First Victory Still Eludes Nailers
READING, Pa. – With Philipp Grubauer on recall to the AHL’s Hershey Bears, the crease for the Reading Royals was fully in the hands of Brandon Anderson. The rookie backstop made his second professional appearance on Sunday afternoon and was perfect, denying all 18 shots he faced, leading the Royals to a 3-0 victory against the Wheeling Nailers at Sovereign Center.
Late in the first period, the Royals opened the scoring when they found the back of the net with a power-play goal. Yannick Tifu worked the puck to Denny Urban, who blasted a one-timer in toward the net. Joel Champagne got a piece of Urban’s chance, tipping it into the bottom right corner of the cage, as host Reading led 1-0 after one period.
The home team added to the lead at the 12:41 mark of the second when David Civitarese threw a hard and heavy shot onto the net from the top of the right circle. Nailers goalie Patrick Killeen flashed his left side to make the save, but the rebound kicked out to TJ Syner, who was able to slap it back into the cage as the Royals took a 2-0 lead into the third.
The victory was secured by the Royals with 2:33 remaining as, fresh off of a successful penalty kill, Alex Berry fed Tifu, who hesitated, before beating Killeen with a wrist shot from the left side of the slot.
Anderson earned his first professional victory. Killeen played well, making 25 saves on 28 shots, but fell short for the Nailers.
The Nailers open their home season Friday night when they take on the Reading Royals in the first of two straight head-to-head matchups at WesBanco Arena. The puck will drop at 7 p.m. for both games.
Wheeling0 0 0 – 0
Reading1 1 1 – 3
1st Period-1, Reading, Champagne 2 (Urban, Tifu), 17:23 (PP). Penalties-Zurevinski Whl (tripping), 5:46; Molle Rea (interference), 8:34; Berry Rea (slashing ), 10:36; Flemming Rea (unsportsmanlike conduct), 13:33; Chupp Whl (holding the stick), 16:30; Comrie Rea (slashing , unsportsmanlike conduct), 18:02.
2nd Period-2, Reading, Syner 1 (Civitarese), 12:41. Penalties-Tifu Rea (unsportsmanlike conduct), 3:21; Farnham Whl (roughing), 4:46; Ross Whl (slashing ), 8:45; Schultz Whl (fighting – major), 11:46; Stevenson Rea (fighting – major), 11:46; served by Torquato Whl (bench – too many men), 13:39; Ross Whl (fighting – major), 16:26; Berry Rea (fighting – major), 16:26; Cianfrini Whl (fighting – major), 17:38; Marshall Rea (fighting – major), 17:38; Lefebvre Whl (high-sticking), 17:52.
3rd Period-3, Reading, Tifu 1 (Berry), 17:27. Penalties-Berry Rea (slashing ), 12:27; Tifu Rea (tripping), 15:12.
Shots on Goal-Wheeling 8-6-4-18. Reading 6-14-8-28.
Power Play Opportunities-Wheeling 0 / 8; Reading 1 / 6.
Goalies-Wheeling, Killeen 0-2-0-1 (28 shots-25 saves). Reading, Anderson 1-1-0-0 (18 shots-18 saves).
Referees-Ryan Murphy (10). Linesmen-Ryan Daisy (64), Brian Oliver (36).