Royals Escape with Wild 6-5 Shootout Win
WHEELING, WV - Another big night of scoring took place at WesBanco Arena on Saturday, and unfortunately, for the second straight tilt, the Wheeling Nailers came up on the short end of the scoreboard. However, Wheeling was able to get a point, as Cedric Lacroix and Michael Phillips both scored twice in regulation, which finished deadlocked, 5-5. Chris McCarthy was the star of the night for the Reading Royals, as his shootout winner followed a four-point night, lifting the visitors to the 6-5 decision.
The first period was an incredibly wild one, as the two teams combined to light the lamp seven times. The Nailers got off to a fast start, netting the first two tallies in the opening 6:48. Yushiroh Hirano scooped up a loose puck to extend his point streak to seven games, before Cedric Lacroix tipped in a point shot. Both goals were set up by Johnny Austin. Reading rallied back to take a lead, scoring three times in 2:32. Brayden Low notched the first two, and he was followed by Frank DiChiara, who slipped a shot through the legs. Wheeling called a timeout, made a goaltending change, and tied the score, as Michael Phillips roofed a backhander from the left side. However, the Royals went back on top 2:07 later with a rebound goal by Chris McCarthy on a power play. McCarthy had four points in the stanza.
The flurry of goals slowed down a tad in the middle frame, but two pucks found the back of the net, giving the Nailers the lead. Phillips knotted the score on the man advantage at the 2:24 mark, stuffing in his second chance along the left side of the net. With 8:41 remaining, Winston Day Chief put strong pressure on the Reading defense, freeing up the puck for a one-timer, which was smacked home by Lacroix.
One goal was scored in the third period, as Reading forced overtime with 5:53 left on the clock. A scramble for a loose puck trickled out to Alex Roos, who flipped in a shot from the left side.
Overtime wasn't able to solve anything, despite some glorious chances for both squads. The contest came down to the final shot of the shootout, which was converted by Chris McCarthy of the Royals for their 6-5 win.
Andrew D'Agostini earned the win for Reading, making 39 saves on 44 shots. Jordan Ruby stopped 30 of the 32 shots he faced in relief, and was the goaltender of record. Matt O'Connor was 4-of-7 in the starting role.
The Nailers will close out the weekend against the Fort Wayne Komets on Sunday at 3:05 with a Family Funday, featuring a Post Game Skate with the Team (even-numbered players). 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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