READING, Pa. - T.J. Syner has spent just 16 games in the ECHL this season, and on Wednesday night, he showed why. The rookie out of UMass-Amherst netted a hat trick, as part of a five-point performance, as the Reading Royals took down the Wheeling Nailers 7-1 at Sovereign Center.
Midway through the first period, the Royals opened the scoring, courtesy of a power play goal. The goal came as the result of a too many men on the ice minor, as Paul Crowder nearly caught Reading in the middle of a line change of its own.
While playing with the man advantage, Nikita Kashirsky wristed a shot from the top of the right circle that found its way to the back of the net. A little more than six minutes later, the Royals struck again, as Syner attempted a centering pass, but was rewarded with a goal, when it glanced into the net off of a Wheeling defenseman.
Syner and the Royals took control of the game in the second period.
At the 3:11 mark, the first year forward finished off a play with David Vallorani and Ethan Cox for his second of the night. Then, less than three minutes later, Syner was at it again, finishing his hat trick by speeding past the Nailers' defense, and burying a breakaway goal.
Later in the frame, Reading received a hometown bounce for its fifth goal of the night, when Joe Sova rifled a shot wildly wide, only to have it rebound out to Yannick Tifu, who tapped the shot in from the bottom of the right circle. Joel Champagne added another second period marker, off of a three-way passing play with Syner and Vallorani, as the score stood at 6-0 after two.
The Nailers got on the board at the 5:43 mark of the third. Scott Zurevinski drove down the left side of the ice, before centering a pass to Keven Veilleux, who crashed the net and scored his seventh goal of the season. However, the Royals had the final say, as Vallorani capped the scoring, drawing assists from Champagne and Syner for the 7-1 final score.