Nailers Lose Defensive Road Battle to Royals

READING, Pa. — Adam Morrison and Mark Dekanich were involved in a terrific goaltending battle Wednesday night, as the Wheeling Nailers and Reading Royals locked up for the fourth time in 11 days. Reading scored twice in the second period, and those two goals ended up being enough, as it squeezed out a 2-1 win at Santander Arena.

Morrison made 29 saves for the Nailers, who got their goal from Hunter Fejes.

The Royals got a pair of goals in the first period, as well as some big saves from their goaltender, taking a 2-0 lead into the intermission. The first goal was scored 4-on-4 at the 2:44 mark. Ryan Penny spotted Nolan Zajac coming in from the blueline, and hit him with a pass as he cruised into the slot, tapping in the tally. With 3:33 to go, Reading upped its advantage on the power play. Chris McCarthy rang a shot off the right post and the rebound kicked to the left side, where it was shoveled into the cage by Alex Krushelnyski.

Wheeling got some strong goaltending in the second period from Morrison, who stopped all 15 shots he faced, and ultimately helped his team slice the deficit to one. The goal came at the 4:16 mark. Riley Bourbonnais gave a pass to Fejes, who let a wrist shot fly from high of the slot, ringing it in off of the right post.

Nick Sorkin rang the post in the closing minutes of the third period, but the Nailers weren’t able to net the equalizer, as both teams were held scoreless.

Dekanich backstopped the win for the Royals, making 26 saves on 27 shots. Morrison played well for Wheeling, but got saddled with the defeat, stopping 29 of the 31 shots he faced.

The Nailers will continue their three-game road trip at Indy on Friday and Toledo on Saturday. Wheeling’s next home game takes place at 7:05 p.m. Dec. 12 against Indy. The next big promotional game is Brick & Kids Night on Jan. 13. To purchase tickets, or to get more information about season tickets, flex plans, group tickets, and more, call (304) 234-GOAL.