their own beds and in hotels, when they travel to Brampton, Toledo (after Cincinnati), and Kalamazoo (twice). Wheeling's remaining schedule is primarily focused around Central Division opponents, as 18 of the 23 remaining matches will be against those five clubs. Three of the five games outside of the division will be played this week, with single trips to Brampton and Reading accounting for the other two. As far as teams around the Nailers in the standings are concerned, Fort Wayne plays 20 of 26 remaining games in the division, Indy plays 16 of 23 remaining games in the division, and Kalamazoo plays 19 of 25 remaining games in the division.

A Big Boost at a Key Time

Some very welcome news came to the Nailers on Tuesday, as forward Cam Brown and defenseman Kevin Spinozzi both returned from the AHL. That injects 62 points into the Wheeling lineup, as both players have averaged over a point per game this season, with Brown tallying 34 in 30 games, and Spinozzi racking up 28 in 26 games. The individual success has also translated well to strong team success, as the Nailers have gone 15-9-2 when both players are in uniform. They will help try to right the ship for Wheeling, which has gone 2-6-4 in its last 12 games. Reading could also use a spark right now, as the Royals have gone 4-10-0 in their last 14 games. Both teams enter Wednesday on the outside of their respective division's playoff standings, but are within striking distance, as the Nailers trail Kalamazoo by three points, while the Royals are four points back of Manchester and Brampton.

New Feel to the Series

Wednesday night marks the seventh of eight head-to-head meetings between the Nailers and Royals this season, as well as the fourth and final battle at WesBanco Arena. This year's set has been even all the way down to the goals, as both squads have gone 3-2-1 with 19 goals scored. The two teams have each recorded two wins on the road, including one each way in shootouts. That was the case in the last match in Wheeling, as Reading's Chris McCarthy capped off his four-point night with the shootout winner in a 6-5 decision. The mood of the games has changed drastically over the past couple of seasons, as the Nailers and Royals have gone 13 straight tilts against each other without a fighting major, after 112 fights in the first 165 clashes. Wheeling needs to win Wednesday, as well as the last game in Reading on March 30th, in order to prevent the Royals from earning their 100th triumph in the all-time set.


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