The Wheeling Nailers got off to a strong start in the month of February, as they took a nine-game point streak into Saturday night’s game. Unfortunately, that streak was halted, as Jussi Rynnas and Karel St. Laurent combined to make 32 saves in a 4-0 victory for the Reading Royals at Sovereign Center.
The first goal of the contest was scored late in the first period, with the Royals working on the man advantage. Denny Urban took a shot from the left side of the goal that was stopped by Peter Delmas. However, after a mad scramble in front, the rebound dribbled free to the right side of the crease, where Matt Caruana was able to slide the puck in for his team.
Reading extended the lead with two goals in the middle frame. At the 6:08 mark, Casey Haines took a drop pass from Ryan Button, and scored with a wrist shot along the ice from the left circle. Later in the frame, Yannick Tifu spun a pass into the slot, where Dale Mitchell kicked the puck from his skate to his stick, before depositing a backhander into the cage.
The Nailers hit a post and the crossbar in the third period, but it was the Royals, who picked up the lone marker in the final stanza. Kenny Ryan picked up the puck in his own zone, and rushed the other way, scoring on a shorthanded breakaway, giving the game its 4-0 final score.
Jussi Rynnas got the win for Reading, as he was perfect on 31 shots, in relief of Karel St. Laurent, who made one save in 5:31 to start the contest. Peter Delmas took the loss for Wheeling, making 32 saves on 36 shots.
The Nailers conclude their weekend with a 4:00 game in Trenton against the Titans on Sunday.Catch all the action on METV 9 or the Mix 97.3 FM