WHEELING, WV- A lot of great things came together on Wednesday night for the Wheeling Nailers, and when all of those got added up, the result was a 5-2 victory over the Reading Royals at WesBanco Arena. Wheeling got plenty of offense, including two goals from Justin Addamo, as well as a goal and an assist each from Davis Bunz and Bobby Hampton. They were extremely disciplined, as they went to the penalty kill just once all night. And their goaltender took care of business, as Bailey Brkin earned his fourth straight win with 32 saves.
One goal was scored in the first period, as the Royals capitalized on their lone power play chance. Zayde Wisdom twisted a pass from circle-to-circle for Charlie Gerard, who let a wrist shot go from the right side. Shane Sellar got a piece of the attempt to tip in the opening tally.
Wheeling had lots of great chances to break through in the middle frame, and at the 11:16 mark, the home side notched the equalizer. Cédric Desruisseaux led a rush in on the left side of the offensive zone, then delivered a perfect saucer pass to Bobby Hampton, who touched in the feed from the right side of the crease. The Nailers followed that up by taking the lead on the power play. Josh Maniscalco fired the initial shot, which Justin Addamo deflected off of Félix Paré. The puck bounced right back to Addamo, who stashed in his team-leading 15th goal of the campaign.
Less than six minutes into the third period, Wheeling extended its advantage. Louie Roehl made a gorgeous play at the middle of the blueline, which opened up a passing lane to Davis Bunz, who slammed in a one-timer from beneath the left circle. Charlie Gerard temporarily brought Reading within one, when he flipped in Wisdom's feed on the right side of the crease. The Nailers responded just nine seconds later, as Addamo spun in his second of the night from the slot, after he crashed the net with his first try. Carter Johnson iced Wheeling's 5-2 triumph with an empty netter.
Bailey Brkin earned the win for the Nailers, as he turned aside 32 of the 34 shots he faced. Nolan Maier suffered his first ECHL loss since November 4th against Wheeling, as he made 23 saves on 27 shots.
The Nailers will have a day off, before resuming their homestand on Friday night at 7:10, when they face the Fort Wayne Komets on a Frosty Friday with $2 beers. Then, highlight game of the homestand is Wizards & Wands Night on Saturday at 7:10. That night will feature a wand giveaway, a wizarding school acceptance letter, quidditch during intermission, a sorting hat station, butter beer, specialty jerseys, and more. Ticket packages 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.