READING, PA – History was made by the Wheeling Nailers and Reading Royals on Thursday night at Santander Arena. The two teams played the longest game in each team’s history and the 14th longest in the history of the ECHL. The long night ended at 11:22 pm ET on a thrilling note, as 4:22 into the third overtime period, Cody Wydo scored on a breakaway, lifting the Nailers past the Reading Royals, 2-1 at Santander Arena. Franky Palazzese made 42 saves, and assisted on the winning marker.
After a scoreless first period which featured just 15 combined shots on goal, the tie was broken in the early stages of the middle frame. Wheeling cashed in on a man advantage, as Anton Zlobin played the puck up the left wall to Clark Seymour at the left point. With traffic setting up in front of the cage, Seymour let a wrist shot go, getting a deflection from Ty Loney to put the Nailers on the scoreboard.
With 6:58 left in the third period, the Royals tied the score. Yannick Tifu poked a pass through the right side of center ice for Brandon Alderson, who used his speed to race into the offensive zone. Once Alderson separated himself from the defense, he shifted from his forehand to his backhand, sliding a shot under Franky Palazzese’s right pad.
The teams proceeded to overtime, then a second extra session, and ultimately a third bonus period, which is when the Nailers finished off the contest. John McCarron chopped a pass ahead to Cody Wydo, sending him on a breakaway through the middle of the ice. Wydo kept the puck on his forehand, snapping a shot into the left side of the goal, ending the longest game in team history with a 2-1 triumph.
Franky Palazzese and Martin Ouellette were spectacular in goal for both teams, as they combined to stop 92 of the 95 shots they faced. Palazzese denied 42 of 43 in the win for Wheeling, while Ouellette was 50-for-52 for Reading.
The Nailers and Royals will have a day to rest before gathering again on Saturday for game five at 7:00. The series will then return to WesBanco Arena for game six on Monday at 7:05.