Wheeling Scores Twice in 52 Seconds for the Victory
On Saturday night, the Wheeling Nailers defeated the Eastern Conference leading Reading Royals for the second night in a row at WesBanco Arena. Luke Pither, Kevin Veilleux, and Zach Hansen recorded two points each, with Hansen and Pither lighting the lamp, as Wheeling snuck past Reading, 2-1. Scott Darling made 28 saves for his fifth straight win.
The scoring didn’t start until the 3:01 mark of the second period, when the Royals got on the board. Ian O’Connor stole a loose puck in center ice, before going in alone, and scoring on a breakaway. Zach Hansen pulled the Nailers even with his first of the season, as he scored on a wrist shot from the top of the right circle. The power play tally was assisted by Luke Pither and Keven Veilleux at 9:03. 52 seconds later, Hansen returned the favor, starting a rush out of his own zone, which resulted in Veilleux setting up Pither for a one-time goal from the left circle.
Scott Darling was on the top of his game, as Reading steered 25 shots onto the net in the final two periods. The visitors came up empty on all but one, as after the game, Darling mentioned that he was excited to face Drew MacIntyre, who spent time in the NHL last season.
Darling earned his fifth consecutive win for the Nailers, making 28 saves on 29 shots . MacIntyre took the loss for the Royals, stopping 26 of the 28 shots he faced.
The Nailers will close out their homestand on Sunday, when they take on the South Carolina Stingrays at 2:00.