READING, PA- For the second game in a row, the Wheeling Nailers had a wall in front of their net that made life difficult on the opposition. Taylor Gauthier made 30 saves on 31 shots, and got goal support from Sean Josling and Josh Maniscalco, as the Nailers opened their road schedule with a 2-1 triumph over the Reading Royals at Santander Arena. Maniscalco's winning marker came in the final minute of the second period.
The Nailers got off to a quick start, as they opened the scoring 3:22 into the contest. Carter Johnson carried the puck in on the left side of the offensive zone, then slid a pass to Sean Josling, who was in the process of driving to the net. Josling put his stick on the ice, and guided the feed through Nolan Maier's legs. The third-year Wheeling forward made some more noise later in the period, when he threw down the gloves and got the better of Devon Paliani.
Power plays were the story of the middle frame, as the two squads combined to score twice on five attempts. Reading temporarily pulled even at the 5:14 mark. Garrett McFadden worked the puck around the zone to Charlie Gerard, who slammed in a slap shot from the top of the right circle. With just 31.1 seconds left, the Nailers snatched the lead back. Carter Johnson won an offensive zone face-off back to Josh Maniscalco, who darted straight to the high slot, where he clobbered a slap shot into the top-right corner of the cage.
Wheeling's defense and goaltending were called upon in a big way in the third period, and both parties answered with authority. The Royals held a 12-3 shots adavantage in the final stanza, but the Nailers shut the door to preserve the 2-1 win.
Taylor Gauthier was fantastic once again in goal for Wheeling, as he denied 30 of the 31 shots he faced. He has now allowed just one goal on 51 shots in his last two starts. Nolan Maier came up with 13 saves on 15 shots in the Reading crease.
The Nailers and Royals will meet up again in Reading on Saturday at 7:00. Wheeling will then travel to Toledo for a Wednesday morning school day game at 10:35. Next weekend, the Nailers will return to WesBanco Arena for a three-game homestand. Friday, November 11th is Military Appreciation Night and a Frosty Friday, as the Nailers battle Kalamazoo at 7:10. Then, Fort Wayne comes to town for a 7:10 Saturday game and a 4:10 Sunday tilt. Saturday, November 12th is Martial Arts Night and Sunday, November 13th has a post game skate with odd-numbered players. Season memberships, Big 6 ticket plans, and single game tickets are available for the 2022-23 season by visiting wheelingnailers.com or calling (304) 234-GOAL. 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.