READING, Pa. - For the second weekend in a row, the Wheeling Nailers took the ice for three games, and for the second weekend in a row, Wheeling earned five of six possible points. Cam Fergus scored twice in the first period for the Nailers on Saturday, and Peter Delmas made 33 saves as Wheeling defeated the Reading Royals, 3-1 at Sovereign Center.
The Nailers got off to a strong start in the first period, lighting the lamp twice. At the 4:26 mark, Cam Fergus scooped up a loose puck in the slot, moved it to his backhand, and lifted it into the top part of the cage. Then, with 2:26 remaining in the period, Fergus was at it again. The rookie forward won a puck battle in the left corner with TJ Syner, before dancing his way into the bottom of the circle, where he whipped a shot past Riley Gill. Both of Fergus' goals were assisted by Scott Zurevinski and Peter Lenes, as Wheeling led 2-0 after one.
Neither team was able to beat a goaltender in the second period, as the score continued to hold at 2-0, until the final few minutes of the contest. With 1:18 left in the third period, the Royals spoiled Delmas' shutout bid, as David Vallorani scooped up a loose puck on the right side of the crease, flipping a shot over the glove of Wheeling's sprawled out netminder. However, that was as close as Reading got, as Scott Zurevinski blocked Mark Mitera's shot, en route to scoring an empty net goal.
Delmas was magnificent again for the Nailers, stopping 33 of the 34 shots he faced. Riley Gill took the loss for the Royals, making 21 saves on 23 shots.
The Nailers and Royals will battle again on Wednesday at 7:05 at Sovereign Center.
Wheeling 2 0 1 - 3
Reading 0 0 1 - 1
1st Period-1, Wheeling, Fergus 9 (Zurevinski, Lenes), 4:26. 2, Wheeling, Fergus 10 (Lenes, Zurevinski), 17:34. Penalties-Hansen Whl (interference), 7:17; Civitarese Rea (interference), 7:33; Delmas Whl (roughing), 10:22; McNeill Whl (cross-checking), 19:19.
2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Torquato Whl (interference), 6:26; Hansen Whl (roughing), 9:16; Vallorani Rea (roughing), 9:16; Stevenson Rea (holding), 11:46.
3rd Period-3, Reading, Vallorani 14 (Champagne, Galiev), 18:42. 4, Wheeling, Zurevinski 11 19:07 (EN). Penalties-Crowder Whl (hooking), 4:54; Merth Whl (hooking), 7:56.
Shots on Goal-Wheeling 14-7-2-23. Reading 12-10-12-34.
Power Play Opportunities-Wheeling 0 / 2; Reading 0 / 6.
Goalies-Wheeling, Delmas 15-8-0-4 (34 shots-33 saves). Reading, Gill 3-2-0-0 (22 shots-20 saves).
Referee-Nic Leduc (14).
Linesmen-Brian Oliver (36), Ryan Daisy (64).