NAILERS GAME DAY 2021-22
Wheeling's 30th Season Concludes in Game Four
Toledo Advances to Conference Final with 3-1 Decision

WHEELING, WV- The 30th season of Wheeling Nailers Hockey came to its conclusion on Thursday night at WesBanco Arena, as the Toledo Walleye collected a 3-1 win in game four of the Central Division Final to advance to the Western Conference Final. Marcus Vela scored in his return from the AHL for Toledo, and was joined by John Albert and Patrick Curry, before Matt Alfaro netted the lone tally for the Nailers.

The first period took only 29 minutes of real time to play, as there were minimal whistles and very few chances, with the two sides combining for just nine shots on goal. One puck did find its way into the back of the net. Toledo had killed off a penalty 15 seconds earlier, and the visitors used that momentum to lead into the goal. The Walleye attacked off the rush, as Brandon Hawkins dropped a pass into the slot for Marcus Vela, who threaded in a shot, as he made his return from the AHL's Hershey Bears.

Toledo got a couple of bounces in the early stages of the middle frame to put in a pair of markers. Brett McKenzie snagged the puck out of a linesman's skate and directed a pass across the ice to an open John Albert, who stepped up and drilled in a shot from the right circle. Less than three minutes later, the Walleye struck again, just after their power play had ended. Josh Dickinson's attempt deflected to Patrick Curry, who whizzed in a shot from the right circle. With less than one minute to go in the period, the Nailers got on the scoreboard. Matt Alfaro had his stick get broken with a slash, which would have put Wheeling on the power play. However, he grabbed a new piece of equipment from the bench and quickly put it to work, as he shuffled in a shot from the left circle.

Unfortunately, the scoring concluded at that point, as the Nailers' attempt at a comeback fell short, and the Walleye prevailed, 3-1 to end the series.

Billy Christopoulos got the win in goal for Toledo, as he stopped 22 of the 23 shots he faced. Mitchell Weeks made 17 saves on 20 shots for Wheeling in his first pro start.

The Nailers thank all of their fans for their amazing support all season long, and are looking forward to season 31, which begins on Saturday, October 22nd at WesBanco Arena against Toledo. Season memberships are available for the 2022-23 season by visiting wheelingnailers.com or calling (304) 234-GOAL

Wheeling Comeback Falls One Goal Short in Game Three
TJ Hensick's Hat Trick Gives Toledo Enough Firepower in 5-4 Decision

WHEELING, WV- Wednesday night's third game of the Central Division Final wasn't looking good for the Wheeling Nailers when the midway mark of the contest arrived, as they trailed the Toledo Walleye, 5-1. Although Wheeling fell short, the home side made a terrific push at a comeback. Matt Alfaro recorded a goal and two assists, while Cam Hausinger scored twice. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to overtake TJ Hensick's hat trick, as the Walleye prevailed, 5-4 at WesBanco Arena to take a 3-0 series lead.

Toledo took advantage of some early opportunities on offensive zone draws, as it skated out to a 2-0 lead in the first period. The opening goal came 3:40 into the contest. Josh Dickinson grabbed the puck out of the right corner and turned toward the net, where he jammed a shot through the cluster of bodies. The second marker came nine seconds into a power play, as TJ Hensick let a wrist shot go from the top of the right circle, and placed his attempt a few inches off of the ice on the left side of the cage.

The middle frame was wide open, as both teams turned on the red light three times. Cam Hausinger temporarily brought the Nailers within one, when he roofed a wrist shot from the bottom of the right circle. The Walleye then rattled off three straight in a span of 3:44. Hensick completed his hat trick with back-to-back strikes, as he skated onto a Brandon Hawkins pass to deposit his second from the right circle, then tipped in Cam Clarke's point drive for his third. Patrick Curry followed that up by burying a one-timer on a 2-on-1 rush with Mitchell Heard. Wheeling began to rally in the closing six minutes, as it closed the gap to two. Matt Alfaro had a terrific individual effort at the 14:16 mark, as he danced through the Toledo defense on his way to shoveling a shot into the left side of the goal. 1:59 later, Alfaro helped set up the next marker, as he spotted Hausinger, who converted a power play chance from the right side.

The Nailers got one step closer to a tie game with 6:57 remaining in the third period. Sean Josling tossed in a long wrist shot, which squeezed through Billy Christopoulos to make the score 5-4 in favor of the Walleye. Despite a power play and some 6-on-5 time at the end, Wheeling was unable to get an equalizer to materialize, as 5-4 was the final score.

Billy Christopoulos got the win in goal for Toledo, as he made 21 saves on 25 shots. Louis-Philip Guindon took the loss for the Nailers, as he allowed five goals on 16 shots, before giving way to Mitchell Weeks, who was perfect on 16 shots in relief.

The Nailers and Walleye will play game four of their Central Division Final Series at WesBanco Arena on Thursday at 7:10, followed by game five (if nescessary) on Saturday at 7:10.

Walleye Hold Serve at Home in First Two Games
Matt Alfaro Scores in Return from AHL

TOLEDO, OH- The Toledo Walleye held serve on their home ice in the first two games of the Central Division Final Series, as the scene will shift to Wheeling in the coming week. Brandon Hawkins snapped a second period deadlock with a controversial goal, and the Walleye followed that up with three more, as recorded a 5-2 win for a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. Matt Alfaro scored in his return to the Nailers, and was joined in the goal column by Justin Almeida.

Matt Alfaro returned to the Nailers earlier in the day, and he only needed one minute to make his presence felt. Tyler Drevitch wound his way to the top of the offensive zone, before turning a shot on goal. Billy Christopoulos made the save, but left the rebound in front of him, where it was poked home by Alfaro.

Toledo tied the score at the 5:23 mark of the middle frame on a man advantage. Randy Gazzola swung a pass over to Brandon Hawkins, who launched in a one-timer from the left circle. With 5:11 remaining, the game took a drastic turn. John Albert's shot from the right circle was stopped by Louis-Philip Guindon, but the rebound was deposited in by Hawkins from the slot. However, there was contact in the crease between Guindon and Walleye forward Brett McKenzie, which could have led to the marker being disallowed. Unfortunately, after a lengthy review, the goal was confirmed. That gave Toledo a mighty boost. 59 seconds later, Cam Clarke drove into the slot, and feathered a backhander off of a body and in on the right side of the net. The Walleye then added to their lead on a power play, as TJ Hensick banked in a shot from the right side of the trapezoid.

Wheeling got aggressive in the early stages of the third period, as it pulled the goaltender during a 4-on-4 sequence. That didn't produce the intended result, as Brett McKenzie recorded an empty netter for the Walleye. Justin Almeida got one goal back for the Nailers, when he stole the puck at the blueline and broke in alone to cash in on his backhand. That was the final marker in a 5-2 Toledo triumph.

Billy Christopoulos collected the win in goal for the Walleye, as he stopped 30 of the 32 shots he faced. Louis-Philip Guindon made 25 saves on 29 shots in the defeat for Wheeling.

The series will shift to Wheeling next week for games three, four, and five (if necessary) on May 10th, 12th, and 14th, with all of the home games starting at 7:10. 

Strong Start Lifts Toledo to Game One Win
Josh Maniscalco Scores Lone Wheeling Goal, as Nailers Look to Rebound Saturday

TOLEDO, OH- The Wheeling Nailers hit a bump in the road on Friday night, as they opened their Central Division Final Series against the Toledo Walleye at Huntington Center. Toledo got rolling quickly with four goals in the first 22 minutes of play, and carried that effort to a 5-1 game one victory. Josh Maniscalco tallied the lone goal for the Nailers on a first period power play.

The first period was a challenging one for the Nailers, as Toledo capitalized on its chances and built a 3-1 lead. The first strike came just 1:09 into the contest, as Brandon Hawkins grabbed a pass from TJ Hensick in the right circle, then zipped in a low wrist shot. Wheeling answered 1:18 later on the man advantage. Tim Doherty gained entrance into the offensive zone, before giving off to Josh Maniscalco, who improved his angle in the left circle and tossed a shot inside the right post. The Walleye regained their lead with 7:11 to go. The puck was skipping around in the low slot and couldn't be covered nor cleared, which allowed Patrick Curry to pounce, as he chipped in the loose biscuit from the left side of the crease. Toledo turned on the light once more 2:37 later, when Gordi Myer flew down the right side of the ice, and sifted in a wrist shot from the bottom of the right circle.

The Walleye picked up where they left off when the middle frame got under way, as they added to their advantage. Matt Berry stole the puck at his own blueline and went on a breakaway. His backhander was denied, but the rebound got swept into the left circle, where Curry slammed his second of the evening into the right side of the cage.

Mitchell Weeks took over in goal for the Nailers after the fourth goal against, and did a great job of trying to keep his team within striking distance in his professional debut. Toledo was only able to solve him once, and that came courtesy of a Chris Martenet left point slap shot at 5:22 of the third, which gave the game its 5-1 final.

Billy Christopoulos got the win in goal for the Walleye, as he made 23 saves on 24 shots. Louis-Philip Guindon allowed four goals on nine shots in the defeat for Wheeling, before giving way to Mitchell Weeks, who turned away 20 of 21 shots in relief.

The Nailers and Walleye will play game two in Toledo on Saturday night at 7:35. The series will then shift to Wheeling for games three, four, and five (if necessary) on May 10th, 12th, and 14th. All home games will begin at 7:10. 

Matthew Quercia Wins Game Seven in Overtime for Nailers
Wheeling Advances to Face Toledo, Thanks to Third OT Game Seven Winner All-Time

FORT WAYNE, IN- The Wheeling Nailers advanced to the second round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs in the most thrilling of fashions on Tuesday night, as they defeated the Fort Wayne Komets 3-2 in overtime of game seven at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. Matthew Quercia was the hero, as he scooped up a loose puck on the right side of the crease and shoveled it in at the 6:30 mark of the extra session. Wheeling will now face the Toledo Walleye in the Central Division Final.

The first period was very evenly played, as both teams registered eight shots on goal. One of those attempts found its way into the net. Fort Wayne capitalized on a neutral ice turnover, as Mark Rassell drove in down the right side of the ice, then cruised into the slot, where he ripped a shot against the grain and into the bottom-right corner.

The offenses got clicking a bit more in the middle frame. The Nailers drew even with the first goal of the period at the 3:11 mark. Justin Almeida took advantage of a Komets turnover, as he sped all alone into the left circle, and roofed a wrist shot into the top-left corner of the net. Fort Wayne briefly retook the lead, when Matt Alvaro squeezed a shot inside the right post, as he received a pass behind the net from Anthony Petruzzelli. Wheeling's answer came 1:17 later, when Tyler Drevitch reached the puck through the slot to Sean Josling, who punched in a shot from the left circle.

The two teams tightened up in the third period, and neither side was able to break through with a winning marker. However, at the 6:30 mark of overtime, the series came to its conclusion. A mad scramble took place in front of the Komets net. Matthew Quercia raked the puck out of the pile and got it to a preferable shooting angle, as he drove the winning goal into the right side of the net for the 3-2 Nailers triumph.

Louis-Philip Guindon was sensational in goal again for Wheeling, as he denied 38 of the 40 shots he faced in the win. He made 247 saves in the seven games. Samuel Harvey also played well for Fort Wayne, as he came up with 31 saves on 34 shots in the loss.

The Nailers have advanced to the second round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs, and will meet the Toledo Walleye in a best-of-seven series. The series will begin at Huntington Center on Friday and Saturday, then shift to WesBanco Arena for games three, four, and five (if necessary) on May 10th, 12th, and 14th. All home games will begin at 7:10

Komets Force Game Seven with Overtime Win
Cam Hausinger Scores Hat Trick for Wheeling to Take Playoff Lead with Seven Goals

FORT WAYNE, IN- The Central Division Semifinal Series between the Wheeling Nailers and Fort Wayne Komets will need all seven games to determine a winner. Four of the first six games have been decided by one goal, including game six on Monday night at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. Cam Hausinger was an absolute star for the Nailers, as he scored his second career hat trick, and Wheeling's first in a playoff game since Zack Torquato in 2015. However, Matthew Boudens' marker at 12:10 of overtime tied the series for Fort Wayne, as the Komets prevailed 4-3 in game six.

The two teams played cautiously in the opening minutes of play, before ramping it up in the back half of the first period. Wheeling was the first team to get on the scoreboard at the 14:22 mark. Chris Ortiz drove a cross-slot pass to Cam Hausinger, who dragged his way to the top of the crease and willed in a backhander. Following the final media timeout, the Komets put a surge together and took the lead with two goals in a span of 20 seconds. Anthony Petruzzelli netted the equalizer, when he whacked in a bouncing puck on the right side of the crease. He was followed by Zach Pochiro, who stole a Nailers pass, walked down the middle, and buried a wrist shot.

Hausinger continued his phenomenal series, as he completed his hat trick by sandwiching two goals around one by Fort Wayne. His first tying tally came on a power play in the first minute of the period, as he ultilized his backhand to jam in the rebound of Chris Ortiz's initial shot from the center point. The Komets briefly retook the lead at the 9:06 mark, when Matt Alvaro made a nifty through-the-legs pass to Lynden McCallum, who chipped a shot into the top-right corner of the cage. Hausinger answered 53 seconds later, when he smacked in a centering pass from Sam Houde at the top of the crease.

After six goals in the first 30 minutes of the game, the latter part of regulation saw the opposite, as neither team was able to settle the score in the second or third periods. The contest progressed to overtime, and in the extra session, Fort Wayne emerged with the win. Matthew Boudens battled his way into the low slot, then flipped a shot into the top-left corner of the goal for the 4-3 final.

Samuel Harvey picked up the victory in goal for the Komets, as he made 30 saves on 33 shots. Louis-Philip Guindon turned in another strong performance in goal for the Nailers, as he turned away 44 of the 48 shots he faced in the defeat.

The Nailers and Komets will play the deciding game seven of the Central Division Semifinal Series on Tuesday night at 7:30 in Fort Wayne.

Nailers Regain Series Lead with Late Win in Game Five
Sam Houde Scores on the Power Play with 2:02 Left

WHEELING, WV- Another game went down to the wire at WesBanco Arena, as the Wheeling Nailers and Fort Wayne Komets played game five to decide who would take the Central Division Semifinal Series lead to Indiana. Sam Houde roofed a power play goal with 2:02 left in the third period to break the tie, as the Nailers edged the Komets 3-2 to go ahead three games to two in the best-of-seven set.

The first period was very evenly played and it nearly went into the intermission without a score, but with 2.9 seconds left, the Nailers changed that thought. Félix Paré tossed in a shot from the left wing wall, which got redirected into the net by Matthew Quercia.

A bit of a rarity occurred in the middle frame, as both squads got an unassisted goal by a defenseman. Fort Wayne tied the contest at the 2:27 mark. Adam Brubacher sped down the right side of the ice and had his first shot blocked, but was able to follow up and drive a shot into the left side of the net. A little less than four minutes later, Wheeling regained its lead. Josh Maniscalco broke away as he flew in from the right side. As he got to the goal, Maniscalco quickly took the puck from forehand to backhand, and slid a shot through Samuel Harvey's legs.

A bizarre miscue gave the Komets the tying goal at the 6:38 mark of the third period. Miscommunication behind the Wheeling net on a power play led to Matthew Boudens stealing the puck and turning in a shot from the right side. The Nailers got another man advantage with 3:10 left in the contest, and they made sure the puck went into the correct net. Patrick Watling fed the puck to Sam Houde, who picked the top-right corner of the goal with a wrist shot from the left circle. Wheeling took its lead to the finish line, as it was victorious, 3-2.

Louis-Philip Guindon notched the win in goal for the Nailers, as he denied 21 of the 23 shots he faced. Samuel Harvey suffered the loss for Fort Wayne, as he made 25 saves on 28 shots.

The Central Division Semifinal Series will return to Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne for games six on Monday at 7:30

Komets Tie Series with OT Win in Game Four
Wheeling Rallies Back from Two-Goal Deficit, but Rassell Nets Winner

WHEELING, WV- Three periods of hockey weren't enough to decide game four of the Central Division Semifinal Series between the Wheeling Nailers and Fort Wayne Komets at WesBanco Arena on Friday night. The Nailers battled back from a 3-1 deficit on Cam Hausinger's second goal of the night and Josh Maniscalco's equalizer, but Fort Wayne's Mark Rassell popped in the rebound of Kellen Jones' initial shot, as the Komets pulled away with the 4-3 win, which tied the best-of-seven set, 2-2.

The shots on goal in Friday's first period looked much better than Wednesday, but unfortunately, the Nailers arrived at the end of the stanza trailing by one. Fort Wayne got on the board first with a man advantage marker. Anthony Petruzzelli shuffled the puck to the top of the crease, where a shot was tapped in on the left side by Mark Rassell. Wheeling temporarily evened things up at the 12:03 mark. Josh Maniscalco willed a shot on goal which was stopped by Samuel Harvey. However, the rebound kicked out to Cam Hausinger, who sifted a shot under the netminder and into the net. The Komets regained the lead with 4:13 remaining. The Nailers turned the puck over in the offensive zone, which led to an Oliver Cooper breakaway. Cooper put the puck on his backhand, and was able to reach around Louis-Philip Guindon to slide the puck past his left skate.

Neither side scored in the middle frame, but the offenses returned in the third. Fort Wayne went ahead by two at the 56-second mark, as Will Graber snuck into the left circle, and drove in a one-timer, which was fed to him through the slot by Kellen Jones. Wheeling got some momentum in its favor with a successful penalty, which was followed by a goal. Maniscalco sent a shot in from the slot, which produced a rebound. Once again, Hausinger brought his lunch pail to the crease, as he slammed in the loose puck for his second of the night and fourth of the series. 5:11 later, the Nailers tied the score on a two-man advantage. Hausinger won the face-off back to Justin Almeida, who immediately fed Josh Maniscalco for a cannon of a one-timer from the top of the left circle.

The two clubs proceeded to overtime, which got decided in favor of the road side. Kellen Jones tossed a shot in on goal, which was stopped, but the rebound came out to Mark Rassell, who sent it back in to give the Komets the 4-3 win.

Samuel Harvey collected the victory in goal for Fort Wayne, as he stopped 36 of the 39 shots he faced. Louis-Philip Guindon suffered the defeat for Wheeling, as he made 23 saves on 27 shots.

The Nailers and Komets will play game five of the Central Division Semifinal Series at WesBanco Arena on Saturday night at 7:10.

Powerful Special Teams Early Give Komets First Win of Series
Louis-Philip Guindon Sets Career High with 46 Saves in Wheeling Crease

WHEELING, WV- The story of the first three games of the Central Division Semifinal Series has been the performances of the road teams. On Wednesday night, the Fort Wayne Komets collected their first win of the series, as they scored three goals in a span of 4:36 in the first period, and ended up tallying four on the night as part of a 50-shot attack. Cam Hausinger was the lone goal scorer for the Nailers, who lead the best-of-seven set, two games to one.

The Nailers were on their heels for the majority of the first period, as Fort Wayne put 28 shots on goal, and three of them found their way in. Wheeling did get the first marker of the evening. Sam Houde got a step on the left side of the ice and cruised in with a left side wrist shot. Samuel Harvey made the save, but the rebound went straight to Cam Hausinger who buried the follow-up chance from the right circle. Special teams helped the Komets turn things into their favor in the latter stages of the stanza. Shortly after Wheeling's first minor expired, Anthony Petruzzelli chipped in a loose puck in the low slot. 3:14 later, Fort Wayne struck on the power play, as Willie Corrin blasted in a one-timer from the middle of the blueline, which was set up by Matt Alvaro. Then, with under a minute to go, another man advantage produced a third strike, as Oliver Cooper tipped in Shawn Szydlowski's initial shot from the right wing wall.

There were a few chances for the Nailers to rebound in the middle frame, as they received three power plays. However, on one of those opportunities, the Komets went the other way and recorded a shorthanded goal. Mark Rassell broke away from his own blueline, and shifted the puck from his forehand to his backhand, which he lifted into the top right corner of the cage.

Wheeling took 11 shots in the third period, but was unable to slice into the deficit, as Fort Wayne took the 4-1 score to a final.

Samuel Harvey picked up the win for the Komets, as he made 22 saves on 23 shots. Louis-Philip Guindon stood on his head for the Nailers, as he set a career high with 46 saves on 50 shots.

The Nailers and Komets will play game four of their Central Division Semifinal Series at WesBanco Arena on Friday at 7:10, followed by game five on Saturday at 7:10.

Nailers Coming Home with 2-0 Series Lead
Wheeling Gets Strong Performances in All Areas in 4-2 Game Two Win

FORT WAYNE, IN- The Wheeling Nailers are coming home with a series lead. Wheeling stared down one of its most difficult buildings from the regular season, and won both games there this weekend, as they lead the Fort Wayne Komets two games to none in their Central Division Semifinal Series. Jared Cockrell snapped a tied score late in the second period, then Sean Josling added a key insurance marker, which turned out to be the game winner. Louis-Philip Guindon made the performance by his teammates stand up with 41 saves, as the Nailers earned a 4-2 triumph at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.

The first period was a feisty one, which saw lots of post-whistle altercations, as well as a couple of goals. Fort Wayne had control of the play in the first half of the period, and that resulted in the opening goal. With the two teams playing 4-on-4, Connor Jones chased down a puck on the left side of the trapezoid, and quickly centered a pass to Will Graber, who potted a shot from the slot, where he was left open. The Nailers had a strong response in the back half of the stanza, and were able to draw even on a power play. Josh Maniscalco worked the puck into the left circle for Justin Almeida, who immediately drilled a pass through the slot for Dylan MacPherson, who stepped up on the right side and wired a shot into the open side of the cage.

The Komets came with some early pressure once again, but Wheeling held its ground, then bided its time as it produced a go-ahead goal. That tally came with with 3:39 remaining. Jared Cockrell poked the puck through the defender's legs, as he created a breakaway for himself. Cockrell faked from forehand to backhand, and slid a shot around Samuel Harvey's right pad.

A key moment in the contest took place in the early stages of the third period. The Nailers were forced to kill a 4-on-3 penalty kill, which turned into a 5-on-4. They did so successfully, and that immediately parlayed into a goal. Justin Almeida pinned the puck in the offensive zone to finish off the kill, then he dipped to the goal line, before centering a pass to Sean Josling, who buried a wrist shot into the top-left corner of the net. Fort Wayne pulled within one on Adam Brubacher's center point wrister, but Wheeling answered 1:20 later, as Cam Hausinger willed in the rebound of Patrick Watling's cannon off the left post, as the Nailers were victorious, 4-2.

Louis-Philip Guindon was sensational in goal for Wheeling, as he thwarted away 41 of the 43 shots he faced in the win. Samuel Harvey took the defeat, as he made 24 saves on 28 shots.

The series will shift to WesBanco Arena for the next set of games, as the Nailers will host the Komets for games three, four, and five on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday (if necessary). All home games will begin at 7:10. 

Guindon Perfect as Nailers Win 1-0 in Game One
Watling Scores Lone Goal in Final Five Seconds of First Period

FORT WAYNE, IN- The Wheeling Nailers took their series opener in Fort Wayne one play at a time, and utilized practically every second they could get to earn their first win of the year in that building. Patrick Watling scored on a redirection goal with 4.7 seconds left in the first period, then Wheeling turned to goaltender Louis-Philip Guindon, who denied all 34 shots he faced, as the Nailers were victorious 1-0 at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.

The Nailers played a very strong first period, as they not only weathered a potential early storm from Fort Wayne, but also took a lead into the intermission. With time ticking down in the stanza, Sam Houde wound his way to the middle of the offensive zone and let a wrist shot go. Patrick Watling got a piece of the attempt to ramp it into the left side of the net with 4.7 seconds left on the clock.

After being held to six shots on goal in the opening stanza, the Komets ramped up their offensive attack in the final two frames, as they put ten pucks on the cage in the second period, then outshot Wheeling, 18-3 in the third. However, Louis-Philip Guindon had an answer for all of those attempts, which included two standard penalty kills, a 5-on-4 when matching minors occurred and Fort Wayne pulled its goalie, then a 6-on-4 for the final 20 seconds.

Louis-Philip Guindon was perfect on 34 shots, as he became the first Wheeling goaltender to earn a playoff shutout since Mike Condon in 2014, who also won a 1-0 game. Samuel Harvey suffered the defeat for Fort Wayne, after making 22 saves on 23 shots.

The Nailers and Komets will play game two of their Central Division Semifinal Series in Fort Wayne on Saturday night at 7:30. The series will then shift to WesBanco Arena for games three, four, and five on April 27th, 29th, and 30th (if necessary). All home games will begin at 7:10. 

Nailers & Komets Gear up for First Round Series
Fort Wayne Takes Regular Season Finale; Playoffs Open Friday

FORT WAYNE, IN- The Wheeling Nailers and Fort Wayne Komets got one more tune-up before their playoff series begins, as they collided at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum on Saturday night. Wheeling ran into a strong goaltending performance by Samuel Harvey, who stopped all 29 shots he faced, while Fort Wayne got a pair of goals from Jordan Martel in a 5-0 home ice win.

There were 15 total shots on goal in the first period, and two of them went in - both for the home side. The first marker came during a Wheeling power play, as the Komets struck shorthanded for the second straight night. Matt Alvaro slid a pass through the slot to Anthony Petruzzelli, who swerved in a backhander from the right side of the ice. Fort Wayne added to its lead less than five minutes later. Zach Tolkinen powered a shot on goal from the right point, which was booted away. However, the rebound went right to Shawn Szydlowski who directed a shot back in from the left circle.

The Komets added to their lead in the early stages of the middle frame. Matt Alvaro delievered a pass to Jordan Martel, who let a wrist shot go from straight away, and was able to find the back of the net.

Martel tossed in his second of the night from the center point, then helped to create the final goal of the evening, as he drove to the net and produced a rebound, which was stashed in by Mark Rassell for the 5-0 final.

Samuel Harvey earned the shutout for Fort Wayne, as he blocked away all 29 shots he faced. Evan Moyse suffered the defeat for the Nailers, as he made 27 saves on 32 shots.

The Nailers will open up the 2022 Kelly Cup Playoffs on Friday night at 8:00, when they play game one against the Fort Wayne Komets at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. Game two will be on Saturday night in Fort Wayne as well, starting at 7:30. Wheeling will host games three, four, and five (if necessary) on Wednesday, April 27th, Friday, April 29th, and Saturday, April 30th, with all three home contests starting at 7:10.

Goalie Duel Goes to Fort Wayne, 2-1
Sam Houde Extends Point Streak to 11 with Lone Wheeling Goal

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers will have to wait until the final day of the regular season to find out who they will face in the opening round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs. Wheeling got a strong goaltending performance from Louis-Philip Guindon, but was only able to solve Samuel Harvey once, as the Fort Wayne Komets picked up a 2-1 win at WesBanco Arena. Sam Houde was the lone goal scorer for the Nailers.

The two teams played to a scoreless first period, before the visiting Komets opened things up with a pair of goals in the final six minutes of the middle frame. Wheeling came up with a few shot blocks on the sequence, but Zach Tolkinen ultimately broke through for Fort Wayne, as he let a wrist shot go from the bottom of the right circle, which flew into the top-right corner of the net. The Nailers came close to netting an equalizer on a two-man advantage, but after the first penalty expired, the Komets turned the tables with a shorthanded strike. Mark Rassell forced the turnover in neutral ice and took the first shot attempt, before Oliver Cooper followed up his teammate to deposit the rebound.

Wheeling closed to within a goal at the 5:32 mark of the third period. Matt Foley worked the puck around the offensive zone to Sam Houde, who lifted in a wrist shot from the top of the left circle to extend his point streak to 11 games. Despite a power play with 6:23 left and some time with the goaltender pulled, the Nailers were unable to pot an equalizer, as Fort Wayne held on for the 2-1 win.

Samuel Harvey earned the victory in goal for the Komets, as he turned aside 25 of the 26 shots he faced. Louis-Philip Guindon gave the Nailers another solid performance, but ended up on the short end of the decision, after making 26 saves on 28 shots.

The Nailers will close out the 2021-22 regular season on Saturday night in Fort Wayne at 7:30. Wheeling has clinched a spot in the 2022 Kelly Cup Playoffs, and will have home games on Wednesday, April 27th, Friday, April 29th, and Saturday, April 30th (if necessary), with all three matches starting at 7:10.

Nailers Punch Ticket to Playoffs with 3-2 Thriller
Cam Hausinger Scores Twice, as Wheeling Returns to Postseason for First Time Since 2016
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KALAMAZOO, MI- The Wheeling Nailers are playoff bound for the first time since 2016! On Wednesday night, Wheeling punched its ticket to postseason play with an extremely tight 3-2 win over the Kalamazoo Wings at Wings Event Center. Cam Hausinger scored two goals for Wheeling, including his team-leading sixth game winner, which came with 6:46 left in the second period. Louis-Philip Guindon made sure the game was won, as he turned in a tremendous 35-save effort.

The two teams played a tight first period, but there was a difference on the scoreboard, as the Nailers took advantage of a fortunate bounce. Cam Hausinger wound his way to the right wing wall of the offensive zone, where he tossed the puck to the goal. The shot ended up tipping off of Kalamazoo's Tanner Sorenson and flying into the net.

The offenses opened up a bit more in the middle frame, as both sides struck twice. Wheeling started by adding to its lead at the 3:37 mark. Justin Almeida stepped up into the left circle, and drove a wrist shot into the top-left corner of the cage. Kalamazoo picked up its first marker 1:44 later, when Eric Kattelus bounced the puck into the low slow, where Kyle Blaney turned to his backhand and slid a shot in along the ice. Hausinger netted his second of the night later in the period, when he squeezed in a wrist shot off the rush from the right circle. With less than a minute to go, the Wings closed to within one on the man advantage, as Justin Taylor swept in a shot from along the right side of the goal line.

The key to the third period was to get the game to the finish line, and with strong defense and goaltending, the Nailers did exactly that, as they held on for the 3-2 triumph.

Louis-Philip Guindon was sensational in goal for Wheeling, as he earned the victory by rejecting 35 of the 37 shots he faced, including all 11 in the third period. Trevor Gorsuch took the loss for Kalamazoo, as he made 28 saves on 31 shots.

The Nailers will return to Wheeling for their final home game of the regular season on Friday at 7:10 against the Fort Wayne Komets. The game is Fan Appreciation Night, which will feature a pregame party and surprise in-game giveaways. Plus, it's a Frosty Friday with $2 beers.

Nailers Take Two Huge Points Against Toledo
Wheeling Comes Back to Maintain Hold of Third Place in Playoff Race

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers worked extremely hard on Sunday afternoon, as they wrapped up a stretch of four games in five days, while facing the team with the best record in the ECHL. The Nailers fell behind 2-1 in the early stages of the third period, but battled back with goals from Sean Josling and Cam Hausinger, as they edged the Toledo Walleye, 3-2 at WesBanco Arena, to maintain third place in the Central Division.

The Nailers put all sorts of pressure on during the first period, as they outshot Toledo, 17-8, but the game remained scoreless. The Walleye ultimately broke through with the opening goal of the match on a power play at the 6:49 mark of the middle frame. Randy Gazzola dished a pass to Brandon Hawkins, who stepped up into the left circle, and roofed a shot into the top-right corner of the net. Wheeling rebounded with 3:42 left to tie the score. Patrick Watling slid a pass through the slot for Sam Houde, who slammed in a one-timer from the right corner of the crease.

The third period saw both teams take a lead. Toledo regained its advantage very early on, as Brett Boeing found himself wide open on the right side of the ice. He deked his way to the net, then shoveled a backhander up and under the crossbar just 1:34 into the stanza. The Nailers got a bit of help to pull even 4:17 later, as goaltender Zach Driscoll gave the puck away to Justin Almeida in the slot. Almeida dribbled a pass to Sean Josling, who squeezed the puck into the empty cage. With 10:37 remaining, Wheeling took its first lead of the day, shortly after a power play had expired. Watling's shot hopped out to Matthew Quercia, who tapped a feed over to Cam Hausinger for an open shot on the right side of the crease. The Nailers made sure that their 3-2 lead reached the finish line, as the defense and goaltending shut down the league-leading Walleye.

Louis-Philip Guindon was brilliant between the pipes for Wheeling, as he denied 23 of the 25 shots he faced to improve to 5-1-2 in his last eight starts. Zach Driscoll had a busy day in goal for Toledo, as he stopped 40 of the 43 shots he faced in the setback.

The Nailers will begin the final week of the regular season with a huge game on Wednesday, when they visit the Kalamazoo Wings at 7:00. Wheeling will then play its final regular season home game on Friday night at 7:10 against the Fort Wayne Komets. The game is Fan Appreciation Night,

Nailers Don't Lose Ground, Despite 4-3 Defeat
Matt Foley Scores in Return from AHL Tucson

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers didn't lose any ground in the playoff race on Saturday night, but unfortunately, they were unable to add to their advantage. Wheeling jumped out to a 3-1 lead on the visiting Toledo Walleye, who were able to rally back and collect a 4-3 victory at WesBanco Arena. Brett Boeing scored the tying and winning goals for Toledo, while the Nailers got two of their three markers from defensemen - Matt Foley and Josh Maniscalco.

Both teams connected for a goal in the opening stanza. The Nailers were first on the board at the 7:50 mark. Patrick Watling cruised to the high part of the offensive zone, before tossing a shot in towards the net. The puck ended up glancing to Sam Houde, who quickly turned to his backhand and shoveled a shot up and under the crossbar. Toledo tied things up with 5:33 remaining. Matt Berry battled his way to the low slot, where he was able to sweep a shot in along the ice.

The contest opened up a bit more in the middle frame, which started with two tallies by the home side. At the 1:34 mark, Tim Doherty won an offensive zone face-off back to Matt Foley, who threw in a wrist shot from the middle of the blueline. Another defenseman followed, as Josh Maniscalco drove ahead on an odd-man rush, picked his spot from the left circle, and fired a dart into the left side of the cage. The Walleye trimmed the margin down to one on a power play with less than two minutes to go, when TJ Hensick set up Brandon Hawkins for a one-timer from the bottom of the left circle.

The late period goal gave Toledo life into the third. At the 5:53 mark, the visitors drew even. Gordi Myer delivered a pass to the right side of the crease for Brett Boeing, who chipped a redirection into the top-right corner of the net. Less than four minutes later, Boeing gave the Walleye their first lead of the night, when he spun a shot in along the ice from the right face-off dot. Wheeling had a couple of chances to tie the game with a pair of power plays, but came up empty, and Toledo prevailed, 4-3.

Max Milosek picked up the win in goal for Toledo, as he made 25 saves on 28 shots. Alex D'Orio suffered the loss for the Nailers, as he stopped 24 of the 28 shots he faced.

The Nailers and Walleye will meet up again in Wheeling on Sunday at 4:10

Defense, Goaltending, Discipline Shine in 2-1 Win
Wheeling Takes Over Third Place in Division with Terrific Road Effort

INDIANAPOLIS, IN- The Wheeling Nailers started their road trip in a Field of Dreams, and as they leave the trip, the dream of returning to third place has come true. On Friday night, Wheeling got early second period goals from Adam Smith and Tim Doherty, then looked to goaltender Louis-Philip Guindon, who made 21 saves. The Nailers were victorious 2-1 over the Indy Fuel at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, and did not take a single penalty in the entire contest.

The Nailers came out with all sorts of energy, and although the first period concluded with a scoreless deadlock, it was only going to be a matter of time before the visitors broke through. The opening marker came at the 38-second mark of the middle frame. Sam Houde dangled his way toward the slot to get a shot off, which was blocked. However, the rebound came out to Adam Smith, who jammed away on the right side, and got the puck to slide under netminder Justin Kapelmaster. Wheeling added to its lead less than four minutes later. Sean Josling held onto the puck in the right circle, before shoveling a pass to Tim Doherty in the middle of the slot. Josling's patience forced Kapelmaster to lunge across his crease, as Doherty flew his shot into the cage.

The Nailers continued their strong defensive play in the third period, and came less than two minutes away from putting a zero on the opposing side of the scoreboard. However, with 1:13 remaining, the Fuel got on the board with a 6-on-5 goal. Spencer Watson swept the puck across the slot for Jan Mandat, who connected on a one-timer from the right side. Indy never came close again, as Wheeling closed the door on its 2-1 triumph.

Louis-Philip Guindon turned in another excellent performance in goal for the Nailers, as he turned aside 21 of the 22 shots he faced. Justin Kapelmaster suffered the setback for the Fuel, despite making 29 saves on 31 shots.

The Nailers will head back home for their next two games, as they will face the Toledo Walleye at WesBanco Arena on Saturday at 7:10 and Sunday at 4:10. Fans can come see the Kelly Cup on Saturday, then Sunday has a post game skate featuring the entire team. Fan Appreciation Night is also right around the corner, when the Nailers battle the Fort Wayne Komets on April 15th at 7:10.

NAILERS SURGE FOR SIX IN IOWA
Matthew Quercia's First Game Winner Comes as Part of First Two-Goal Game

CORALVILLE, IA- It was a wild game for two periods on Wednesday night, but the Wheeling Nailers were able to flex their offensive muscle early and defend the lead late. Matthew Quercia snapped a 4-4 tie in the middle frame with his second goal of the night, then Sam Houde added an insurance tally, as the Nailers defeated the Iowa Heartlanders, 6-4 at Xtream Arena, in order to maintain their positioning on the inside of the Central Division Playoff Race.

The Nailers were in full control of the first 17 minutes of the opening stanza, before a late Iowa comeback sent the teams into the intermission deadlocked, 2-2. Wheeling got on the board first at the 3:36 mark. Josh Maniscalco drove his way toward the net, then slid the puck off to the left side, where Justin Almeida sifted a shot through goaltender Corbin Kaczperski. Patrick Watling added to the lead less than five minutes later on a play that he started with a terrific backcheck at his own blueline. The defensive breakup led to a 2-on-1 rush with Watling and Sam Houde, in which Houde plated a one-timer for Watling on the right side of the slot. The Heartlanders got life with 2:31 remaining, when Jake Bennett tossed in a seeing-eyed wrist shot at the start of a power play. Then, with less than 30 seconds left, Bennett sent another wrist shot toward the goal, which got tipped in by Zach White.

Even more goals flew in during the middle frame. Wheeling regained the lead at the 3:05 mark, when Matthew Quercia backhanded in the rebound of Cédric Desruisseaux's initial attempt, which had rang off the crossbar. Iowa pulled even, when Ryan Kuffner swatted in the rebound of Fedor Gordeev's right point wrist shot, then went ahead for the first time 1:09 later, when Josh Koepplinger rifled in a cross-crease feed from Kris Bennett on the man advantage. The Nailers bounced back to tie the game with a power play goal of their own. Sean Josling and Cédric Desruisseaux battled the puck to the front of the net, where a shot was smacked in by Tim Doherty. 3:05 later, Wheeling maneuvered its way back on top. Desruisseaux led the charge on a 2-on-1 break, put a pass on a tee for Quercia, who clobbered in his second of the night via a one-timer. 1:39 after that, the Nailers connected for another one-time snipe, as Watling swerved his way into the low slot, then set up Houde, who launched in a shot from the bottom of the right circle.

Wheeling shut things down in the third period, as the Nailers took the 6-4 score into the win column.

Louis-Philip Guindon earned the victory in goal for Wheeling, as he booted away 27 of the 31 shots he faced, including all ten in the third period. Corbin Kaczperski took the loss for the Heartlanders, as he allowed six goals on 27 shots.

The Nailers will start to make their way back east on Friday, as they will visit the Indy Fuel at 7:00. Wheeling will then play back-to-back home contests against the Toledo Walleye on Saturday at 7:10 and Sunday at 4:10. 

Fresh-Legged Nailers Cash in on Komets
Wheeling Locks up Winning Home Record with 5-1 Triumph

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers got down to business in a big way on Sunday afternoon at WesBanco Arena, as they used their day of rest to their advantage. Five different players found the back of the net, including Chris Ortiz and Cédric Desruisseaux, who both had a goal and an assist. Louis-Philip Guindon took care of the rest, as he made 30 saves to propel the Nailers to the 5-1 home ice triumph over the Fort Wayne Komets.

The two teams played to a scoreless first period, despite that fact that both teams took 13 shots. The goals got rolling in the middle frame, and it was Wheeling who struck first at the 7:37 mark. Cédric Desruisseaux sauced a pass through the slot for Chris Ortiz, who stepped into the left circle, and drove a shot into the left side of the net. Tim Doherty scored from a similar spot later in the stanza, as he took a pass from Justin Almeida, and drove a shot just inside of the right post. The Komets got a goal back, when Matt Alvaro grabbed a loose puck off of Adam Brubacher's initial try, and stashed a shot into the right side of the goal. However, with 1:11 left, Wheeling re-established its two-goal advantage. Félix Paré picked off a pass in neutral ice, then immediately rushed into the offensive zone, where he delivered a pass through the low slot to Desruisseaux, who flicked in a backhander from the right side.

The Nailers put the game away in the third period, as they added two more markers to the winning side. Patrick Watling whipped in a shot from the right circle for his 30th goal of the season, then Josh Maniscalco slammed in a one-timer on the power play from the left circle, as Wheeling was victorious, 5-1.

Louis-Philip Guindon turned in a strong performance between the pipes for the Nailers, as he earned the win by denying 30 of the 31 shots he faced. Mario Culina took the loss for Fort Wayne, as he allowed four goals on 22 shots, before giving way to Cameron Gray, who made one save on two shots in relief.

The Nailers will begin the coming week with a pair of road games, as they will visit the Iowa Heartlanders on Wednesday at 8:00, then travel to Indy to face the Fuel on Friday at 7:00. Wheeling will play a pair of home games against the Toledo Walleye on Saturday at 7:10 and Sunday at 4:10. Fans can come see the Kelly Cup on Saturday,

Nailers Start Strong, but Indy Rallies for Bonus Point
Seamus Malone Nets Second Straight OT Winner in Wheeling

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers had a terrific start on Friday night at WesBanco Arena, as they looked to shake the troubles that plagued them in the month of March. Unfortunately, the Indy Fuel haven't been going away quietly, and they were able to erase a two-goal deficit to edge the Nailers, 4-3 in overtime. Seamus Malone netted the OT winner for the second week in a row for the Fuel in the closing seconds, while Bobby Hampton, Patrick Watling, and Jared Cockrell were the Wheeling goal scorers. The Nailers currently have 68 points, as they remain in fifth place in the ECHL's Central Division.

The Nailers came out with loads of energy, as they controlled the first period to a tune of a 14-5 shots advantage, in addition to turning on the red light twice. The first marker came at the 12:07 mark, when David Drake tossed a shot in from the left point. Mitch Gillam made the save, but the rebound went directly to Bobby Hampton, who banged it back in from the left side. 39 seconds later, Wheeling struck again. Cédric Desruisseaux set off a netmouth scramble, which resulted in Luke Bafia teeing up Patrick Watling, who smashed in a one-timer from the right side of the slot.

The middle frame saw a bit of a bumpier road for the home side. Indy's Spencer Watson and Jared Cockrell of the Nailers exchanged goals 2:42 apart from each other in the early stages of the period, as Watson ripped in a right circle wrist shot, while Cockrell got the netminder to bite on a fake, before shoveling a shot upstairs on the right side. However, the Fuel battled back to tie the score with a pair of markers in the final minute. Jared Thomas ramped a shot off of a defending stick to send it floating in from the left side. Moments later, Cockrell nearly regained Wheeling's two-goal lead, when his backhander hit off the left post. Unfortunately, the play went in the other direction. and Karl El-Mir snapped in a wrist shot from the right circle.

The Nailers poured on the pressure in the third, as they outshot Indy, 15-6, but were unable to snap the deadlock, as the two squads went to overtime. Wheeling nearly went to its first shootout of the campaign, but with 17 seconds left in the extra session, Seamus Malone flew to the goal, and flipped a forehand shot into the top-right corner for the 4-3 Fuel victory.

Mitch Gillam backstopped the win for Indy, as he thwarted 34 of the 37 shots he faced, including all 16 in the third period and overtime. Louis-Philip Guindon received the overtime defeat, as he made 22 saves on 26 shots.

The Nailers will have Saturday off, then return to action on Sunday at 4:10 against the Fort Wayne Komets

Harvey has Hot Hand as Komets Prevail
Matthew Quercia Scores First Pro Goal for Wheeling

FORT WAYNE, IN- The Wheeling Nailers fell into an early hole on Wednesday night, then ran into a hot goaltender, as they attempted to come back. Samuel Harvey stopped 36 of the 37 shots he faced for the Fort Wayne Komets, who got a pair of goals in the opening seven minutes of play. Matthew Quercia's first pro goal was the lone strike for Wheeling, who dropped a 4-1 decision to close out March.

The Komets settled in quickly on their home ice, as they popped in a pair of goals before the game was seven minutes old. The first marker came off of a turnover, as Tyler Busch picked off a Wheeling pass at the left point and steered a feed of his own to the slot. Shawn Boudrias was the recipient, as he deked to his forehand and stretched a shot around LP Guindon's reach. Fort Wayne struck again less than four minutes later, when Anthony Petruzzelli got a piece of Kellen Jones' left point attempt, leading it to change directions and fly into the net.

Neither team scored in the second, despite the Nailers carrying a 28-22 shots advantage into the final frame. With 6:36 remaining in the third period, the Komets created a large mountain for Wheeling, as they added an insurance goal. Zach Pochiro motored into the right circle, then whipped a wrist shot into the top-right corner of the cage. The Nailers broke the shutout bid with 2:20 to go, when Matthew Quercia battled his way across the crease and jammed his first pro goal inside the left post. Will Graber tossed the final tally into an empty net, as Fort Wayne won, 4-1.

Samuel Harvey had an excellent night in goal for the Komets, as he blocked 36 of the 37 shots he faced for the victory. Louis-Philip Guindon did everything he could to give Wheeling a chance at some points, as he made 31 saves on 34 shots in the defeat.

The Nailers will return home on Friday night for a Frosty Friday at 7:10 against the Indy Fuel. Then, on Sunday, Wheeling hosts the Fort Wayne Komets at 4:10

Quality Beats Quantity in Fort Wayne
Kellen Jones Posts Six-Point Game for Komets

FORT WAYNE, IN- The story of Sunday afternoon's game between the Wheeling Nailers and Fort Wayne Komets wasn't about which side had the higher shots total, but the team that scored more. Wheeling poured 20 shots on goal in the first period and 41 in the game, but the Komets capitalized by scoring on seven of their 25 attempts, as they collected a 7-3 triumph at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. Kellen Jones led the way for Fort Wayne with a six-point day, while Justin Almeida had a goal and an assist for the Nailers.

The Nailers had about as good of a first period as they could have, except for one area, and that area was the most important one - the score. Wheeling outshot Fort Wayne, 20-7, but trailed 2-0. The Komets netted their first goal at the 11:59 mark, off of a transition rush. Zach Pochiro deked his way to the middle of the ice, then plated a pass to the top of the crease, where Tyler Busch dunked the puck into the open side of the cage. 1:16 later, Fort Wayne extended its advantage. Connor Jones let a shot go from just above the left side of the goal line, which deflected off of Brody Claeys' stick and floated back in over his shoulder.

Wheeling closed to within two on a couple of occasions in the middle frame, but ended the period down by four. Zach Pochiro fired a cannon of a one-timer from the top of the left circle to extend the Komets lead, before Justin Almeida put the Nailers on the board by roofing in a wrist shot from the left circle. Fort Wayne erased Wheeling's momentum by scoring 27 seconds later. Adam Brubacher let a shot go from the left point, which got deflected into the net by Kellen Jones. Sam Houde got another goal back for the Nailers on the power play, as he took a lead pass from Josh Maniscalco and flew in, before chipping a shot into the top-left corner of the net. The Jones twins connected on the man advantage for the Komets, as Kellen delivered a perfect pass to Connor's stick, then Kylor Wall clobbered in a slap shot in the final minute for a 6-2 score after two.

Both teams tacked on a goal in the third period, as Tyler Busch finished off a shorthanded odd-man rush for Fort Wayne, before Bobby Hampton deposited the rebound of Almeida's shot for the Nailers to make the final score 7-3.

Samuel Harvey got the win for the Komets, as he denied 38 of the 41 shots he faced, including all 20 in the first period. Brody Claeys surrendered four goals on ten shots for Wheeling, before giving way to Louis-Philip Guindon, who was 12-of-15 in relief.

The Nailers and Komets will do battle again in Fort Wayne on Wednesday night at 7:30. Wheeling will then play two home games next weekend. Friday, April 1st is a Frosty Friday at 7:10 against the Indy Fuel, then Sunday April 3rd against the Fort Wayne Komets at 4:10 features a post game skate

Nailers Get a Point in Off the Rails Finish
Both Teams Erase Deficits During Final Five Minutes & Both Score in Last Minute

WHEELING, WV- Saturday night's game between the Wheeling Nailers and Indy Fuel at WesBanco Arena had more twists and turns than a roller coaster. Both teams had a lead during the final five minutes of regulation, which included a goal each way during the final minute, as overtime was necessary to determine a winner. Unfortunately, a too many men on the ice penalty cost the Nailers, as they came up short, 5-4. Seamus Malone scored the tying and winning goals for Indy, while Patrick Watling posted a four-point night for Wheeling.

The game got off to a slow start, as the two sides combined for just 11 shots on goal in the first period, which ended in a 0-0 draw. The offenses started to come together in the middle frame, as visiting Indy put the first marker on the board. Christopher Cameron gathered in the puck at the right point, and took advantage of traffic in the slot, as he slammed a slap shot in along the ice. The Nailers pulled even 2:57 later. Sam Houde forced a turnover at the defensive blueline, which led to a 2-on-1 rush for Patrick Watling and Matt Alfaro. Watling delivered a perfect pass through the slot, which was drilled home by Alfaro on the one-timer. With 3:14 remaining in the stanza, the Fuel went back on top. Spencer Watson drove in a slap shot from the top of the right circle during Indy's first power play of the night.

The third period was wild. It started somewhat calmly, as Wheeling tied things up on a man advantage at the 3:12 mark. Josh Maniscalco dribbled a pass to Patrick Watling, who lifted a shot into the top-left corner, with goaltender Tom Aubrun stuck on his stick side post. The goal was originally disallowed, but reviewed and overturned. The Nailers had a chance to take a late lead with a two-man advantage, but the first penalized player to exit the box was Jared Thomas, who took a breakaway pass from Bryan Lemos, and shoveled a wrist shot into the top-right corner. Wheeling rebounded to tie the tilt with 2:31 left. Justin Almeida dropped a pass off to Adam Smith, who stepped up and blazed in a wrist shot from the left circle. With 30.1 seconds remaining, the Nailers took their first lead of the night. The puck bounced to Jared Cockrell in the slot, who turned and chipped a shot into the top-left corner of the net. Indy didn't go away quietly, and with just over 12 seconds to go, Seamus Malone had his shot bounce its way into the cage for a 4-4 score at the end of regulation.

Early in overtime, Wheeling got unlucky, as the home squad was whistled for too many men on the ice. That gave the Fuel a 4-on-3 man advantage, and they cashed in. Seamus Malone rifled in a one-time feed from Jared Thomas in the right circle to give Indy the 5-4 victory.

Tom Aubrun got the win for the Fuel, as he stopped 28 of the 32 shots he faced. Louis-Philip Guindon received the overtime defeat, as he made 25 saves on 30 shots.

The Nailers will play their next two games in Fort Wayne on Sunday at 5:00 and Wednesday at 7:30. Wheeling will then play two home games next weekend. Friday, April 1st is a Frosty Friday at 7:10 against the Indy Fuel, then Sunday April 3rd against the Fort Wayne Komets at 4:10 features a post game skate. A couple of notable upcoming promotions include April 9th, when the Kelly Cup comes to WesBanco Arena, and April 15th, which is Fan Appreciation Night.

Thunderbirds Throw it Back with a Win
Watling & Almeida Both Score Twice, While Wheeling Allows Just 14 Shots

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Thunderbirds made lots of great memories on the ice, and on Friday night, fans at WesBanco Arena got to celebrate like it was the 1990's once again. With Louis Dumont and Paul Bissonnette in the building, Wheeling put forth an all around great effort. Patrick Watling and Justin Almeida both lit the lamp twice, while the T-Birds held the Kalamazoo Wings to 14 shots on goal, as Wheeling was victorious, 4-1 on Throwback Night.

The two sides exchanged goals in the first period. Patrick Watling put Wheeling on the board first, as he followed up his four-goal performance from Sunday afternoon. Tim Doherty dropped a pass off in the left circle for Watling, who zipped a wrist shot into the left side of the net. The Wings got their goal while playing shorthanded, as a Thunderbirds turnover at the offensive blueline led to a 2-on-0 in the opposite direction. Tanner Sorenson led the charge, before he tapped a pass to Erik Bradford on the left for a shot into the wide open side.

Wheeling enjoyed a terrific middle frame, as the home side netted a pair of markers, while outshooting the opposition, 16-6. Justin Almeida put the T-Birds in the lead at the 8:09 mark, when he attempted to sift a pass through the low slot to Sean Josling, but got a friendly deflection off of a Kalamazoo skate, which send the puck dribbling into the goal. With 4:04 to go, Watling added to the advantage, as he rifled in a drop pass from Sam Houde in the right circle, while utilizing net front traffic by Matt Alfaro.

The Thunderbirds continued to control the play in the third period, as they limited the Wings to just three shots on goal, and tacked on one more insurance strike. Justin Almeida snagged a loose puck on the right side of the slot, then laid a shot in the left side of the net to put the finishing touches on the 4-1 triumph.

The Nailers will be right back on home ice on Saturday night at 7:10, when they host the Indy Fuel.

Fuel Prevail in Midweek Clash
Matt Alfaro Scores in Return from Manitoba

INDIANAPOLIS, IN- Scoring opportunities were somewhat few and far between at Indiana Farmers Coliseum on Wednesday night, as the Wheeling Nailers and Indy Fuel battled it out for the third time in six days. Indy ended up taking the two points in this particular contest, as Seamus Malone snapped a 1-1 deadlock at the ten-minute mark of the second period, then Spencer Watson and Bryan Lemos added third period strikes for the 4-1 win in favor of the home side. Matt Alfaro scored Wheeling's lone goal in his return from the AHL.

Both teams found the twine in the opening stanza, and the two tallies came 1:09 apart from each other. Wheeling struck first at the 8:46 mark. Matt Alfaro scooped up the puck behind the offensive goal and strolled his way around the zone to the high slot. That's where he took a wrist shot, which flew into the top-right corner of the cage. The Fuel tied the score on a netmouth scramble, as a few whacks at a loose puck resulted in Tanner Butler squirting a shot in over the line.

The lone goal of the second period came right at the midway mark, as Indy took the lead. Chad Yetman swiped away a loose puck in the left corner, then proceeded to center a pass to Seamus Malone, who stepped into a one-timer in the slot, which he drilled into the right side of the net.

The Fuel added to their lead at the 9:02 mark of the third period. Jacob LeGuerrier booted a puck away at his own blueline, which led to a transition rush in the other direction. Jan Mandat plated a drop pass for Spencer Watson, who slammed a one-timer into the left side of the goal. Bryan Lemos added an empty netter for the 4-1 Indy final.

Mitch Gillam got the win in goal for the Fuel, as he stopped 24 of the 25 shots he faced. Louis-Philip Guindon got saddled with the defeat for the Nailers, despite making 25 saves on 28 shots.

The Nailers will return home on Friday night for Throwback Night at 7:10 against the Kalamazoo Wings. Former players Louis Dumont and Paul Bissonnette will be at the game,

Nailers Erase Early Deficit, but Wings Come Back to Win Late
Patrick Watling Scores Four Goals in a Game for the Second Time in his Career

KALAMAZOO, MI- Sunday afternoon's game at Wings Event Center was a wild one, which featured lots of emotions. Trailing 4-1 early, the Wheeling Nailers probably felt fortunate to get a point out of the game. However, tying and winning goals for the Kalamazoo Wings on the power play left the visitors with a sour taste in their mouths, as the Wings came away with a 7-6 overtime decision. Patrick Watling had a fantastic day for Wheeling with four goals, while Sam Houde added five assists.

The majority of the first period was okay for the Nailers, but there was also a very forgettable 61-second span. Kalamazoo got on the board first at the 1:17 mark on a close call. Logan Lambdin gloved down a pass from Kyle Blaney, and was able to get a whisker of his stick blade on the puck to direct it into the right side of the net. Wheeling answered that goal at the 4:48 mark. Cam Hausinger tossed a backhander under Jake Kielly's arm, which sat in the crease, before Jesse Lees eventually pushed the puck in over the line. Raymond Brice put the Wings back on top with a left side snap shot off the rush at the 8:32 mark. Four seconds later, Max Humitz roofed a forehand shot on a breakaway, and 57 seconds after that, Jake Slaker whizzed a shot into the top-right corner, after speeding down the left side of the ice. The Nailers got a goal back with under two minutes to go, as Patrick Watling wired in a pass from Sam Houde on the left side of the slot.

That late strike gave Wheeling serious momentum into the middle frame. Specifically, Watling was a man on a mission. He tipped in a net front feed by Justin Almeida to cut the deficit to one, then he completed his natural hat trick by slamming in a centering feed from Houde on the power play. Anthony Collins briefly gave the Wings the lead 33 seconds later, when he deposited the rebound of Giovanni Vallati's point shot. Three minutes after that, the Nailers drew even again, as Justin Almeida slid a power play wrist shot in from the top of the right circle. Wheeling then took its first lead of the day, as Watling got his fourth of the contest by tipping in a right side slap shot by Cam Hausinger.

Midway through the third period, Kalamazoo tied the score, after goaltender Trevor Gorsuch sold a goaltender interference penalty on Shaw Boomhower. Erik Bradford converted on the man advantage by roofing a shot from the left circle.

In the extra period, the Nailers were victimized by another penalty call, as Patrick Watling and Eric Kattelus were involved in a 50-50 puck battle and Watling was assessed the minor. 37 seconds into the power play, the Wings got the win, as Kyle Blaney sifted a pass into the slot, which was redirected in by Justin Taylor for the 7-6 final.

Both goalies who received decisions came into the game in relief roles. Trevor Gorsuch got the win for Kalamazoo, as he made 18 saves on 19 shots, after taking over for Jake Kielly, who allowed five goals on 24 shots. Brody Claeys suffered the overtime defeat, despite stopping 19 of 22 shots, following Alex D'Orio, who gave up four goals on five shots.

The Nailers will play one more road game on this trip, which will take place on Wednesday night at 7:00, when they visit the Indy Fuel. Wheeling will then come home for Throwback Night on Friday, March 25th at 7:10, which will feature special guests Louis Dumont and Paul Bissonnette.

Nailers Shake Off Fuel, 4-1
Doherty's Three-Point Night Puts Wheeling Back Into the Win Column

INDIANAPOLIS, IN- The Wheeling Nailers needed a win in a big way on Saturday night at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, and they got it, thanks to a solid performance in all three zones. Tim Doherty opened and closed the scoring, plus he assisted on Justin Almeida's eventual game winner, while Alex D'Orio made 24 saves, as the Nailers upended the Indy Fuel, 4-1.

The Nailers had a great first period, as they jumped out to a 2-0 lead. The first marker came on the man advantage, following an undisciplined penalty by Indy's Riley McKay. Tim Doherty swatted at a loose puck at the right dot, and was able to guide a shot through goaltender Justin Kapelmaster. Doherty was also involved on the next goal, as he took a pass from Sean Josling to create a 2-on-1 break. Doherty delivered a perfect feed through the slot to Justin Almeida, who picked his spot and roofed a wrist shot from the left side.

Indy got a goal back in the early stages of the middle frame, but Wheeling carried its lead through the rest of the period. Bryan Lemos was the scorer, as he wired in a one-time feed from the slot, which was set up by Spencer Watson.

The Nailers maintained their one-goal advantage until the closing minutes of the contest, when they tacked on two empty netters to put the exclamation points on the 4-1 triumph. Jared Cockrell and Doherty were responsible for the final daggers.

Alex D'Orio earned the win for Wheeling, as he denied 24 of the 25 shots he faced, including a pair of huge stops in the third period, following a power play. Justin Kapelmaster took the defeat for the Fuel, as he made 29 saves on 31 shots.

The Nailers will continue their travels on Sunday afternoon at 3:00, when they visit the Kalamazoo Wings. They will then return to Indy to wrap up the road trip on Wednesday at 7:00. Wheeling's next home game is Throwback Night on Friday, March 25th at 7:10, which will feature special guests Louis Dumont and Paul Bissonnette.

Nailers Come a Post Away from Points in Indy
Cam Hausinger Picks up Gordie Howe Hat Trick, but Wheeling Falls, 6-4

INDIANAPOLIS, IN- The Wheeling Nailers and Indy Fuel are going to see a lot of each other in the next few weeks, and Friday night's 112 penalty minute tussle at Indiana Farmers Coliseum definitely set the tone. Unfortunately, the Nailers ended up on the wrong end of the scoreboard. Spencer Watson and Chad Yetman snapped a third period deficit with goals 1:27 apart from each other, as the Fuel collected the 6-4 win on home ice. Cam Hausinger had a Gordie Howe Hat Trick for Wheeling, and was one of five Nailers with multiple points.

Coming off of a coaching change earlier in the week, the Fuel started the game with some energy, and found themselves ahead 3-1 after the first period. Indy opened the scoring at the 8:05 mark. Jordan Schneider had his point shot stopped, but the rebound was scooped in by Riley McKay on the right side of the crease. The Nailers answered just 55 seconds later during 4-on-4 play. Sean Josling cut his way across the offensive zone, and rocketed a shot in off the left post from the right hashmark. The Fuel regained the lead 3:48 after that, when Spencer Watson tipped in a long distance shot by Jan Mandat. Indy struck again with 1:17 to go. Karl El-Mir had the puck poked off his tape, but Scnneider stepped up into the left circle and roofed a shot into the top-right corner of the cage.

The middle frame was much better for Wheeling, as the visitors rebounded to tie the tilt. Cam Hausinger trimmed the deficit down to one at the 6:57 mark, when he faked a shot from the left circle, then drove to the net, where he punched a shot through Cale Morris' legs. Then, the Nailers cashed in on the power play, as Josling fed Sam Houde, who smoked in a wrist shot from the right circle. The minor was nine seconds old when the red light got turned on.

Unfortunately, the momentum didn't carry into the third, and the Fuel went back on top with two quick strikes. Spencer Watson dragged the puck off of the wall and danced his way into the slot to convert at the 1:04 mark, then Chad Yetman buried a feed from Chase Lang to finish off a 2-on-1 just 1:27 later. Josh Maniscalco brought Wheeling within one, when his right circle attempt bounced off of Morris and trickled in over the line. The Nailers came a Josling post away from an equalizer, and Karl El-Mir's shorthanded empty netter put the finishing touches on Indy's 6-4 win.

Cale Morris got the victory in goal for the Fuel, as he made 24 saves on 28 shots. Brody Claeys got saddled with the defeat, as he turned away 25 of the 30 shots he faced.

The Nailers and Fuel will clash again in Indianapolis on Saturday at 7:00, before Wheeling continues on to Kalamazoo on Sunday at 3:00. The next home game for the Nailers is Throwback Night on Friday, March 25th at 7:10, which will feature special guests Louis Dumont and Paul Bissonnette.

Nailers Come up Short, 3-2
Pat Nagle Earns 200th ECHL Win in Goal for Reading

WHEELING, WV- Sunday afternoon's game between the Wheeling Nailers and Reading Royals at WesBanco Arena was significantly closer than the score from the previous night, but unfortunately, the end result went to the visitors. The Royals got a pair of goals from Kenny Hausinger, as well as the 200th ECHL win by Pat Nagle, as they were victorious, 3-2. Sam Houde had a goal and an assist for Wheeling.

The Nailers did their best to hold off an early storm by Reading, who outshot the home side, 11-3, which was also assisted by three power plays. The lone marker of the first period came on a Royals man advantage just 1:58 into the match. Jacob Pritchard wound his way around the back of the net, and centered a backhand pass to the slot, where a one-timer was pounded in by Kenny Hausinger.

The older Hausinger brother struck again at the 5:17 mark of the second period, when he picked the top-right corner with a wrist shot from the right dot. Wheeling started to turn momentum around in the latter stages of the frame, and finally broke through with 1:45 on the clock. Justin Almeida and Josh Victor teamed up to deny a Reading rush, and it ultimately turned the other way. Sam Houde flew down the right side, then swooped to the middle and dragged the puck around Pat Nagle's right leg. The assist was Victor's first ECHL point.

With 6:40 left in the game, the Royals got a key insurance tally to extend their lead. Trevor Gooch jammed a puck on goal, which was kept out. However, the puck squeezed out to Brad Morrison, who was able to bank a shot in from the goal line. Josh Maniscalco threw in a wrist shot to bring the Nailers back within one during 6-on-5 play, but a tying goal wasn't in the cards, as Reading hung on, 3-2.

Pat Nagle earned the win for the Royals, as he made 25 saves on 27 shots. Brody Claeys gave Wheeling a strong effort by stopping 26 of the 29 shots he faced, but suffered the defeat.

The Nailers will play their next four games on the road, as they will visit Indy on March 18th, 19th, and 23rd, with a trip to Kalamazoo mixed in on March 20th. Wheeling's next home game is Throwback Night on Friday, March 25th at 7:10, which will feature special guests Louis Dumont and Paul Bissonnette

Nailers Look Forward to New Day on Sunday
Reading Scores Five Power Play Goals in 9-1 Win

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers will be looking forward to turning the page, following a frustrating game against the Reading Royals at WesBanco Arena. Sean Josling opened the scoring for Wheeling, but the Royals scored the next nine goals, including five on the power play, as they rolled to a 9-1 decision.

The Nailers came out with some great energy and netted the game's first goal, before Reading turned things around with three straight. Wheeling's tally came just 1:28 into the contest. Sean Josling tossed in a shot from the right wall, which found its way into the cage. The Royals got the equalizer on the man advantage. Dominic Cormier stepped into the left circle and let a shot go, which deflected off of a Wheeling skate and went in. The tough luck continued 1:18 later for the Nailers, when Jackson Cressey's cross-slot pass hit off of a Wheeling stick and slipped into the goal. Trevor Gooch put one more marker on the board with 1:15 remaining, when he smacked in a loose puck beneath the right circle.

Reading kept the attack going in the second period, as it added four goals to its lead. Cressey potted his second of the night by banging in a cross-slot pass from Brayden Low. Brad Morrison followed with back-to-back strikes from the right side of the crease, with one coming at even strength and one on the man advantage. Trevor Gooch tacked on another with 15 seconds left in the stanza, when he deposited the rebound of Patrick Bajkov's initial shot.

Frank DiChiara and Thomas Ebbing put in two more power play goals in the third period to complete the 9-1 Royals win.

Pat Nagle backstopped the victory for Reading, as he turned aside 27 of the 28 shots he faced. Alex D'Orio took the loss for Wheeling, as he allowed seven goals on 34 shots, before giving way to Brody Claeys, who had to make 13 saves on 15 shots in the third period.

The Nailers and Royals will collide again on Sunday at 4:10, which is Pups & Pucks Day. Fans can bring their dogs to the game.

Special Teams Slugfest Goes to Cincinnati
Two Division Rivals Combine for Season High 13 Goals

CINCINNATI, OH- Friday night's game between the Wheeling Nailers and Cincinnati Cyclones at Heritage Bank Center was centered around special teams. Wheeling outscored Cincinnati 3-2 when the teams played 5-on-5, but unfortunately, the Cyclones had a big say in other scenarios, as they came out on top in an 8-5 slugfest. Cincinnati's Zack Andrusiak became the fourth player to score a hat trick in the season series, while five different players lit the lamp for the Nailers.

The opening stanza was wide open, as both teams scored twice on 14 shots. The first two goals went to the Cyclones, who tallied during 4-on-4 play, then just seconds after a power play had ended. On the first marker, Wyatt Ege sent Zack Andrusiak flying in on the left side. Andrusiak made his way to the circle, before lifting a shot into the top-left corner of the net. 1:24 later, Matt McLeod touched in a feed from Jesse Schultz on the right side of the crease. Wheeling started its comeback with a power play strike at the 10:20 mark. Josh Maniscalco slid a pass to Patrick Watling, who clobbered a one-timer from the right circle. Just over three minutes later, the Nailers got the equalizer, when Bobby Hampton cruised across the slot, then shelved a wrist shot up under the crossbar.

Cam Hausinger gave Wheeling its first lead of the night with a backhand wraparound at the 2:08 mark of period two. However, the rest of the frame was anything but what the visitors envisioned, as Cincinnati netted five of the next six goals. Jesse Schultz had a puck bounce to him for an open left side shot to tie the match, then 50 seconds later, Gianluca Esteves whacked in a loose puck for a shorthanded tally. Sam Houde brought the Nailers within one with a rip from the top of the right circle, but the Cyclones fired back with two power play goals and another on a delayed penalty. McLeod redirected a centering pass from Ege during 6-on-5 play, then Andrusiak collected two on the man advantage - one on a one-timer from straight away, and another after speeding into the left circle.

The two sides exchanged goals 24 seconds apart in the third period, as Lincoln Griffin scored on a shorthanded breakaway for Cincinnati, and Brandon Saigeon tossed in a shot from the left circle on a Wheeling power play. The Cyclones prevailed, 8-5.

Michael Houser got the win in goal for Cincinnati, as he made 31 saves on 36 shots. Brady Claeys took the loss for the Nailers, as he allowed six goals on 21 shots, before giving way to Hayden Lavigne, who stopped 14 of 16 shots in relief.

The Nailers will return to WesBanco Arena for a two-game series against the Reading Royals on Saturday at 7:10 and Sunday at 4:10. Saturday is St. Baldrick's Night, as fans are invited to get their heads shaved to support childhood cancer research. Sunday is Pups & Pucks, when fans can bring their dogs to the game. That game will feature a Puppy Parade

Nailers Hold off Walleye for 30th Win
Brody Claeys Stops 24 for his Fifth Straight Home Victory

WHEELING, WV- Wednesday night's game between the Wheeling Nailers and Toledo Walleye at WesBanco Arena felt like a playoff game, and the Nailers showed that they are worthy of getting an invite to the dance. Justin Almeida and Cam Hausinger scored goals off of redirections, while Brody Claeys made 24 saves, as Wheeling earned its 30th victory of the season, 2-1 on home ice.It took the teams a bit of time to get going, but the Nailers had a great final ten minutes of the first period, which also featured the game's opening goal. Matthew Quercia laid a check in the left corner, which led to a Toledo giveaway. Dominic Dockery gathered the puck in at the left point and sent a shot toward the net, which got tipped home by Justin Almeida.Wheeling added to its lead at the 5:26 mark of the middle frame, courtesy of a second redirection. Adam Smith let a shot go from the left point, which got tipped into the twine by Cam Hausinger. A little more than six minutes later, the Walleye got on the scoreboard. Matt Berry dropped the puck off to Mitchell Heard, who drove his way into the slot, and whipped a shot in along the ice. With 4:23 left in the period, the Nailers had a chance to go up by a pair with a penalty shot. However, Kaden Fulcher stopped Tim Doherty.Wheeling turned to its defense and goaltending in order to get the game to the finish line in the third period. Neither team lit the lamp, as the Nailers preserved the 2-1 triumph.Brody Claeys was terrific in goal for Wheeling, as he denied 24 of the 25 shots he faced for the win. Kaden Fulcher also played well in the Toledo cage, but got saddled with the loss, after making 25 saves on 27 shots.The Nailers will travel to Cincinnati on Friday to face the Cyclones at 7:35, before returning home for a pair of games against the Reading Royals on Saturday at 7:10 and Sunday at 4:10. Saturday is St. Baldrick's Night, as fans are invited to get their heads shaved to support childhood cancer research. Sunday is Pups & Pucks, when fans can bring their dogs to the game. That game will feature a Puppy Parade, a Dog Kerchief Giveaway, and a raffle of puppy paintings done by the players

ROYALS RALLY WITH THREE IN THE THIRD
Nailers Gear up for Four-Game Week with Three at Home

READING, PA- Saturday night was a rare blip on the radar for the Wheeling Nailers, who have been lights out when taking a lead into the third period this season. However, the North Division leading Reading Royals were able to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 win at Santander Arena, as Kenny Hausinger netted a game winning tally for the second week in a row. The Nailers got both of their goals on the power play, courtesy of Tim Doherty and Josh Maniscalco.

The first period didn't see a ton of glorious chances, with the exception of the lone goal, which came 21 seconds into the match from the Royals. Kenny Hausinger grabbed the puck out of the right corner and delivered a centering pass to Jackson Cressey, who drove a one-timer in off the left post.

Wheeling turned things around in the middle frame with a pair of power play markers. The equalizer came off of the rush, which was started by Jesse Lees in the defensive zone. Brandon Saigeon ultimately led Tim Doherty in on the left side, where he flew into the circle, and roofed a shot in off the crossbar. With lots of family and friends in attendance, Josh Maniscalco gave the Nailers their first lead of the night with 5:31 remaining in the period. Wheeling was already on a man advantage and in the process of drawing another penalty, when Maniscalco stepped into the right circle and squeezed a shot into the right side of the cage.

Unfortunately, the Nailers were unable to extend their lead, and Reading roared back with three unanswered markers. Brayden Low tied the score at the 6:36 mark, when he slid a backhander along the ice and into the right side of the net. Kenny Hausinger followed 2:35 later with the go-ahead strike, when he finished off an odd-man rush with Trevor Gooch. Finally, Ryan MacKinnon iced the 4-2 Royals win by slamming in a one-timer from high in the zone.

Kirill Ustimenko got the win for Reading, as he returned from the AHL to make 20 saves on 22 shots. Brody Claeys saw his seven-game winning streak in a Wheeling uniform come to a conclusion, despite stopping 23 of the 27 shots he faced.

The Nailers will play three home games in the upcoming week, which starts with a 7:10 tilt on Wednesday night against the Toledo Walleye. Wheeling and Reading will then do battle at WesBanco Arena on Saturday at 7:10 and Sunday at 4:10

Berry's Late Marker Lifts Walleye
Guindon Stops 37 for Wheeling in Return from AHL

TOLEDO, OH- The top two teams in the ECHL's Central Division locked horns on Wednesday night at Huntington Center, and it took until the final five minutes to decide a winner. Unfortunately for the visiting Wheeling Nailers, the two points went to the host Toledo Walleye, as Matt Berry scored from the left circle with 4:49 remaining and Brett Boeing added an empty netter for a 5-3 result. Sean Josling, Josh Maniscalco, and Jesse Lees were the goal scorers for Wheeling.

The first period was wide open, as both teams found the back of the net twice. The Nailers struck first at the 3:40 mark on the power play. Justin Almeida and Sam Houde entered into the offensive zone on the rush, then fed Sean Josling, who dragged the puck around a defender and whipped a shot into the bottom of the goal. Toledo drew even at the 10:16 mark. Brandon Hawkins had his one-time drive robbed by Louis-Philip Guindon, but the rebound got sent right to Ryan Lowney, who put an open shot into the top-right corner of the cage. Jared Cockrell gave Wheeling another lead with 3:02 remaining, when he tipped in Josh Maniscalco's point shot, but the Walleye answered on the man advantage, when Randy Gazzola swept in a wrist shot from the high slot.

The tight tilt continued in the middle frame, as the two sides lit the lamp once each. Toledo took the lead on the power play at the 5:40 mark, when TJ Hensick's left circle shot dribbled into the crease, where it was whacked into the net by John Albert. The Nailers brought things back to even with 5:02 to go, when Jesse Lees drove his way into the slot, and blistered a wrist shot through goaltender Kaden Fulcher.

With under five minutes left, the Walleye snapped the deadlock. Gazzola shuffled the puck to Matt Berry, who whizzed in a wrist shot from the left circle. Brett Boeing lunged to poke in an empty netter and put the finishing touches on the 5-3 Toledo win.

Kaden Fulcher got the victory in goal for the Walleye, as he made 23 saves on 26 shots. Louis-Philip Guindon turned in a great performance for Wheeling, as he thwarted 37 of the 41 shots he faced, but ended up with the defeat.

The Nailers will play one more game this week, as they will visit the Reading Royals on Saturday at 7:00. Wheeling will then play three home games next week. Wednesday, March 9th is a 7:10 start time against Toledo, then Reading comes in for a pair on Saturday, March 12th at 7:10 and Sunday, March 13th at 4:10

Nailers Blow Away Wings, 8-2
13 Players Record Points, Led by Watling's Five

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers completely dominated Saturday night's game at WesBanco Arena, as they rolled past the Kalamazoo Wings, 8-2. Patrick Watling scored twice in the first two minutes of the contest, then added three assists, while Sean Josling also collected a pair of tallies, and Stefanos Lekkas made 40 saves. The Nailers won three of four games on their homestand, and finished the month of February with a 9-2 mark to climb ten games over .500.

The Nailers exploded out of the gates, as they scored twice in the first two minutes and three times total in the opening stanza. The first two markers both came from Patrick Watling. On the first goal, Sam Houde delivered a tape-to-tape pass across the slot, leading to Watling's one-timer from the left side. 27 seconds later, Watling flew past a defender at the blueline and broke in alone, as he lifted a shot into the top-left corner of the net. Wheeling put another one on the board with 2:35 left, when Brandon Saigeon banged in a cross-ice feed from Bobby Hampton to punctuate an odd-man rush.

The offensive surge continued in the middle frame, as the red light went off four more times for the home team. Sean Josling netted the first two on the man advantage, as he deposited the rebound of Watling's shot off the post, then jammed in the rebound of Josh Maniscalco's initial attempt. After denting the twice a couple of times, Josling looked to one of his teammates later in the period, as he fed Justin Almeida, who punctuated a 2-on-1 break. Cam Hausinger added one more marker in the closing minute, roofing a wrist shot into the top-right corner. Erik Bradford mixed in a goal for Kalamazoo between the two Josling strikes.

Sam Houde and Bradford exchanged goals in the third period, as the Nailers rolled to the 8-2 triumph.

Stefanos Lekkas had a terrific performance in goal for Wheeling, as he denied 40 of the 42 shots he faced for the win. Trevor Gorsuch allowed four goals on 13 shots in the loss for the Wings, before being replaced by Jason Pawloski, who surrendered four goals on 22 shots off the bench.

The Nailers will play a couple of road games in the coming week, as they will visit the Toledo Walleye on Wednesday at 7:15, followed by the Reading Royals on Saturday at 7:00. Wheeling will then play three home games the following week. Wednesday, March 9th is a 7:10 start time against Toledo, then Reading comes in for a pair on Saturday, March 12th at 7:10 and Sunday, March 13th at 4:10.

Nailers Hang on for Key Division Win
Chris Ortiz Scores Twice, Including Third Period Game Winner

WHEELING, WV- Friday night's game between the Wheeling Nailers and Kalamazoo Wings at WesBanco Arena came down to a few inches. The Nailers rang a goal in off of the post during the second period, then watched as two posts kept a Kalamazoo tying marker off of the board in the closing seconds, as they earned the 4-3 home ice triumph. Chris Ortiz scored twice for Wheeling, including the eventual game winner at the 7:37 mark of the third.

The Nailers got a goal in the first period, but it was sandwiched in between two for the visitors. Kalamazoo's first marker came at the 2:04 mark, when Justin Taylor came off of the right wall, and whipped a wrist shot into the top-right corner of the net. Wheeling got its response courtesy of Chris Ortiz. Tim Doherty grabbed the puck off of a rush by Justin Almeida, and banked a shot off of Ortiz, which dribbled in over the goal line. The Wings regained the lead on the man advantage. Justin Murray powered a shot wide of the cage, but got a big bounce off the wall to set up Logan Lambdin, who roofed a shot from the bottom of the left circle.

The middle frame was a different story, as Wheeling controlled the play to a 16-5 shots advantage, and lit the lamp a couple of times. The tying tally came at the 8:35 mark. Sam Houde wound his way around the offensive zone, before delivering a pass to Patrick Watling, who clobbered in a one-timer from the top of the right circle. 6:36 later, the Nailers took the lead off the rush. Doherty touched a pass into the slot for Sean Josling, who skated onto the feed, hesitated, then zipped a wrist shot in along the ice.

At the 7:37 mark of the third period, Wheeling got what it thought would be an insurance goal, but it turned out to be much larger, as Ortiz buried a wrist shot from the right circle. That's because Kalamazoo closed the margin to one with under a minute to go on the power play. Tanner Sorenson squibbed a backhander toward the net, which was guided in by Erik Bradford. The Nailers hung onto their 4-3 win by inches, as Bradford and Taylor rang the posts on consecutive shots in the final five seconds.

Brody Claeys collected his seventh consecutive victory for Wheeling, as he thwarted 21 of the 24 shots he faced. Trevor Gorsuch suffered the loss for the Wings, as he made 36 saves on 40 shots.

The Nailers and Wings will meet up in Wheeling again on Saturday at 7:10

Kenny Hausinger Puts Reading on the Board in the Series
Royals Halt Wheeling's Win Streak at Six

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers had a solid run, as they rattled off six consecutive victories. Unfortunately, on Wednesday night, the Reading Royals provided a small bump in the road to snap the streak. Cam Hausinger's older brother Kenny was the star of the night for the Royals, as he netted his first career hat trick to lead his squad to a 4-1 win at WesBanco Arena.

Reading scored a pair of goals in the first period, following a successful penalty kill. The first marker came at the 12:05 mark. Jacob Pritchard drove his way to the net and pushed a shot on goal. His attempt was stopped, but Kenny Hausinger swooped in to toss home the rebound. 2:21 later, the Royals struck again. Patrick McNally played the puck along the blueline to Dominic Cormier, who threw in a wrist shot from straight away.

The visitors extended their advantage at the three-minute mark of the middle stanza. Kenny Hausinger curled around the back of the net and came out to the bottom of the left circle, where he rang a wrist shot in off the right post.

Wheeling got on the scoreboard at the 7:55 mark of the third period, when Patrick Watling finished off a rush with Bobby Hampton by smacking in a one-timer on the right side of the low slot. Unfortunately, that was the lone celebration for the Nailers, as Kenny Hausinger completed his hat trick and the 4-1 Reading win with an empty netter.

Logan Flodell earned the victory in his Royals debut, as he turned aside 27 of the 28 shots he faced. Stefanos Lekkas got saddled with the defeat for Wheeling, as he made 33 saves on 36 shots.

The Nailers will play two more games on this homestand, as they will face the Kalamazoo Wings on Friday and Saturday at 7:10

Overtime is Wheeling's Friend Again
Almeida Ties it With Two Late Goals, Leading to Watling's Winner

WHEELING, WV- On a day which was highlighted by the number two, the Wheeling Nailers added their own story to the mix. Trailing by two with under six minutes to go against the Reading Royals, Justin Almeida scored two goals to close out regulation, then number 22 Patrick Watling lifted Wheeling in overtime, as the Nailers were victorious, 4-3, to earn their sixth consecutive triumph.

The game started with a back-and-forth first period. Reading netted the opening goal just 48 seconds into the match, as a pair of Royals forced a turnover in the left corner, leading to Garrett McFadden's open shot from the middle of the slot. The Nailers got a tying goal, courtesy of their power play, which got lots of work in the frame. Sean Josling shuffled the puck into the slot for Brandon Saigeon, who kicked it to his left, then tapped a shot into the open side of the twine. The Royals regained their lead with 2:04 remaining, as Anthony Gagnon deposited the rebound of McFadden's wrist shot from the right point.

Neither team scored in the middle frame, despite a 19-3 shots advantage for Wheeling. Midway through the third period, Reading added to its lead on the power play. Trevor Gooch centered the puck to Thomas Ebbing, who roofed a one-timer from the left side of the low slot. The Nailers faced a tall hill with a two-goal deficit, but a man advantage turned the momentum around. With 5:17 remaining, Justin Almeida closed the gap to one, when he squirted in a one-timer from the right circle. 2:13 later, Almeida turned on the red light again, when he tipped in Dominic Dockery's right point wrist shot.

Almeida's equalizer sent the game into overtime, which has been Wheeling's time to shine. Almeida drew an early penalty in the extra session, and the Nailers cashed in on the power play. Almeida tossed the puck toward the goal, where Sam Houde freed up a chance, which was lifted home by Patrick Watling for the game winner in the 4-3 final.

Brody Claeys backstopped his sixth straight win for Wheeling, as he made 13 saves on 16 shots. Hayden Hawkey suffered the shootout loss for the Royals, as he stopped 37 of the 41 shots he faced.

The Nailers and Royals will meet again on Wednesday at 7:10, as Wheeling continues its four-game home week. The Nailers will also play at WesBanco Arena on Friday and Saturday against the Kalamazoo Wings, with both contests starting at 7:10.

Cam Hausinger Decides First Match-up in Family Rivalry
Wheeling Earns Fifth Straight Win to go Eight Games Over .500

READING, PA- Cam Hausinger had more than two points on the line on Saturday afternoon, as he was also playing for family bragging rights against his brother Kenny. Not only did Cam's Wheeling Nailers defeat Kenny's Reading Royals, but Cam played a big role in delivering the victory. His goal with 3:53 snapped a 3-3 deadlock, and he followed that up with an empty netter, as the Nailers earned their fifth straight win by beating Reading, 5-3 at Santander Arena.

With it being the first head-to-head meeting of the season, there was a lot of feeling out during the first period, which nearly resulted in a scoreless deadlock. However, with just 20 seconds remaining in the stanza, the Royals took advantage of a fortunate bounce to get onto the board. The puck bounced off of a few bodies in the low slot and deflected over to Trevor Gooch, who lifted in an open shot from the right side of the crease.

The middle frame began in similar fashion to the way the first one ended, as Reading scored just 21 seconds into the period. Patrick McNally wound his way through the bottom of the left circle, then touched a pass into the low slot, where a one-timer was pounded in by Frank DiChiara. At the 3:43 mark, the Nailers got their comeback going, thanks to some excellent work on special teams. Wheeling's first goal came on the power play, as Josh Maniscalco attempted a shot from the middle of the blueline. The puck ended up glancing to Sean Josling, who shoveled a backhander into the top-right corner. The penalty kill kept the momentum going in the right direction, as the Nailers killed off a double-minor, then followed that up with a tying tally just 37 seconds after the penalty expired. Adam Smith tossed a shot through from the left wing wall, which was tipped in by Tim Doherty. WIth 1:58 to go, Wheeling took the lead. Goaltender Hayden Hawkey was faced with heavy pressure from Jared Cockrell, which forced him to turn the puck over, and Patrick Watling took advantage, as he rifled in the go-ahead strike.

The Royals pulled even at the 3:50 mark of the third period, when Dominic Cormier finished off a rush with Brad Morrison by banging in a one-timer on the left side of the net. The score remained tied until the final four minutes of the contest, when Cam Hausinger broke through as the hero for the Nailers. With 3:53 left, Chris Ortiz entered the zone, and left the puck in the middle of the slot for Hausinger, who drilled a shot into the left side of the cage. Hausinger then added an exclamation point to the triumph, as he threw in an empty netter for the 5-3 final.

Brody Claeys earned his fifth straight win in goal for Wheeling, as he blocked away 21 of the 24 shots he faced. Hayden Hawkey suffered his first loss in eight decisions with Reading, as he made 19 saves on 23 shots.

The Nailers will play their next four games at home, in a span of five days. The homestand starts with a pair of contests against the Royals on Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:10, then concludes with matches against the Kalamazoo Wings on Friday and Saturday at 7:10.

Nailers Work Overtime for Fourth Straight Win
Josling Jolts Wheeling Into Sole Possession of Second Place

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers continue to win in thrilling fashion, and on Saturday night, their 4-3 overtime victory against the Fort Wayne Komets lifted them into sole possession of second place in the Central Division, as well as a season-high seven games over .500. Fort Wayne forced the extra session with two late goals, but Sean Josling was the hero, as he converted on a power play 44 seconds into OT. Josh Maniscalco and Nick Hutchison both assisted on the game winner, while each added a goal in regulation.

One goal was scored in the opening stanza, and it came with 2:26 remaining, as the Nailers were able to take a lead into the intermission. Chris Ortiz let a wrist shot go from the right wall, and he got a deflection from Nick Hutchison, who squeezed the puck through goaltender Jiri Patera.

Fort Wayne temporarily tied the score at the 6:09 mark of the middle frame. Willie Corrin bounced the puck through the slot to the left side of the crease, where it was stashed in by Kellen Jones. Wheeling had an answer with 5:21 left, when Hutchison delivered a perfect tape-to-tape pass to Josh Maniscalco, who hammered home the one-timer from the right side.

The Nailers nearly put the game on ice in the early stages of the third period, when Jesse Lees stole the puck along the right wing wall, and shoveled a shot into the top-left corner. The Komets didn't go away easily, as they battled back with two goals in the final 5:02 of regulation Connor Corcoran whizzed in a wrist shot from the slot, then Anthony Petruzzelli's right circle shot on the power play got tipped in off of a Wheeling stick, bringing the contest to a 3-3 deadlock.

During the final minute of the third, Fort Wayne was whistled for two penalties, which gave the Nailers a 5-on-3 power play to start overtime. Wheeling didn't waste any time to get the triumph, as the deciding marker came 44 seconds into the bonus stanza. Patrick Watling's shot rang off the post, leading to a mad scramble. Hutchison poked the puck toward the twine, and Sean Josling made sure it got all the way in, as the Nailers were victorious, 4-3.

Stefanos Lekkas earned the win for Wheeling against his former squad, as he denied 26 of the 29 shots he faced. Jiri Patera received the overtime loss for the Komets, as he made 24 saves on 28 shots.

The Nailers will play only one game next week, as they will travel to Reading for a 4:00 Saturday game against the Royals. Wheeling will then play four consecutive home games on February 22nd, 23rd, 25th, and 26th, with all four starting at 7:10. The 22nd and 23rd are against Reading, while the 25th and 26th are against Kalamazoo.

Maniscalco's OT Magic Wins Another One
Claeys Earns Fourth Straight Victory, as Wheeling Edges Atlanta, 3-2

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers brought a mixture of hard work and excitement to WesBanco Arena on Friday night, as they won a dramatic 3-2 overtime game against the Atlanta Gladiators. Josh Maniscalco was the hero in the extra session for the third time this season and second straight contest on home ice.

Although the teams were unfamiliar with each other, the first period saw a ton of action, as the sides combined for two goals, 27 shots, and a fight. Atlanta struck first on the man advantage at the 10:17 mark. Derek Nesbitt's one-timer from the right circle got denied, but the rebound kicked out to Sanghoon Shin, who drilled a shot back in from the left circle. The Nailers got their answer a little less than five minutes later, when Sean Josling feathered a pass to the right side of the slot, and Justin Almeida proceeded to lift a shot into the top-left corner of the cage.

The middle frame was much more defensive, and only one puck found the back of the net. That went to the Gladiators at the 9:15 mark - 14 seconds after one of their power plays had expired. Tim Davison let a shot go from the left point and got a redirection from Kameron Kielly to send the puck trickling in over the goal line.

Wheeling battled back to draw even in the early stages of the third period. Tim Doherty gathered in the puck at the top of the right circle, and sent a perfectly placed wrist shot into the left side of the goal. The Nailers outshot Atlanta 11-3 in the third, but the two teams were cautious in the non-conference clash, and both clubs were able to earn a point, as regulation ended deadlocked at two.

In the overtime, Wheeling turned to one of its most clutch players to send the fans home happy. Almeida and Sean Josling possessed the puck just inside the offensive blueline, as they waited for Josh Maniscalco to join the play. Maniscalco waltzed into the left circle and wired the winner into the left side of the net for the 3-2 victory.

Brody Claeys earned his fourth consecutive win for the Nailers, as he turned away 22 of the 24 shots he faced. Kevin Mandolese suffered the overtime loss, as he made 31 saves on 34 shots.

The Nailers will be right back at WesBanco Arena on Saturday night at 7:10 for Pittsburgh Penguins Night against the Fort Wayne Komets. Fans will have the opportunity to get their picture taken with the Stanley Cup, the Nailers will be wearing special jerseys, and mascots Iceburgh and Tux will be there for the celebration.

Nailers Exorcise the Demons in Kalamazoo
Claeys Stops 30, as Wheeling Ends 11-Game Skid in Michigan

KALAMAZOO, MI- It had been five years and six days since the Wheeling Nailers last got to celebrate a victory at Wings Event Center, but the 2021-22 team made sure that slump came to an end on Wednesday night. Nick Hutchison netted a pair of power play goals and Brody Claeys turned in an excellent 30-save performance, as Wheeling collected the 4-1 road win.

The Nailers netted the lone goal of the opening stanza at the 12:05 mark. Sean Josling won a puck battle in the left corner and delivered a pass to Tim Doherty in the left circle. Doherty's initial attempt got denied, but Justin Almeida snagged the rebound and returned the puck to Doherty, who potted his second chance into the left side of the cage.

The second period was even better for Wheeling, as the visitors added a pair of goals to their lead. The first marker came off of a Kalamazoo turnover, as a missed pass ended up leading Justin Almeida and Bobby Hampton on an odd-man rush. The first break didn't convert, but the Nailers continued to battle, as Almeida whacked a loose puck out to Jesse Lees, who lifted the puck over the fallen Wings netminder. Wheeling's power play put the next strike on the board, as some speedy puck movement resulted in Josh Maniscalco sending a shot through from the left point. His try got stopped, but Nick Hutchison was right there on the doorstep to punch in the rebound.

Denis Smirnov delivered a minor blip on Wheeling's radar with a redirection goal at the 7:01 mark of the third period, but Hutchison put the match away with his second man advantage marker of the night. He flipped the rebound of his original shot into the top-left corner of the goal, as the Nailers were victorious, 4-1.

Brody Claeys was spectacular between the pipes for Wheeling, as he blocked away 30 of the 31 shots he faced for the win. Trevor Gorsuch had a busy night for Kalamazoo, as he made 33 saves on 37 shots in the loss.

The Nailers will play the remainder of the week at home, starting with a Frosty Friday against the Atlanta Gladiators at 7:10. Then, Saturday night is Pittsburgh Penguins Night, when fans can get their picture taken with the Stanley Cup. The Nailers will also be wearing specialty jerseys, plus mascots Iceburgh and Tux will be part of the festivities. Face-off that night also takes place at 7:10, as Wheeling faces the Fort Wayne Komets

Maniscalco is the Man in Overtime
Nailers Win a Thriller, After Trailing in the Final Minute

WHEELING, WV- Sunday's clash between the Wheeling Nailers and Cincinnati Cyclones at WesBanco Arena was a roller coaster ride, as both teams had times when they thought they would be able to leave victorious. Wheeling opened with a 2-0 lead, before Cincinnati took 3-2 and 4-3 advantages later in the tilt. However, it was the Nailers who had the last laugh, as Sean Josling tied things up in the last minute of regulation, and Josh Maniscalco's second goal of the day won the game in overtime, 5-4.

The Nailers got the exact start that they were looking for, as they jumped out to a 2-0 lead. The first goal came at the 6:20 mark, when Justin Almeida snagged the puck out of the left corner, then found Tim Doherty for a one-timer on the left side of the slot. Wheeling then capitalized on one of four power plays it received in the stanza. The puck got moved around quickly, and Josh Maniscalco was rewarded with the goal, as he ripped in a wrist shot from the middle of the zone.

The first half of the middle frame gave the Nailers some adversity, as Cincinnati put three pucks into the back of the net. Gianluca Esteves was responsible for the first two, and he did so on both special teams, as he finished a shorthanded 2-on-1 break with Nick Boka, then swept in a loose puck on the left side of the crease with the man advantage. Lincoln Griffin gave the Cyclones the lead, when he rifled a one-timer into the top of the net from the right circle. Wheeling rebounded well with a tying marker 1:23 later, as Patrick Watling drove down the slot and placed a wrist shot into the left side of the cage.

Cincinnati pulled ahead at the 11:06 mark of the third period, when Bair Gendunov ramped Josh Burnside's left point shot up and under the crossbar. As the clock ticked down, the Nailers dug deep and tied the score with 46 seconds to go. Nick Hutchison won an offensive zone face-off, and he and his teammates went to work. The play ended up with Patrick Watling delivering a feed to Sean Josling, who swept in a shot from the right side of the crease, which sent the match into overtime.

Wheeling had a glorious opportunity to grab the bonus point early in the extra session, but came up empty on a power play. However, at the 5:39 mark, Tim Doherty took the puck off of the left corner boards, and put a pass onto Maniscalco's tape. Maniscalco buried the shot from the left side of the slot, giving the Nailers the 5-4 triumph.

Brody Claeys earned the win for Wheeling, as he thwarted 31 of the 35 shots he faced, including all six attempts in overtime. Sean Bonar took the overtime loss for the Cyclones, as he made 29 saves on 34 shots.

The Nailers will take a quick road trip out to Kalamazoo on Wednesday at 7:00, before returning home for two games over the weekend. Friday is a Frosty Friday at 7:10 against the Atlanta Gladiators. Then, Saturday is the highlight game of the month, as fans can get their picture taken with the Stanley Cup, as part of Pittsburgh Penguins Night - a 7:10 face-off against the Fort Wayne Komets.

Nailers Drop Difficult Decision to Iowa
Drevitch Scores Lone Goal for Wheeling

WHEELING, WV- The chance at a winning home weekend will come down to Sunday afternoon for the Wheeling Nailers, who had a difficult go at it on Saturday night, as they dropped a 4-1 decision to the Iowa Heartlanders. After scoring once in the first period, Iowa rattled off three goals in a span of 4:16 in the second to collect the win at WesBanco Arena. Tyler Drevitch was the lone goal scorer for Wheeling.

The Nailers got off to a bit of a slow start in the first period, as Iowa held a 13-6 advantage in shots, and took a 1-0 lead on the scoreboard. Joe Widmar carried the puck down the left wing wall, then dished a pass into the slot for Jack Billings, who kicked the feed to his backhand, and slipped it through Stefanos Lekkas' legs.

The Heartlanders opened things up in the early stages of the middle frame, as they tallied three times in the opening seven minutes. Zach White netted the first goal of the period off of a rush with Ryan Kuffner and Kris Bennett, as he roofed a wrist shot from the right circle. 1:26 later, Bennett stole the puck at his own blueline and was off to the races, as he broke away and sifted in a backhander. Billings added his second of the night a few minutes after that, when he converted a feed from Cole Stallard in the right circle.

Tyler Drevitch gave Wheeling a bright spot at the 5:33 mark of the third period, when he drilled in a centering pass from Bobby Hampton. Unfortunately, the Nailers were unable to dig themselves back into the game, as the fell, 4-1.

Hunter Jones picked up the win for Iowa, as he denied 33 of the 34 shots he faced. Stefanos Lekkas took the loss for Wheeling, as he surrendered four goals on 18 shots, before Brody Claeys went 8-for-8 in relief.

The Nailers will finish their three-game home weekend on Sunday afternoon, when they face the Cincinnati Cyclones at 4:10. Wheeling also has a pair of home contests next weekend, highlighted by Pittsburgh Penguins Night on Saturday, February 12th at 7:10. Fans attending that game will have a chance to take their picture with the Stanley Cup.

Nailers Open Big Home Month on Top
Wheeling Scores Three in the Second for 3-1 Win

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers played a solid game on Friday night, which featured key goals, big saves, and strong defense, as they earned a 3-1 triumph over the Indy Fuel at WesBanco Arena. All three goals came in the second period, as Nick Hutchison, Sean Josling, and Patrick Watling all lit the lamp in front of Stefanos Lekkas, who stopped 24 shots.

The first period was a rough one for the Nailers, as they were on the receiving end of two hard hits - one that led to the ejection of an Indy player. Despite a 15-10 shots advantage for Wheeling, the lone goal also went to the Fuel. Darien Craighead stole a puck behind the net, and fed Riley McKay, who tossed in an open shot from the right circle.

The middle frame was a completely different story, as the Nailers pulled in front with three consecutive markers. The equalizer came at the 4:03 mark, when Tyler Drevitch yanked the puck away in the right circle, then set up Nick Hutchison for a wide open shot from the left side. Sean Josling returned from a three-month stint in the AHL to give Wheeling the lead, as he tapped in a feed from Patrick Watling on the right side of the crease, which was created by Hutchison's forecheck. 2:15 later, Cam Hausinger lit the lamp, as he cruised into the left circle, and roofed a wrist shot into the top-right corner of the cage.

The Nailers went into lockdown mode in the third period, as both clubs shut it down, and the Nailers took their 3-1 win.

Stefanos Lekkas earned the victory in goal for Wheeling, as he turned away 24 of the 25 shots he faced, including a breakaway save on Spencer Watson early in the second period. Mitch Gillam took the loss for Indy, as he made 28 saves on 31 shots.

The Nailers will continue their home weekend on Saturday night, when they face the Iowa Heartlanders at 7:10. Then, on Sunday, the weekend concludes with a 4:10 tilt against the Cincinnati Cyclones, followed by a post game skate with odd-numbered players. Wheeling's next big promotional night is February 12th, when the Stanley Cup comes to WesBanco Arena as part of Pittsburgh Penguins Night.

NAILERS SPIKE TOLEDO, 7-2
13 of 16 Players Record at Least One Point, While Brody Claeys Stops 30

TOLEDO, OH- The Wheeling Nailers are one of two visiting teams that have won inside Huntington Center this season, and on Saturday night, they did what no other visitor has - won twice. Wheeling got great goaltending early from Brody Claeys, then turned up the offense in a big way, as they racked up a 7-2 triumph over the Toledo Walleye. Tim Doherty was the lone multi-goal scorer, while Nick Hutchison topped the points department with four, as the Nailers took two of three games on their Ohio road journey.

The two sides exchanged goals less than one minute apart during the opening stanza. Toledo was first on the board at the 12:31 mark, when Brandon Schultz picked off a pass in the slot, then proceeded to rip a wrist shot into the right side of the cage. The Nailers answered 46 seconds later, as Nick Hutchison worked the puck into the middle of the ice for Bobby Hampton, who turned a roofed a wrist shot into the top-left corner of the net.

Wheeling had a big second period, as it scored twice to take the lead. At the 5:51 mark, Cam Hough dragged the puck deep behind the goal, where Brandon Saigeon was able to rake the puck to the top of the crease. Tyler Drevitch stepped up and lifted a shot up and under the crossbar. Less than three minutes after that, the Nailers struck again off of a rush, which started in the defensive zone. Justin Almeida led Adam Smith into the left side of the slot, where he drove a shot into the left side of the cage.

The Nailers kept the foot on the gas pedal in the third period to drive home the victory. A beautiful three-way passing play by Chris Ortiz, Nick Hutchison, and Tim Doherty led to Wheeling's fourth goal, with Doherty getting rewarded by blazing in a one-timer from the right circle. Brandon Hawkins got one goal back for the Walleye, before Nick Hutchison shaked, baked, and tossed in a backhander with 6:28 remaining. Then, in the final minutes, after a bit of craziness led to back-to-back Toledo penalties, the Nailers made sure to make the hosts pay, as Almeida and Doherty both connected for power play strikes, leading to a 7-2 final score.

Brody Claeys was excellent in his first start with Wheeling, as he denied 30 of the 32 shots he faced, including 27 of 28 in the first two periods when the score was close. Max Milosek was the losing goal for the Walleye, as he gave up seven goals on 26 shots.

The Nailers will return home on Friday night for a Frosty Friday, as they begin a three-game homestand with a 7:10 face-off against the Indy Fuel. Wheeling will also play at home on Saturday at 7:10 against the Iowa Heartlanders, then Sunday at 4:10 against the Cincinnati Cyclones. The next big promotional game is Pittsburgh Penguins Night on Saturday, February 12th, when fans will be able to get their picture taken with the Stanley Cup.

Cyclones Split Series with 7-2 Decision
Griffin Nets Hat Trick for Cincinnati

CINCINNATI, OH- The Wheeling Nailers and Cincinnati Cyclones have developed plenty of hatred for each other this season, and that was the case on Friday night at Heritage Bank Center. One other thing the Nailers disliked was the final score, as Cincinnati scored three goals in the second and three in the third, en route to a 7-2 win on home ice. Tim Doherty and Shaw Boomhower were Wheeling's goal scorers.

Both teams lit the lamp in the first period, but fans had to wait a bit, as the two tallies came during the final five minutes. Cincinnati was first to strike, moments after a successful penalty kill. Jesse Schultz led a 3-on-1 rush up the ice, which mostly featured passing between he and Lincoln Griffin. Griffin had the best angle at the net, and he ended up driving in his shot from the middle of the slot. With 1:51 left on the clock, the Nailers drew even. Josh Maniscalco had a couple of attempts blocked, before the puck eventually found Tim Doherty, who spun and launched a wrist shot up and under the crossbar.

A couple of miscues cost Wheeling in the middle frame, as the Cyclones netted three of the four goals to go ahead by two. At the 4:13 mark, a turnover at the offensive blueline led Cincinnati in the other direction with numbers. Wyatt Ege ended up sifting the puck into the crease, where it was touched into the goal by Jesse Schultz. The Cyclones utilized strong puck movement during 4-on-4 play to extend their lead. Louie Caporusso skated the puck from left to right across the slot, before leaving a pass at the top of the crease for a tap-in by Griffin. The Nailers got a goal back when the penalties expired, as Shaw Boomhower broke out of the box, and dodged Sean Bonar's lunge, before tapping the puck into a wide open cage. Cincinnati regained its two-goal lead with 2:09 to go, as Griffin completed his hat trick by crushing in a one-time feed from Bair Gendunov.

The Cyclones tacked on three more in the third period, as Wyatt Ege blasted in a left circle one-timer on the power play, Louie Caporusso swept in a shot from the slot, and Gianluca Esteves roofed a wrist shot on the left side for a 7-2 final.

Sean Bonar collected the win for Cincinnati, as he made 31 saves on 33 shots. Stefanos Lekkas suffered the defeat for the Nailers, as he stopped 23 of the 30 shots he faced.

The Nailers will wrap up their road trip on Saturday at 7:15, when they visit the Toledo Walleye. Wheeling's next homestand is February 4th, 5th, and 6th, starting with a Frosty Friday against the Indy Fuel at 7:10. The next big promotional night is Pittsburgh Penguins Night on Saturday, February 12th, which features the Stanley Cup.

Lekkas Lights Out in Cincinnati
Ortiz Scores Both Goals in 2-0 Wheeling Win

CINCINNATI, OH- Stefanos Lekkas and Chris Ortiz had nights to remember on Wednesday night, as they were two of the key pieces that led the Wheeling Nailers to a 2-0 victory over the Cincinnati Cylones at Heritage Bank Center. Lekkas backstopped his first career shutout with 29 saves, while Ortiz tallied both goals - one in the first and one in the third.

The Nailers had a couple of close calls on the offensive side, before finally getting the puck to go over the goal line with 2:48 remaining in the first period. Chris Ortiz sped down the left side of the ice and blew past a defender to create some space in the circle. He then let a wrist shot go, which caught goaltender Sean Bonar in the left arm and dribbled into the net.

The middle frame featured 27 combined shots on goal, but neither team could light the lamp, as the one-goal margin continued into the third. At the 2:05 mark of the final frame, Wheeling broke through again with a huge insurance marker. A mad scramble took place in front of the net, as Nick Hutchison and Tyler Drevitch both crashed in. Ultimately, Ortiz snagged the loose puck out of the trapezoid and tucked it into the left side of the goal. At that point, the only thing to settle was the zero on the opposite side of the scoreboard, which stayed there when the final buzzer sounded, signaling a 2-0 Nailers win.

Stefanos Lekkas earned his first professional shutout, as he was perfect on 29 shots for Wheeling. Sean Bonar made 38 saves on 40 shots in the defeat for Cincinnati.

The Nailers and Cyclones will collide again in Cincinnati on Friday at 7:35. Wheeling will then travel to Toledo for a Saturday tangle with the Walleye at 7:15.

Kaczperski, Heartlanders Puzzle Nailers, 2-1
Wheeling Camp Invite Zach White Scores Game Winner in the Second

WHEELING, WV- A weekend which started out with a bang on Friday night for the Wheeling Nailers ended in lots of frustration. The Iowa Heartlanders collected back-to-back road victories at WesBanco Arena, as their netminders combined to stop 68 of 71 shots in a 4-2 win on Saturday and a 2-1 score on Sunday. Zach White's second period goal provided the difference for the Heartlanders, who got 33 saves from Corbin Kaczperski. Justin Almeida was the lone Wheeling goal scorer.

Both teams utilized the power play to their advantage in the first period, as the two sides played to a 1-1 draw. Iowa got on the board first at the 7:38 mark with a 5-on-3 goal, as Zach White scooted the puck across the slot to Kaid Oliver who chucked a backhander in from the left side. The Nailers answered a little more than three minutes later. Justin Almeida stepped up into the left circle, and drove a wrist shot into the top-left corner.

Wheeling controlled a good portion of the play in the middle frame by outshooting the Heartlanders, 11-6. However, the lone goal went to the visitors off of a defensive zone turnover. Zach White picked off a pass in the slot, then waited out Stefanos Lekkas to tuck in a forehand shot.

The Nailers put 11 more shots on goal in the third period and received a pair of power play chances, but were unable to pot a tying goal, as the fell, 2-1.

Corbin Kaczperski earned the win for Iowa, as he turned aside 33 of the 34 shots he faced. Stefanos Lekkas suffered the defeat for Wheeling, as he made 16 saves on 18 shots.

The Nailers will spend the next week on the road, as they will visit the Cincinnati Cyclones on Wednesday and Friday at 7:35, before wrapping up the trip on Saturday in Toledo at 7:15. Wheeling will then return to WesBanco Arena for a three-game homestand on February 4th, 5th, and 6th against Indy, Iowa, and Cincinnati.

Late Goal Lifts Iowa, 4-2
Nick Hutchison Extends Point Streak to 16 with Goal & Assist

WHEELING, WV- Saturday night's game between the Wheeling Nailers and Iowa Heartlanders at WesBanco Arena went down to the wire, and there was a feeling that one break would determine a winner. With 2:37 left in the third period, Joe Widmar snapped a tied score, and Trevin Kozlowski made 35 saves, as Iowa defeated Wheeling, 4-2. Nick Hutchison and Patrick Watling both had a goal and an assist for the Nailers.

The first period was a spirited one, as the two teams combined for 42 penalty minutes, including a fight off the opening face-off between Josh Victor and Cole Stallard, as well as a bout in the final minute between Shaw Boomhower and Kaid Oliver. Unfortunately, a couple of goals were mixed in, and both were scored by the Heartlanders. The first tally came at the 5:37 mark, when Jack Billings chased down a dump-in and centered the puck to Jake Smith for the snipe from the low slot. With less than a minute to go, Iowa connected on a two-man advantage, as Jack Billings whipped in a wrist shot from the right circle.

Wheeling controlled the middle frame from start to finish by outshooting Iowa, 16-1, while trimming its deficit on the scoreboard down to one. The Nailers got their goal on the power play. Niclas Almari moved the puck to Patrick Watling, who let a one-timer go from the right circle. Nick Hutchison got a piece of the attempt to send it into the cage and extend his point streak to 16 games.

Early in the third period, Wheeling got a huge breakaway save from Stefanos Lekkas on Billings, then transitioned the other way for the tying goal. Hutchison tipped a pass to the left side of the slot for Watling, who drilled a shot inside the left post. The score stayed deadlocked until 2:33 remained, when Iowa capitalized on a fortuitous bounce. The Nailers coughed up the puck behind the goal, allowing Connor Graham to center a feed to Joe Widmar, who slammed in a shot from the left side. Ben Sokay finished off the 4-2 win for the Heartlanders with an empty netter.

Trevin Kozlowski played a big role in earning the victory for Iowa, as he stopped 35 of the 37 shots he faced. Stefanos Lekkas suffered the defeat for Wheeling, despite making 19 saves on 22 shots.

The Nailers and Heartlanders will meet again at WesBanco Arena on Sunday at 4:10.

Nailers Deliver the Boom on Kalamazoo, 6-2
Shaw Boomhower Returns to Lineup with Four-Point Night

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers got some key contributors back in the lineup on Friday night and continued their success from a week ago, as they returned to WesBanco Arena. Shaw Boomhower collected four points in his return, while Cam Hausinger added two goals, and Nick Hutchison tacked on a goal and an assist, as the Nailers rolled the Kalamazoo Wings, 6-2.

The Nailers got a couple of goals at key times in the first period, as they took a 2-1 lead into the break. Wheeling got on the board first at the 11:36 mark, when Shaw Boomhower forced a turnover in the offensive zone, then teed up Cam Hausinger for a left circle one-timer. The Wings answered quickly, when Tanner Sorenson rang in a shot from low on the left side. With less than 30 seconds to go, the Nailers regained their advantage. Josh Maniscalco patiently waited in the high slot, then found Félix Paré, who slipped a shot inside the right post from along the left side of the goal line.

If the opening stanza was good, the middle frame was that much better, as Wheeling blew the contest open with four goals. The first strike came just 24 seconds in, when David Drake stole the puck and fed Boomhower for a one-time dart from the right side of the slot. The power play took over from there, as each of the next three markers came on the man advantage. Nick Hutchison extended his point streak to 15 games by whipping in a wrist shot from the right dot, Hausinger notched his second of the night by tossing in the rebound of Hutchison's backhand, then Bobby Hampton joined the goal parade by banging home the rebound of Adam Smith's initial shot.

Kalamazoo recorded the lone tally of the third period, courtesy of a shorthanded breakaway by Raymond Brice, as the Nailers took care of business for the 6-2 victory.

Stefanos Lekkas backstopped the win in goal for Wheeling, as he denied 28 of the 30 shots he faced. Trevor Gorsuch took the loss for the Wings, as he allowed six goals on 33 shots.

The Nailers will continue their three-game home weekend on Saturday night, when they host the Iowa Heartlanders at 7:10 for First Responders Night. Wheeling and Iowa will also collide on Sunday at 4:10,

ALMEIDA'S OT HEROICS CLINCH WEEKEND SERIES
Wheeling Takes Two of Three from Orlando with 4-3 Win in the Finale

ORLANDO, FL- It took a crazy ending and some extra work, but the Wheeling Nailers got the win they deserved on Sunday afternoon against the Orlando Solar Bears at Amway Center. Orlando scored twice in the final five minutes to force overtime, but in the extra session, Justin Almeida connected for his second of the day, as the Nailers defeated the Solar Bears, 4-3, to take two of three on the weekend.

The first period was filled with opportunities for both sides, but the lone goal came during the closing seconds, courtesy of the Nailers. Justin Almeida sent Félix Paré on a breakaway, just as Paré's minor penalty expired. Despite fanning on his initial try, Paré was able to quickly gather the puck and spin around with a forehand shot in from the right side of the crease.

Early in the middle frame, Orlando drew even, just as a power play came to its conclusion. Alexey Lipanov's left circle shot got stopped, but the rebound bounced out to Dylan Fitze, who chipped in the loose change. Midway through the period, Wheeling got its lead back. Chris Ortiz touched the puck up on the right side of the ice to Justin Almeida, who immediately let a wrist shot fly into the top-left corner of the net.

At the 2:44 mark of the third period, the Nailers extended their advantage with what turned out to be a big marker. Ortiz dangled around a defender and got enough power on his right circle wrister to send the puck off of Brad Barone's glove and in over the goal line. The rest of the stanza proved to be a challenge for Wheeling, as it was forced to kill four penalties, and that would have been five, if not for a goal during a delayed call. The Solar Bears capitalized on the circumstances to tie the tilt. Tristan Langan's first marker came from a wrist shot just above the right side of the goal line on the power play, then he potted the equalizer with a one-timer from the center point, sending the contest to overtime deadlocked, 3-3.

In the extra session, Wheeling got the lone power play and made sure to cash in. Justin Almeida walked the puck into the left circle, then rifled the game winner up and under the crossbar, giving the Nailers the 4-3 triumph and the win in the weekend series.

Stefanos Lekkas turned in another brilliant performance for Wheeling, as he earned the victory by stopping 37 of the 40 shots he faced. Brad Barone took the overtime loss for Orlando, as he made 22 saves on 26 shots.

The Nailers will return home for a three-game weekend on January 21st, 22nd, and 23rd. Friday is a Frosty Friday against Kalamazoo at 7:10, Saturday is First Responders Night against Iowa at 7:10, then Sunday will feature a post game skate with even-numbered players, following the 4:10 tilt against Iowa. 

Wheeling's Fifth Hat Trick of the Year Ends Five-Game Skid
Cockrell's Hat Trick Puts Nailers Back in Win Column

ORLANDO, FL- Jared Cockrell had the most productive month of December for the Wheeling Nailers, and on Saturday night, he played a major role in lifting them to their first victory of January. Cockrell scored Wheeling's final three goals of the contest for his first career hat trick, while Stefanos Lekkas turned away 24 shots, as the Nailers defeated the Orlando Solar Bears, 4-1 at Amway Center.

The Nailers got off to a terrific start, as they established a physical start, while netting a pair of goals in the opening ten minutes. The first tally came at the 2:39 mark, when Tyler Drevitch feathered a pass to Félix Paré on the right side of the slot. Paré patiently waited Brad Barone down, before flipping a backhander over his right shoulder. Wheeling struck again at the 9:02 mark. Bobby Hampton's second backhand chance banked off of the left post, then landed in the crease, where it was smacked home by Jared Cockrell. Hunter Fejes got a goal back for Orlando on a power play with less than one minute remaining, when he chipped in the rebound of Odeen Tufto's left circle shot.

The one-goal lead remained until there was 5:30 left on the second period clock, when the Nailers got some insurance on the power play. Cockrell and Brandon Saigeon teamed up to force a turnover, and Saigeon immediately fed Cockrell in the low slot, where he was able to sweep a shot in along the ice.

Wheeling's penalty kill got put to the test in the final frame, but the team pushed through with four successful kills, en route to a 6-for-7 performance on the night. At that point, there was only one thing left to accomplish, and Cockrell did that, as he finished his hat trick in the last minute, putting a bow on a 4-1 Nailers triumph.

Stefanos Lekkas got the win in goal for Wheeling, as he denied 24 of the 25 shots he faced. Brad Barone took the loss for the Solar Bears, as he made 24 saves on 27 shots.

The Nailers and Solar Bears will conclude their weekend in Orlando on Sunday at 3:00. Wheeling's next homestand is a three-game weekend on January 21st, 22nd, and 23rd.

BIG THIRD PERIOD SPRINGS SOLAR BEARS
Dylan Fitze Nets Hat Trick in 6-2 Orlando Win

ORLANDO, FL- The Wheeling Nailers and Orlando Solar Bears were locked in a tight battle for two periods at Amway Center on Friday night. Unfortunately, the third period went to the team from the south, as the Solar Bears snapped a 2-2 tie with four goals, including Dylan Fitze's second and third of the night, as Orlando defeated Wheeling, 6-2. Justin Almeida and Tim Doherty were the goal scorers for the Nailers.

After feeling each other out in the opening few minutes, the two teams exchanged goals in the back half of the first period. Wheeling struck first at the 14:36 mark, when Justin Almeida took a lead pass from David Drake, then flew up the ice to rip a shot into the top-left corner of the net. The Solar Bears answered with a late power play strike. Tristan Langan's pass deflected off a Nailer into the right side of the slot, where it was chipped in by Dylan Fitze.

The middle frame followed a similar script to the first, but in reverse order. Orlando potted its second of the night on the man advantage, as Odeen Tufto's shot produced a rebound, which was stashed in by Tyler Bird from the slot. The Nailers responded in shorthanded fashion. Josh Maniscalco hurdled his way out of his own zone to create the chance, as he zipped a shot on net from the right circle. Although the initial try was stopped, a juicy rebound squirted out to Tim Doherty, who slammed it home from the left side.

With the score tied at the start of the third, the next goal was going to be a big one, and that goal went to the Solar Bears, as Fitze connected for his second of the night by punching in a shot from the slot. Just seconds after the final media timeout, Orlando upped its lead, when Odeen Tufto took a feed from Tristan Langan, and wired a shot into the left side of the goal. Wheeling thought it got one back moments later, thanks to Josh Maniscalco, but the marker was wiped off the board due to goaltender interference. The Solar Bears took advantage with two goals in the closing minute, as Michael Brodzinski got an empty netter and Fitze completed his hat trick for the 6-2 result.

Amir Miftakhov got the win for Orlando, as he made 28 saves on 30 shots. Stefanos Lekkas suffered the defeat, as he stopped 23 of the 28 shots he faced.

The Nailers and Solar Bears have two more games on the docket this weekend at Amway Center, as they will play Saturday at 7:00 and Sunday at 3:00. Wheeling's next homestand is a three-game weekend on January 21st, 22nd, and 23rd.

Frustrating Weekend Concludes with Kalamazoo Win
Justin Almeida Scores Lone Goal for the Nailers

WHEELING, WV- The weekend was a challenging one for the Wheeling Nailers, who finished things up on Sunday afternoon at WesBanco Arena. The Kalamazoo Wings opened up a big lead with a three-goal second period, and went on to a 5-1 win, led by two goals from Raymond Brice and 31 saves by Jason Pawloski. Justin Almeida was the lone goal scorer for Wheeling.

One goal was scored in the first period, and it was a fortuitous marker for the visiting Wings. Tyler Rockwell tossed the puck toward the net from the right point, and his shot ended up finding a path into the net, with a possible deflection taking place on the way.

Kalamazoo added to its lead with a big middle frame, while getting some help from the iron, as the Nailers hit four posts to that point in the contest. At the 5:27 mark, the Wings got their second goal of the day, when Raymond Brice's backhander from the trapezoid banked off of Stefanos Lekkas' right skate and dribbled into the cage. Kyle Blaney followed that by stepping in and roofing a wrist shot from the bottom of the left circle on the man advantage, then Brice netted his second of the period 1:06 later from low on the right side, as the Wings carried a four-goal advantage into the break.

The visitors tacked on one more goal in the third period, as Logan Lambdin lit the lamp, before Justin Almeida collected the lone tally for the Nailers in a 5-1 final.

Jason Pawloski picked up his first ECHL win for Kalamazoo, as he blocked away 31 of the 32 shots he faced. Stefanos Lekkas suffered the loss for Wheeling, as he allowed five goals on 29 shots, before Brody Claeys finished the game with eight stops.

The Nailers will travel to Orlando for three games against the Solar Bears on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Friday and Saturday will start at 7:00, then Sunday will begin at 3:00. Wheeling's next homestand is a three-game weekend on January 21st, 22nd, and 23rd.

Three-Goal Third Lifts Indy to 5-2 Win
Watling Extends Point Streak to 11 With a Goal & an Assist

WHEELING, WV- Saturday night's game between the Wheeling Nailers and Indy Fuel at WesBanco Arena came down to the third period. Unfortunately for the Nailers, that stanza belonged to Indy, who broke a 2-2 deadlock with three unanswered goals, en route to a 5-2 road win and a sweep of the home-and-home series. Patrick Watling extended his point streak to 11 with a goal and an assist.

The Nailers did a great job of putting pressure on and creating offensive chances in the first period, and that effort resulted in the game's opening marker, which came on the man advantage. Chris Ortiz fed Patrick Watling for a one-timer from the top of the right circle. Watling let the shot fly, which got tipped into the cage by Cam Hausinger.

The middle frame saw the teams go back-and-forth with the goals. Indy got on the board early with a power play tally, as Karl El-Mir shelved a wrist shot from the right face-off dot. Midway through the period, Wheeling got its lead back with a shorthanded strike, as Patrick Watling crossed into the middle to the ice, and drove a shot in off of the left post. Just under five minutes later, the Fuel drew even for a second time, as Jared Thomas crashed the net with his attempt, which produced a rebound for C.J. Eick, who followed up for the goal.

Early in the third period, Indy took its first lead of the night. Darien Craighead fired a missile from the right circle, which deflected off of Stefanos Lekkas' glove and dribbled in over the goal line. Midway through the stanza, the Fuel added to their advantage, when Seamus Malone capitalized on open space on the left side of the offensive zone, and created a 1-on-1 with the goaltender, as he slid a shot in on the left side of the net. Spencer Watson added an empty netter to finish off Indy's 5-2 win.

Mitch Gillam backstopped the victory for the Fuel, as he turned aside 27 of the 29 shots he faced. Stefanos Lekkas suffered the defeat, as he made 21 saves on 25 shots.

The Nailers will wrap up their 3-in-3 weekend on Sunday at 4:10 against the Kalamazoo Wings.

Early Goal Sets Fuel in Motion
Nailers Look for Revenge in Re-Match Saturday at Home

INDIANAPOLIS, IN- Friday night's game at Indiana Farmers Coliseum didn't get off to a great start for the Wheeling Nailers, and unfortunately, they were unable to recover. Jan Mandat scored 23 seconds into the contest, setting off a string of five straight Indy Fuel goals, as they defeated the Nailers, 5-1. Patrick Watling extended his point streak to ten with the lone Wheeling tally.

One goal was scored in the first period, and it came in quick fashion, as the Fuel found the net just 23 seconds into the match. Darien Craighead centered the puck to Jan Mandat, who drilled a one-timer into the top-right corner of the net.

The Nailers had one break go their way, and one break go against them in the middle frame. C.J. Eick appeared to give Indy a 2-0 lead with 4:29 remaining, but the goal was wiped off the board, due to goaltender interference by Griff Jeska. However, 1:17 later, the Fuel were awarded a penalty shot, as Wheeling was guilty of having a skater cover the puck in the crease. Jared Thomas scored on the attempt with a rocket of a slap shot from the right circle.

Indy extended its lead in the third period. At the 4:18 mark, Eick got a goal that counted when he cashed in on a scramble in front of the net. Mandat's second of the night into the top shelf and a shorthanded empty netter by Jeska capped off the scoring for the Fuel, before Patrick Watling's wrist shot from the top of the right circle on the power play gave Wheeling its lone marker of the contest in a 5-1 final.

Mitch Gillam picked up the win for Indy, as he made 24 saves on 25 shots. Stefanos Lekkas suffered the defeat for the Nailers, as he stopped 32 of the 36 shots he faced.

The Nailers and Fuel will travel across I-70 and meet in Wheeling on Saturday at 7:10. The game will feature a regift exchange, in which fans can bring an unwrapped gift to the game, and swap it out for a new one. The Nailers will also play at home on Sunday at 4:10 against the Kalamazoo Wings.

Wells Stymies Nailers Comeback
Wheeling Takes 21 Shots in Third Period, but Falls, 4-3

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers threw everything they had at the Norfolk Admirals on Saturday night at WesBanco Arena, but goaltender Dylan Wells stole the game for the shorthanded Admirals. Wells made 20 saves during the third period and 38 in the game, as Norfolk edged Wheeling, 4-3, on a goal with 7:07 to go in the contest. Justin Almeida and Cam Hausinger both had a goal and an assist for the Nailers.

The first period saw the two teams go back-and-forth, and visiting Norfolk took a 2-1 lead into the intermission. The Admirals got on the board first, shortly after killing a penalty. Noah Corson and Mackenzie Dwyer led the way on a 2-on-1 break, before being joined by Ryan Cook, who swatted in a loose puck on the right side. Wheeling responded with an equalizer 2:37 later. Justin Almeida led Matt Alfaro into the left circle, where he sniped a shot into the right side of the cage. Norfolk regained its advantage with a power play marker. Blake Murray skated into the top of the left circle, and proceeded to roof a shot into the left side of the net.

The Nailers controlled a large part of the play in the middle frame, as they held a 9-3 advantage in shots and came away with a tying goal. Patrick Watling delivered a perfect pass off the pads from the left circle, which popped out to Cam Hausinger for the slam dunk. Wheeling's penalty kill was key in the closing minutes, as it denied back-to-back chances.

Early in the third period, the Nailers took their first lead of the night. Hausinger won a left circle face-off back to Almeida, who whipped a wrister into the top-right corner of the goal. Unfortunately, that lead was short-lived, as the Admirals answered 1:32 later. Aidan Brown used a Wheeling player as a screen, as he propelled a shot through from the outer edge of the left circle. With 7:07 left, Norfolk went back on top. Marly Quince broke over the blueline, and shoveled a shot into the top-right corner of the net. The Nailers got a late power play, and ultimately poured 21 shots on goal during the final stanza, but couldn't get a tying marker to go in, as they fell, 4-3.

Dylan Wells earned the win for the Admirals, as he stopped 38 of the 41 shots he faced, including 20 of 21 in the third period. Tommy Nappier took the loss for Wheeling, as he made 18 saves on 22 shots.

The Nailers will play three more home games in the coming week, starting on Wednesday night at 7:10, when they face the Reading Royals. Wheeling will then be home on Saturday at 7:10 against the Indy Fuel, in a game which will feature a gift exchange. Finally, the week will wrap up on Sunday, January 9th at 4:10 against the Kalamazoo Wings

Nailers Close Out 2021 in Style With 5-2 Win
Maniscalco Scores Twice in the Third, Including the Game Winner

WHEELING, WV- New Year's Eve has been a fun tradition at WesBanco Arena, and the Wheeling Nailers added to that on Friday night. Josh Maniscalco scored twice in the third period, as the Nailers earned their 18th all-time win on December 31st by taking down the Norfolk Admirals, 5-2.

The opening stanza saw just one goal, and it came on the first shot of the night, as the Admirals found the back of the net just 31 seconds into the tilt. Mackenzie Dwyer let a one-timer go from the top of the left circle, sending the puck into the top-left corner of the cage. The period had some fire in the closing minutes, as three players received game misconducts for their roles in an altercation in front of the benches.

Wheeling got things rolling in the early stages of the middle frame, as it lit the lamp twice in a span of 68 seconds. The first marker came on an odd-man rush. Jared Cockrell skated the puck down the left side, then fed a pass through a huge gap in the middle of the ice to Brandon Saigeon, who pounded in a one-timer. The Nailers built off that goal, and came away with another quick one. Adam Smith's left side shot produced a rebound for Justin Almeida, who had his attempt whacked in by Patrick Watling.

The home team not only protected its lead in the third period, but built on it. The two sides started by exchanging four-on-four strikes, as Josh Maniscalco crashed the net to tip in a Bobby Hampton try, before Alex Tonge roofed a wrist shot for Norfolk. With 4:42 to go, Wheeling got a key insurance goal, as Maniscalco surfed into the middle of the slot, and swiped a backhand in along the ice. Félix Paré iced the 5-2 victory with an empty netter, which was helped by a 6-for-6 effort on the penalty kill.

Tommy Nappier turned in a solid performance in goal for the Nailers, as he denied 27 of the 29 shots he faced in the win. Dylan Wells took the loss for the Admirals, as he made 25 saves on 29 shots.

The Nailers and Admirals will open the 2022 calendar year against each other on Saturday at 7:10. That will be the second of five home games in a two-week span for Wheeling, who hosts Reading on Wednesday, followed by Indy next Saturday, and Kalamazoo next Sunday.

Shorthanded Nailers Snakebitten Against Cincinnati
Wheeling's Three-Game Winning Streak Snapped

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers faced a big challenge on Sunday evening, as they took the ice with just 14 skaters against their division rivals, the Cincinnati Cyclones. Despite an opening strike by Brandon Saigeon, the rest of the contest belonged to the Cyclones, who rattled off seven straight goals for a 7-1 road win at WesBanco Arena.

The two teams exchanged goals in a closely played first period. Wheeling tallied the opening marker at the 6:31 mark. Bobby Hampton used great patience on the left side of the ice, as his teammates completed a line change. He eventually fed Brandon Saigeon, who drilled in a one-timer from the left side of the slot. The Cyclones drew even with 2:46 left on the clock. Lukas Craggs had his initial shot thwarted away, but was able to follow up and roof the second opportunity into the top-left corner.

The middle frame was a difficult one for the home side, as three goals went the other way. Cincinnati took its first lead of the evening at the 4:33 mark of the period. Matthew Cairns blazed the puck around the glass to Dajon Mingo, who centered a pass to Louie Caporusso for a tap-in on the left side of the crease. Matt McLeod upped the Cyclones advantage less than three minutes later, when he converted on a breakaway with a chip shot into the top-right corner, which was set up by Jack Van Boekel. With nine minutes to go, Dajon Mingo potted a shorthanded goal from the bottom of the right circle.

Cincinnati tacked on three more goals in the third period. Wyatt Ege tossed in a power play goal with a wrist shot from the point at the 3:33 mark, Justin Vaive hammered in a one-timer on the right side of the low slot, then Craggs netted his second of the night by roofing a shot into the top-right corner, as the Cyclones were victorious, 7-1.

Mat Robson got the win for Cincinnati, as he made 21 saves on 22 shots. Tommy Nappier suffered the loss for the Nailers, as he allowed seven goals on 24 shots.

The Nailers will close out the 2021 calendar year with their traditional New Year's Eve game, which takes place on Friday at 6:10 against the Norfolk Admirals. That game features a Gatsby theme, a light stick giveaway courtesy of Unified Bank, and a Frosty Friday with $2 beers.

NAILERS LIGHT UP NORFOLK, 9-2
Nine Different Players Score Goals, as Wheeling Completes Three-Game Sweep

NORFOLK, VA- The Wheeling Nailers spread lots of holiday cheer at Norfolk Scope Arena on Saturday night, as they turned on the red light nine times. Making the 9-2 victory over the Norfolk Admirals even more impressive was the fact that the nine goals were scored by nine different players. There were also seven players who recorded multiple points in Wheeling's biggest offensive output since 2017, which occurred in the same building.

The Nailers had a crazy good start, as they came out flying with four goals before the game was ten minutes old. Fans were barely in their seats for the first marker, which came at the 38-second mark. Matt Alfaro stole the puck away, and fed Jared Cockrell, who turned around and zipped in a slap shot from the right circle. Alfaro also helped to create the second goal, as he sauced a pass to the front of the net, where Sam Houde connected on his backhand. Next on the board was Brandon Saigeon, who wired in a one-time pass from Cockrell on the left side of the slot. 36 seconds after that, Wheeling chased starting netminder Beck Warm from the Norfolk crease, as Bobby Hampton tucked a Nick Mangone pass into a wide open left side of the twine. The lone blemish of the opening stanza came from Blake Murray's wrister on the right side of the slot.

The second period followed a similar script, as the Nailers continued to turn on the red light. At the 2:44 mark, Adam Smith caught a cross-ice pass from Houde, and proceeded to skate in and bury a shot from the bottom of the left circle. 29 seconds later, Houde set up another strike, as he fed Alfaro, who snapped his stick while depositing a one-timer into the cage. A little more than two minutes after that, Chris Ortiz joined the fun, as he drove in to convert a pass from Saigeon. After Alex Tonge picked up the second goal of the night for the Admirals, Cam Hausinger delivered the second straight four-goal stanza for his club, as he hammered in a wrist shot from the right circle.

Josh Maniscalco clobbered home one more goal in the third period with a one-timer from the center point to put the finishing touches on Wheeling's 9-2 triumph.

Stefanos Lekkas earned the win in goal for the Nailers by stopping 27 of the 29 shots he faced. Beck Warm was the losing goaltender for Norfolk, as he gave up four goals on five shots, before getting yanked. Dylan Wells made 15 saves on 20 shots in relief.

The Nailers now begin their week long holiday break, before returning to action on Sunday, December 26th for a 6:10 game

POWER PLAY KEYS 3-1 NAILERS WIN
Cockrell Scores Twice, While Hampton's First Pro Goal is a Game Winner

NORFOLK, VA- The score wasn't as lopsided as it was in the series opener, but on Friday night, the Wheeling Nailers got the job done again, as they took down the Norfolk Admirals, 3-1 at Norfolk Scope Arena. Jared Cockrell led the offensive attack with two power play goals, Bobby Hampton netted his first pro goal, and Stefanos Lekkas turned aside 32 shots.

Both teams got multiple special teams opportunities in the first period, and the Nailers cashed in on one of theirs to get on the scoreboard first. Jared Cockrell made his way to the top of the left circle, then capitalized on a great screen, as he whipped a shot into the top-right corner of the net.

Wheeling added to its lead in the early stages of the middle frame. Nick Mangone chased down a loose puck on the right side of the offensive zone, then immediately swung a pass to Bobby Hampton in the slot. Hampton took a moment to put the puck where he wanted it, before swiping his first pro goal into the left side of the cage. The Admirals got on the board with less than two minutes remaining, just after the Nailers had killed off back-to-back penalties. Colton Heffley found himself wide open in the slot, as he roofed a shot into the top-right corner.

The game remained tight, as time ticked away in the third period, while Wheeling maintained its lead. With 6:30 to go, the visitors added insurance. Stefanos Lekkas launched a pass to the opposite blueline to spring Sam Houde into the offensive zone. Houde quickly fed a pass to the slot, where Jared Cockrell crashed in, turned to his backhand, and jammed a shot inside of the left post. The Nailers shut things down from there for the 3-1 victory.

Stefanos Lekkas had a stellar night in goal for Wheeling, as he blocked away 32 of the 33 shots he faced and collected his second assist of the year. Dylan Wells took the loss for Norfolk, as he made 31 saves on 34 shots.

The Nailers and Admirals will wrap up their series in Norfolk on Saturday at 7:30. Wheeling's next home game is Sunday, December 26th against the Cincinnati Cyclones at 6:10 

Hats Off for Houde in 7-2 Victory
Rookie Forward Racks up Six Points With Three Goals & Three Assists

NORFOLK, VA- Wheeling Nailers forward Sam Houde had one of the best performances the team has seen in quite some time on Wednesday night at Norfolk Scope Arena. The rookie forward netted a hat trick as part of a six-point night, as the Nailers drubbed the Norfolk Admirals, 7-2. Matt Alfaro also had a sensational contest, as he contributed two goals and two assists.

The Nailers had a phenomenal first period, as they jumped out to a 3-0 lead. The first marker came on the power play. Matt Alfaro gathered in the puck at the right face-off dot, then skated directly toward a defender, who he used as a screen, en route to drilling a shot into the bottom-left corner of the net. With less than five minutes remaining, Wheeling struck again. Cam Hausinger led Sam Houde in on the right side of the offensive zone. Houde left the defense in his dust, then slipped a shot through Beck Warm's legs. 2:15 later, Houde got the cameras popping for a second time, as he crashed in from left to right, before putting the puck on his backhand and sliding it into the left side of the twine.

Norfolk had an early surge in the middle frame to temporarily trim the margin down to one. Cody Milan put the Admirals on the scoreboard 30 seconds into the period with a breakaway goal, which he slipped in on the right side. Chase Lang followed that with a power play tally at the 9:26 mark, as he danced into the slot and drove a shot into the left side of the goal. Jake Flegel's fight with Marly Quince helped turn momentum back into Wheeling's favor, and less than two minutes after that, the visitors regained a two-goal advantage. Alfaro and Houde exchanged a quick give-and-go in center ice, which resulted in Alfaro blazing down the left side of the ice and whipping a shot into the right side of the net.

Similar to the first, the third period was all Nailers. Houde and Alfaro helped to set up Félix Paré, who jammed in a power play goal at the 3:36 mark. A little less than five minutes later, Houde put the exclamation point on his outstanding night, as he received a breakaway pass and buried a shot into the right side of the net for his third goal and sixth point of the contest. Alfaro's assist gave him a four-point night. Wheeling lit the lamp one final time, as Nick Mangone collected his first ECHL goal by roofing a centering pass from Bobby Hampton for a 7-2 score.

Louis-Philip Guindon backstopped the victory for the Nailers, as he denied 25 of the 27 shots he faced. Beck Warm was the losing netminder for Norfolk, as he allowed seven goals on 35 shots.

The Nailers and Admirals will do battle again in Norfolk on Friday and Saturday, with both games starting at 7:30. Wheeling's next home game is Sunday, December 26th against the Cincinnati Cyclones at 6:10

Cyclones Split Weekend Set
Maniscalco Extends Point Streak to Eight With Wheeling's Lone Goal

WHEELING, WV- After a thrilling win on Saturday night, the Wheeling Nailers ran into a challenging game on Sunday afternoon. The Cincinnati Cyclones scored a couple of goals in the first period, and limited Wheeling to 21 shots on goal, as the visitors prevailed, 4-1 at WesBanco Arena. The Nailers got their lone goal on a 5-on-3 from Josh Maniscalco.

The first period was a struggle for the Nailers, who gave up a pair of goals, while being outshot, 17-4. Cincinnati's first marker came from a familiar source. Mason Mitchell's turnaround shot got stopped, but the rebound popped up into the air, where it was swatted in baseball style by Yushiroh Hirano. The tally was Hirano's sixth in four contests this week. The Cyclones added to their advantage a few minutes later, when Jesse Schultz threaded in a shot from the slot.

The middle frame was a bit better for Wheeling, but the deficit remained at two, as both sides found the back of the net. Cincinnati was first to strike at the 12:29 mark, as Justin Vaive redirected Nick Boka's right point wrist shot into the top-right corner of the cage. The Nailers got on the board with 5:26 left in the period, as Matt Alfaro setup Josh Maniscalco, who drove in a one-timer from the top of the right circle.

Vaive tacked on one more goal in the third period to put the wraps on the 4-1 Cyclones win.

Cole Kehler got the victory in goal for Cincinnati, as he made 20 saves on 21 shots. Louis-Philip Guindon turned in a solid outing by thwarting 35 of the 39 shots he faced in the defeat for Wheeling.

The Nailers will play their final three games before the holiday break in Norfolk on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, with all three games against the Admirals starting at 7:30. Wheeling's next home game is Sunday, December 26th at 6:10 against Cincinnati, which features a post game skate with the even-numbered players.

Hausinger Brings Teddy Bears, Hats, and a Win on Elf Night
Guindon Stops 32 & Adds an Assist in 4-1 Wheeling Victory

WHEELING, WV- Cam Hausinger made items rain down onto the ice at WesBanco Arena all night on Saturday. His first goal set off the annual Teddy Bear Toss, his second goal was the game winner, and his third completed the team's third hat trick of the campaign, as the Wheeling Nailers found the presents on Elf Night in a 4-1 victory over the Cincinnati Cyclones.

The two teams played to a scoreless first period, as the anticipation for the annual Teddy Bear Toss was building in the arena. At the 7:34 mark of the middle frame, the big moment happened during a Wheeling power play. Josh Maniscalco slid the puck to Cam Hausinger, who launched a perfectly placed wrist shot from the left circle, which flew into the top-right corner of the cage. Maniscalco extended his point streak to seven with the primary assist, while Chris Ortiz also picked up a helper.

The Nailers faced their biggest challenge at the start of the third, as they faced a two-man disadvantage. The penalty killers almost got to the finish line, but Yushiroh Hirano tapped in a feed from Louie Caporusso with three seconds remaining on the second minor. Wheeling bounced back well, regaining the lead with a power play goal at the 4:15 mark. Ortiz delivered a tape-to-tape pass across the top of the crease for Hausinger, who elevated a shot over Sean Bonar's right pad. 1:40 later, Hausinger struck again, as he roofed a shot into the top-right corner to complete his first career hat trick. The defense and goaltending took charge from there, and Jared Cockrell turned on the red light one more time into an empty net for the 4-1 triumph.

Louis-Philip Guindon had a terrific game in goal for the Nailers, as he earned the victory by denying 32 of the 33 shots he faced, while adding an assist. Sean Bonar took the loss for Cincinnati, as he made 31 saves on 34 shots.

The Nailers and Cyclones will meet again on Sunday at 4:10. After the game, fans can skate with the odd-numbered players and Santa. Another exciting upcoming promotion is the traditional New Year's Eve Game, which will be Gatsby themed.

Hirano's Hat Trick Lifts Cyclones in Emotional Contest
Foley, Smith, Saigeon All Score First Goals of the Season, but Wheeling Falls, 6-5

CINCINNATI, OH- The Wheeling Nailers and Cincinnati Cyclones have played some wild and spirited games this season. On Wednesday night at Heritage Bank Center, the two teams combined for 11 goals and plenty of dislike. In the end, former Nailer Yushiroh Hirano was the difference maker, as his two goals in the third period completed a hat trick and turned a 5-4 deficit into a 6-5 win for his squad. Wheeling got goals from five different players, including the firsts of the year for Matt Foley, Adam Smith, and Brandon Saigeon.

The first period got off to a good start for the Nailers, but had a frustrating finish, as Cincinnati came back with three straight goals. Wheeling's opening marker came at the 6:07 mark. Nick Hutchison plated a perfect pass to the top of the crease, where Matt Foley drove in to redirect the puck into the net. After a fight between Cam Hausinger and Dajon Mingo, the Cyclones tied things up. Louie Caporusso spotted Matt Cairns slipping in the backdoor, and Cairns finished the play on the left side of the ice. Cincinnati then tallied twice in a span of 32 seconds later in the stanza. Lincoln Griffin took advantage of traffic in the crease with his right circle wrist shot, and Yushiroh Hirano followed by tipping in a turnaround shot from Caporusso.

The middle frame was a completely different story, as Wheeling dominated with three goals on 19 shots. Adam Smith brought the visitors within one at the 5:24 mark, when he hustled in to squeeze home the rebound of Shaw Boomhower's long distance wrister. The Nailers continued to push, and with 5:54 left, they broke through for the equalizer. Chris Ortiz's left point slap shot set off an array of chances, with Brandon Saigeon eventually cashing in by lofting a shot over the sprawled out netminder. 1:19 later, Wheeling took the lead. Cam Hough's shot during a delayed penalty was stopped, but Hutchison crashed the crease to push the rebound in over the goal line.

The two sides exchanged goals 11 seconds apart at the start of the third. Caporusso banged in a loose puck on the right side to tie the score, before Shaw Boomhower regained Wheeling's lead by following up a blocked shot in the slot. Unfortunately, the game turned away from the Nailers around the midway mark of the stanza, when they were whistled for back-to-back penalties. Hirano cashed in on both power plays, ripping a pair of shots into the top-right corner of the cage. Wheeling literally and figuratively fought to the finish, but came up short in a 6-5 decision.

Cole Kehler got the win for the Cyclones, as he made 31 saves on 36 shots. Stefanos Lekkas suffered his first regulation defeat in a Wheeling uniform, despite turning away 32 of the 38 shots he faced.

The Nailers and Cyclones will meet up again on Saturday night at 7:10, when the scene shifts to a winter wonderland at WesBanco Arena for Elf Night.

Ortiz Punctuates Weekend in Thrilling Fashion
Nailers Extend Point Streak with Second One-Goal Win of the Weekend

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers found themselves in their third straight one-goal game against a divisional rival, as they clashed with the Indy Fuel on Sunday afternoon at WesBanco Arena. Chris Ortiz netted his second goal of the game at the 4:11 mark of overtime to lift the Nailers to the 3-2 triumph, as they extended their point streak to six games, and earned five of six points on the weekend. Nick Hutchison also extended his personal point streak to a league best 12 games.

Both teams lit the lamp in the opening stanza, and the goals came 49 seconds apart from each other. Indy struck first when the sides were playing 4-on-4. Jared Thomas' shot off the rush got blocked, but the rebound went straight to Cédric Lacroix, who tapped in a shot from the right side. The Nailers bounced back well, as they went to the net hard. Tim Doherty tossed the puck in that direction, and Félix Paré crashed in to get the reward with the tying marker.

Neither squad was able to break through during the second period, as Wheeling fended off an 11-5 shots advantage by the visitors.

Early in the third period, the Nailers took the lead. Nick Hutchison found Chris Ortiz, who stepped up into the right circle, and drilled a shot into the left side of the net. With less than two minutes remaining, the Fuel drew even and forced overtime with the netminder pulled. Liam Folkes centered a pass that bounced off of Lacroix and trickled into the goal.

The extra session was all Wheeling, who had multiple chances to end the contest. Finally, on their seventh shot of the period at the 4:11 mark, the Nailers got their victory. Hutchison delivered a perfect pass across the slot to Ortiz, who slammed home his second of the match from the right side for the 3-2 final.

Stefanos Lekkas saved his best for last, as he earned the win by stopping 32 of the 34 shots he faced, after starting all three games this weekend. Tom Aubrun took the overtime loss for Indy, as he made 29 saves on 32 shots.

The Nailers will get their fill of the Cincinnati Cyclones in the coming week, as the two division rivals will play three times in a span of five days. The first clash will take place in Cincinnati on Wednesday at 7:35, before a re-match in Wheeling on Saturday at 7:10. Saturday is Elf Night, which also features the annual Teddy Bear Toss.

WALLEYE WIN ON OVERTIME POWER PLAY
Wheeling Earns a Point Thanks to Hausinger's Late Goal

TOLEDO, OH- The Wheeling Nailers won the 5-on-5 battle against the Toledo Walleye on Saturday night at Huntington Center, but special teams went the other way. Toledo scored on three of its five man advantages, including TJ Hensick's goal at 3:33 of overtime, as the Walleye prevailed, 4-3 on their home ice. Wheeling picked up a point, thanks to Cam Hausinger's marker with the goalie pulled in the final two minutes.

The Nailers ran into a bit of penalty trouble in the first period, and Toledo was able to capitalize on the second of its three power play opportunities to score the opening goal of the contest. TJ Hensick centered the puck to Marcus Vela, who connected on a perfect redirection in the slot.

The tight tilt continued into the middle frame, but the score tied, as Wheeling produced an equalizer. Josh Maniscalco created the play, as he carried the puck into the slot, before dishing off for Cam Hausinger on the left side. Hausinger poked a pass to the top of the crease, where Maniscalco stepped up to punch it home. Nick Hutchison also assisted on the marker, as he collected a point for the 11th consecutive contest.

The two offenses opened up in the third. The Nailers took their lone lead of the night at the 3:43 mark. Dylan MacPherson let a shot go from the right point, which hopped off of a Walleye stick and trickled over the goal line. Toledo answered with a goal similar to its first, as Vela tipped in a centering feed from Josh Dickinson. 2:55 later, TJ Hensick put the Walleye ahead, as his left circle wrist shot bounced off of a Wheeling player and in. With 1:06 to go, Wheeling dug deep and came up with a tying tally to earn a point. Tim Doherty floated a wrist shot from the right wall, which got redirected into the cage by Cam Hausinger.

Unfortunately, the contest had an unhappy ending for the Nailers, who were victimized by Toledo's power play for the third time. Hensick recorded the winning goal in the 4-3 final with a wrist shot from the top of the right circle.

Victor Brattstrom got the win in goal for the Walleye, as he made 18 saves on 21 shots. Stefanos Lekkas played extremely well for Wheeling, as he turned aside 29 of the 33 shots he faced, including all 14 attempts in a busy second period.

The Nailers will return home on Sunday for Princesses & Pirates Day, as they host the Indy Fuel at 4:10. Fans are encouraged to dress up like their favorite princesses and pirates, plus there will be a post game skate with the even-numbered players. 

Nailers Fight to the Finish in 3-2 Win
Stefanos Lekkas Stops 27 & Assists on Winning Goal

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers brought their lunch boxes to work on Friday night, and came away with a well-earned 3-2 victory over the Cincinnati Cyclones at WesBanco Arena. Cam Hausinger netted the game winning goal with 7:22 left in the second period, and Stefanos Lekkas made 11 of his 27 saves during the third period.

The Nailers came out with some great energy, and got rewarded with a couple of goals in the opening nine minutes. First up was defenseman Josh Maniscalco, who returned to the lineup after a five-game absence. Maniscalco dragged the puck out from the right point, before whipping a shot into the top-left corner of the net. 1:45 later, Wheeling struck again. Nick Hutchison and Jared Cockrell exchanged passes, with Hutchison ultimately finishing the play by driving a one-timer into the bottom-right corner of the cage. Lukas Craggs put Cincinnati on the board with a power play tally, as he sped down the right side and swept a shot in along the ice.

The opening minutes of the middle frame took some time to develop, before things ramped up around the midway mark. Nick Hutchison nearly put the Nailers ahead by two with a penalty shot, but a patient right pad save by Mat Robson kept the score 2-1. 1:05 later, the Cyclones drew even. Johnny Coughlin skated across the offensive zone, before taking a shot, which was tipped in by Brett Van Os. Wheeling rebounded quickly, as it retook the lead just 67 seconds after that. Stefanos Lekkas punched out a shot, and ended up springing Cam Hausinger who flew down the right side a rifled a wrist shot into the top-right corner of the net.

Defense and goaltending were key in preserving the victory, as Cincinnati outshot the Nailers, 11-4 in the third period. Wheeling got the job done and finished on the right side of a 3-2 final score.

Stefanos Lekkas earned the win in goal for the Nailers, as he thwarted 27 of the 29 shots he faced, and picked up an assist. Mat Robson took the loss for the Cyclones, as he made 22 saves on 25 shots.

ALMEIDA AMAZING IN FOUR-GOAL GAME
Third Year Pro Takes Wheeling's 100th Hat Trick All-Time to a Different Level

CORALVILLE, IA- Saturday night at Xtream Arena was the Justin Almeida Show. The Wheeling Nailers forward lit the lamp four times, as the team earned a 4-2 road victory against the Iowa Heartlanders. The four-goal game was the 15th in Wheeling history, in addition to being the 100th hat trick in the team's 30 years in the Ohio Valley. Patrick Watling helped out by assisting on three of the goals, as he and Nick Hutchison both continued their point streaks.

The Nailers controlled the majority of the play in the first period, outshooting Iowa, 11-4. Both clubs came away with one goal. Wheeling struck first at the 7:02 mark. Chris Ortiz chopped the puck to the top of the right circle, where Justin Almeida turned a rocket of a slap shot into the top-left corner of the net. The Heartlanders responded with a couple of breakaways and scored the equalizer on the second one. Yuki Miura attempted to squeeze a shot through Stefanos Lekkas, who made the initial save, but his momentum carried the puck back in over the goal line.

Wheeling regained its lead with the lone marker of the middle frame, which came on the man advantage at the 13:43 mark. Patrick Watling stickhandled with the puck along the right wing wall, then slid a pass to Nick Hutchison along the goal line. The work on the right side allowed Almeida to jump up into the left circle and receive a perfect pass from Hutchison, which he buried into a wide open twine.

Almeida's magical night hit new heights in the third period. With 8:09 remaining, he completed his hat trick, as he took a drop pass from Watling and roofed a shot into the top of the goal. However, Almeida wasn't done yet, as less than three minutes later, he tallied his fourth of the tilt with another sizzler under the crossbar. Kris Bennett scored for the Heartlanders with 2:40 left, but the damage was done, as the Nailers were victorious, 4-2.

Stefanos Lekkas got the win in his Wheeling debut, as he made 13 saves on 15 shots. Hunter Jones took the loss for Iowa, as he allowed four goals on 22 shots.
The Nailers will return home on Friday night for a Frosty Friday against the Cincinnati Cyclones at 7:10. Wheeling also has a home game on Sunday, December 5th, which is Princesses & Pirates Day against the Indy Fuel at 4:10. The next Big 6 Promotional Night is Elf Night on Saturday, December 11th. 

NAILERS OFFENSE COOKING IN CORALVILLE
Will Reilly Records Second Straight Three-Point Game in 7-4 Road Win

CORALVILLE, IA- The Wheeling Nailers had their offense rolling on Friday night, as they set a season high with seven goals in a 7-4 victory over the Iowa Heartlanders at Xtream Arena. Will Reilly and Justin Almeida both contributed in a big way with two goals and an assist, as Reilly has six points in two games as a Nailer. Nick Hutchison extended his point streak to eight with a goal and an assist, Patrick Watling extended his point streak to six with a helper, and rookie Cam Hausinger had his best game with three assists.

The Nailers got things going quickly, as they pounced on a pair of power play opportunities to take a 2-0 lead. The first marker came at the 9:48 mark. Justin Almeida and Dylan MacPherson exchanged passes on the left side, before Almeida stepped up and roofed a wrist shot from the left circle. Later in the stanza, Wheeling struck again. Cam Hausinger drove down the left side of the ice, then dropped a pass off in the left circle, which was thrusted home by Will Reilly into the bottom-right corner of the cage.

The second period got off to a scary start for the Nailers, as Iowa scored twice in a span of 12 seconds to draw even. Both goals were scored by Alex Khovanov, who whipped in a pair of wrist shots from the right side of the slot. Wheeling recovered well, and retook control of the contest. At the 2:55 mark, the visitors connected on a beautiful three-way passing play, as Patrick Watling slid the puck to Almeida, who led Nick Hutchison with a perfect feed on the right side. Hutchison walked in and slammed a one-timer into the back of the net. Less than three minutes later, the Nailers got their two-goal lead back, as Tim Doherty whipped in a shot from the right circle.

Wheeling kept the pedal to the metal in the third period to put the game away. Reilly potted his second of the night at the 3:30 mark, when he cruised down the right side and lifted a shot just under the crossbar, which was called a goal, thanks to video review. Almeida followed with his second of the contest with another gorgeous wrist shot to the top shelf, as he and Reilly both posted three-point performances. Bryce Misley and Yuki Miura tallied in the final seven minutes for the Heartlanders, before Jared Cockrell put the final nail in the coffin for the 7-4 Nailers triumph.

Alex D'Orio picked up the win for Wheeling, as he made 13 saves on 17 shots. Trevin Kozlowski took the loss for Iowa, as he gave up six goals on 38 shots.

Nailers Feast on Fuel, 5-1
Nick Hutchison Scores Twice Against His Former Team, While Alex D'Orio Stops 34

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers enjoyed a feast of goals on Wednesday night at WesBanco Arena, before carving into their Thanksgiving turkeys. Nick Hutchison scored a couple of goals against his former team, the Indy Fuel, while Patrick Watling and Will Reilly both posted three-point nights in the 5-1 Wheeling triumph. Alex D'Orio also turned in a big game with 34 saves.

The Nailers felt some pressure in the form of a 13-3 shots advantage for Indy in the opening period, but got a timely goal and solid netminding to take a 1-1 deadlock into the intermission. The Fuel did get on the scoreboard first at the 6:27 mark. Mike Lee sent a shot in from the left point, which hopped over to Riley McKay for a swat-in from the right side. Wheeling bounced back 59 seconds later. Will Reilly stepped up to center the puck out of the right corner to Patrick Watling, who tacked in a one-timer from the low slot.

Early in the middle frame, the Nailers took the lead off of a beautiful rush into the offensive zone. Sam Houde carried the puck down the right side, then dropped a pass off to Dylan MacPherson. The Wheeling captain stepped in to drive a slap shot into the top-left corner of the cage. The Nailers defense and penalty kill held strong for the remainder of the period to keep the home side ahead.

The offense opened the game up in the third period to take the victory to the finish line. One of the key moments in the stanza came at the 5:56 mark, when Wheeling connected for a shorthanded goal. Reilly let a shot go from the right point and got a perfect redirection from Nick Hutchison. Less than three minutes later, the Nailers struck again on a tally that originated from the blueline, as Chris Ortiz found the top-right corner of the twine from the top of the left circle. The tandem of Hutchison and Reilly connected once more with 9:14 left, as Hutchison lit the lamp with another tip-in for the 5-1 final.

Alex D'Orio played a huge role in backstopping the win for Wheeling, as he denied 34 of the 35 shots he faced, which included 26 saves in the first two periods, when the goal differential was one. Cale Morris took the loss for Indy, as he allowed five goals on 23 shots.

Nailers Come Inches Away From a Point in Fort Wayne
Late Second Period Goal Gives Komets 3-2 Home Win

FORT WAYNE, IN- The Wheeling Nailers and Fort Wayne Komets played another tight game that went right down to the wire on Saturday night at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. The Nailers were inches away from coming away with a point, but a last minute goal in the second period was the difference, as the Komets collected a 3-2 win on their home ice. Tyler Drevitch and Patrick Watling were Wheeling's goal scorers, while Nick Hutchison extended his point streak to six games.

Both teams had strong stretches of play in the opening stanza, and that resulted in a 1-1 deadlock. The Komets were the first to strike, as they capitalized on a delayed penalty. Kellen Jones swung around out of the right corner and delivered a tape-to-tape pass to Matt Murphy, who drove a one-timer into the left side of the goal. Wheeling pulled even with 3:58 remaining. Nick Hutchison slid the puck out to Alex Stevens for a one-time blast from the right point, which got tipped into the cage by Tyler Drevitch.

The Nailers leaned on the goaltending of Alex D'Orio in the middle frame, as he put in a lot of work to keep his squad in the game. However, Fort Wayne was able to connect for a pair of strikes. Murphy notched his second of the night at the 6:58 mark, when he zipped down the middle of the offensive zone and roofed a wrist shot into the top-left corner of the net. Then, with under a minute to go, Stephen Harper batted the rebound of Will Graber's attempt out of the air and in on the right side.

Wheeling put forth an excellent push in the third period, and very nearly tied the contest. With 5:36 remaining, the Nailers got to within a goal on a power play. Cam Hausinger jammed at the puck on the doorstep, and eventually got it to slide to Patrick Watling, who lifted a shot over Sam Harvey, who was sprawled out in the Komets crease. Moments later, Wheeling thought it may have drawn even, but Dylan MacPherson's wrist shot rang off the crossbar and dropped down without going completely over the goal line. The Nailers were unable to come that close again, as they dropped the 3-2 decision.

Sam Harvey got the win in goal for Fort Wayne, as he made 18 saves on 20 shots. Alex D'Orio played very well for Wheeling, as he stopped 30 of the 33 shots he faced, but ended up on the other side of the equation.

FUEL SQUARE SEASON SET WITH 5-2 HOME WIN
Alfaro & Hutchison Extend Point Streaks to Five on Opening Goal

INDIANAPOLIS, IN- The Wheeling Nailers got off to a nice start in Friday night's game at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, but unfortunately, the remainder of the contest didn't go as planned. Brent Gates and Cliff Watson both lit the lamp twice for the host Indy Fuel, who collected a 5-2 victory in the second of 13 battles between the two division rivals. Matt Alfaro and Chris Ortiz both scored for the Nailers, while Alfaro and Nick Hutchison extended their point streaks to five games.

Both teams found the back of the net in the early stages of the first period. Wheeling was first on the board at the 2:40 mark. Nick Hutchison picked off a pass behind the net, then immediately centered the puck to Matt Alfaro, who buried a wrist shot from the slot and into the bottom-right corner of the cage. The Fuel pulled even 2:40 later, when Keoni Texeira's left point shot slid along the ice, before Brent Gates ramped a redirection up and under the crossbar.

The deadlock was broken very quickly in the middle frame, as Indy needed just 37 seconds to take its first lead of the night, with the two teams playing 4-on-4. Chad Yetman twirled around in the left circle, before teeing up Cliff Watson for a one-timer in the slot, which he slapped into the bottom-right side of the net. With 3:33 remaining in the period, the Fuel upped their advantage. Brent Gates finished off a rush that started from his own blueline by sweeping in a shot from the right circle.

Indy added a key insurance marker less than six minutes into the third period to extend their lead to three, as Jacob LeGuerrier rocketed a one-time feed from Yetman into the top-right corner of the goal. Chris Ortiz brought the Nailers within two with his left point one-timer during a 6-on-4 power play, but Cliff Watson's second of the night into an empty net put the finishing touches on the 5-2 decision for the Fuel.

Cale Morris got the win in goal for Indy, as he turned aside 31 of the 33 shots he faced. Alex D'Orio was saddled with the defeat for Wheeling, as he made 26 saves on 30 shots.

Wheeling's Win was Worth the Wait
Maniscalco & Paré Net First Two Pro Goals, Including Manisalco's OT Winner

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers and Fort Wayne Komets both wrapped up 3-in-3 weekends on Sunday afternoon in a game which featured lots of twists and turns, and points going each way. The Nailers ultimately came out on top with less than one minute remaining in overtime, as Josh Maniscalco scored his second goal of the night and of his pro career, giving his team a 5-4 triumph and four out of six points on the weekend. Félix Paré also netted his first two career goals in a game which experienced a 90-plus-minute delay due to ice issues.

The Nailers did a solid job of controlling the play in the first period, as they outshot Fort Wayne, 11-5. However, it was the visitors who took advantage of their chances for a 2-0 lead. The first goal came off of a turnover, as Matthew Boudens stole the puck at his own blueline, and proceeded to break away, before flipping a shot into the top-left corner of the net. The second Komets tally came while the teams were playing 4-on-4. Connor Jones delieverd a pass to Marcus McIvor, who slithered in a shot from the bottom of the left circle.

Wheeling kept the pressure coming in the middle frame and got rewarded with three goals. The Nailers got on the board when Fort Wayne netminder Jiri Patera gave the puck way to Félix Paré, who bounced in his first professional goal from the right side. Tyler Drevitch squared the score with 6:45 remaining on an incredible individual effort, as he skated the puck from end to end, slipping a forehand shot around Patera's left leg. 1:20 later, Wheeling took the lead on a beautiful three-way passing play during 4-on-4 action. Patrick Watling started with the tic, Nick Hutchison got the tac, and Josh Maniscalco put the toe on the play, slamming in a one-timer from the left circle.

The third period was a long one, with a few ups and downs. The Komets pulled even at the 1:04 mark, when Connor Corcoran swiped in a wrist shot from the right circle. The Nailers bounced back to retake the lead at the 8:17 mark, just as a power play expired. Matt Foley's right point shot got stopped, but Paré was camped on the doorstep to bat in his second of the night.

With 4:30 to go in regulation, a large chunk came out of the ice, leading to a delay of over 90 minutes. When the teams returned, Fort Wayne quickly knotted things up. Matt Alvaro fed Boudens, who was cruising down the slot, and Boudens was able to tuck a shot inside the left post for the tying marker.

Both teams had glorious chances to end the contest, as overtime got under way, with each side receiving a power play. Both penalty kills got the job done, which preserved the deadlock until the final minute of the extra session. That's when Maniscalco stepped up as the hero, swatting in his second of the tilt from the left circle for the 5-4 Wheeling triumph.

Louis-Philip Guindon earned the win for the Nailers in his season debut, as he denied 27 of the 31 shots he faced from his former club. Jiri Patera took the overtime loss for the Komets, as he made 40 saves on 45 shots.

Cyclones Escape Victorious in Feisty Affair
End of First Period Brawl Leads to 90 Penalty Minutes

WHEELING, WV- There was a hockey game on Saturday night at WesBanco Arena, but one of the major storylines took place at the end of the first period, when three separate fights broke out, leading to six ejections. Although the Wheeling Nailers won the fights, the Cincinnati Cyclones won the match with five goals in a span of 10:29, including two from Dominic Franco. The Nailers got two goals from Patrick Watling, as they fell, 5-4.

The first period was a spirited one, which also featured three goals. Wheeling was the first team to strike, and it did so with two tallies in a span of 40 seconds. On the opening marker, Matt Alfaro slid a pass through the low slot to Patrick Watling, who finished with a tap-in on the left side of the crease. The Nailers kept things rolling moments later, when Tim Doherty had his initial shot stopped, but Nick Hutchison pounded home the rebound from the right circle. Cincinnati closed within one on the man advantage, as Graham Knott set up Dominic Franco for a one-timer from the right circle. The period ended with a bang (or three), as Brandon Saigeon squared off with Colton Waltz, Jake Flegel challenged Dajon Mingo, and Shaw Boomhower threw down with Nick Boka.

The goals continued to come at a fast and furious rate in the middle frame. The Cyclones capitalized on two more power plays in the opening three minutes, as Franco rolled in his second of the night, before Wyatt Ege's right point wrist shot found its way in. Graham Knott tucked in his own rebound less than a minute later, then Jesse Schultz lifted in the rebound of Yushiroh Hirano's initial attempt to put the visitors ahead by three. Wheeling began to cut into the deficit with two goals in the last seven minutes of the period. Watling netted the team's third straight Golden Goal at the 13:10 mark, when he touched in a cross-crease pass from Hutchison. Then, with 4:37 to go, Alex Stevens launched a wrist shot into the top-left corner of the cage from just inside the blueline.

Both sides tightened up and played a scoreless third period, which meant a 5-4 final in favor of Cincinnati.

Joe Murdaca got the win for the Cyclones, as he made 28 saves on 32 shots. Evan Moyse suffered the defeat in his Nailers debut, as he turned away 33 of the 38 shots he faced

TIMELY EFFORT LEADS NAILERS IN TOLEDO
Wheeling Scores Twice in 61 Seconds and has a Perfect Penalty Kill

TOLEDO, OH- The Wheeling Nailers got some timely goals and phenomenal special teams on Friday night, as they earned a 3-2 triumph over the Toledo Walleye at Huntington Center. Jared Cockrell and Shaw Boomhower scored 61 seconds apart from each other in the second period, while Alex D'Orio made 24 saves in the win.

There were two goals scored in the first period, and they came 17 seconds apart from each other. Wheeling struck first on the man advantage. Matt Alfaro opened up the play by sending a pass to Tim Doherty, who let a wrist shot go from the top of the left circle. Billy Christopoulos made the save, but the rebound squirted out to Nick Hutchison, who pounced on the loose biscuit for the tally. The Walleye answered quickly. John Albert squibbed the puck toward the top of the crease, where Matt Berry ultimately sent a shot hopping into the cage for the equalizer.

The Nailers had a marvelous middle frame, as they outshot Toledo, 16-8, while tallying twice. The go-ahead marker came at the 9:48 mark, when an errant Walleye pass sent Jared Cockrell on a breakaway. Cockrell flew down the ice and chipped a forehand shot into the top-left corner of the cage. 1:01 later, the visitors struck again. Tyler Drevitch and Shaw Boomhower had an aggressive forecheck to force a turnover in the neutral zone. As the two turned defense to offense, Drevitch put a pass right on Boomhower's tape for a redirection on the right side of the crease.

Berry's second of the contest made things a little more interesting in the closing minute, but Wheeling made sure to close out its victory, 3-2.

Alex D'Orio earned his second straight win with another strong outing in goal, as he made 24 saves on 26 shots. Billy Christopoulos took the loss for Toledo, as he stopped 24 of the 27 shots he faced.

Patrick's Hat Trick Puts Nailers in Victory Lane
Wheeling Scores Five Unanswered Goals to Beat Indy, 5-2

WHEELING, WV- Patrick Watling has created some tremendous moments in his two seasons with the Wheeling Nailers, and on Sunday afternoon, he added to that list. Watling tied the game in the final second of the second period, then added two more goals in the third for his second hat trick with the club. Alex Stevens ultimately broke the tie with his first professional goal, as the Nailers rallied back from an early deficit to defeat the Indy Fuel, 5-2 at WesBanco Arena.

The Fuel struck first with a couple of special teams goals in the opening six minutes of play. The first tally came shorthanded, as Riley McKay dribbled a pass into the low slot for C.J. Eick, who faked to his backhand, which allowed him to elevate the puck and score. Indy's power play extended the lead 2:10 later, when Mike Lee's center point wrist shot found its way into the bottom-left corner of the cage.

The second period was a different story, as Wheeling rallied back to tie the contest in thrilling fashion. The home team got on the scoreboard at the 8:24 mark, when Félix Paré delivered a perfect pass across the slot to Tyler Drevitch, who slammed in a one-timer from the left side. Then, with the seconds ticking away, Nick Hutchison put what appeared to be one final shot on goal. However, Patrick Watling gloved down the rebound, and tucked in a backhand wraparound to beat the buzzer, as the clock read, "0.2."

The Nailers carried the momentum into the third period, and took their first lead of the day at the 1:55 mark. Alex Stevens took a slap shot from the right point, and got a fortunate bounce, as the puck deflected off of an Indy stick and went whistling over Mitch Gillam's glove. With 3:36 remaining, Wheeling tacked on a key insurance goal, while playing with a 4-on-3 power play. Nick Hutchison's shot got blocked to Watling, who slid his second of the game from the right circle. Watling finished off his stellar night in the final minute, tossing his hat trick goal into an empty net and giving the Nailers a 5-2 victory.

Alex D'Orio earned the win in goal for Wheeling, as he denied 24 of the 26 shots he faced, including all 20 sent his way in the second and third periods. Mitch Gillam made 28 saves in 32 shots, as he took the loss for the Fuel.

Harvey's Hot Goaltending Spoils Home Opener
Shaw Boomhower Leads Wheeling's Attack with a Goal & an Assist

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers got their 30th home season started on Saturday night by putting together a strong offensive attack. However, Fort Wayne Komets goaltender Samuel Harvey played a big part in spoiling the party, as he thwarted 46 of the 48 shots he faced. His team helped him out by finding the net three times during the third period, which made the difference in a 5-2 road win. Shaw Boomhower had a goal and an assist for the Nailers.

The Nailers did a good job of controlling the play in the first period, as they outshot Fort Wayne, 12-5. However, the lone goal went to the Komets, who capitalized on the power play. Shawn Boudrias slid the puck out to Jameson Milam, who stepped up and clobbered in a slap shot from the left point.

Wheeling's efforts were rewarded in the middle stanza, as the home team netted a pair of goals. The first marker came on the man advantage, as Shaw Boomhower won a face-off back to Dylan MacPherson, whose wrist shot whistled off of Samuel Harvey's glove and in. Boomhower was responsible for the second tally, as he redirected Josh Maniscalco's long distance wrist shot. Fort Wayne drew even with 2:39 left, as the squads were playing 4-on-4. Boudrias centered the puck out of the right corner to Stephen Harper, who roofed a shot into the top-right corner of the net.

Early in the third period, the Komets took the lead back, as they took advantage of having an extra attacker during a delayed penalty. Former Nailer Blake Siebenaler threw a wrist shot through a maze of bodies and into the top-left corner of the goal. Fort Wayne struck again 2:04 later, when Matt Alvaro stole the puck and reached around to tuck a shot just past Tommy Nappier's right leg. Despite a 20-shot third period, Wheeling was unable to trim the deficit down, and Harper's second of the contest into an empty net put the finishing touches on a 5-2 Komets win.

Samuel Harvey was sensational in goal for Fort Wayne, as he stopped 46 of the 48 shots he faced. Tommy Nappier took the defeat for the Nailers, as he made 20 saves on 24 shots.

NAILERS WIN 6-5 IN COMEBACK FOR THE AGES
Next Stop Wheeling, WV. Home Opener Saturday November 6th, 2021 @7:10PM

WICHITA, KS- Saturday night at INTRUST Bank Arena can be filed into the category of improbable, but extremely sweet. The Wheeling Nailers trailed the Wichita Thunder, 4-0, after 11:04 was played, but weren't about look toward the bus ride home yet. After a 90-minute ice delay, the Nailers found their game in a big way, scoring four goals in the third period to stun the Thunder, 6-5, and earn four points on their season-opening four-game road trip. Sean Josling and Justin Almeida both scored twice in the third period comeback.

The first period was a rough one for the Nailers, as Wichita came out to a flying start. Peter Crinella put the home team on the scoreboard 2:03 into the contest, when he squirted a wrist shot through from just below the right circle. At the 8:40 mark, Matt Alfaro laid out Stephen Johnson with a punishing check, but at the same time, Matteo Gennaro slid a wrist shot home to put the Thunder up by two. The hit resulted in a five-minute Wichita power play, which turned into two more goals, as Crinella connected for his second off of a left side one-timer, before Dean Stewart found the net with a seeing-eyed wrister. Patrick Watling got one marker back for Wheeling while the team was playing shorthanded, as he hammered in a one-time feed from Sean Josling in the right circle. In addition to Alfaro tangling with Brayden Watts after the hit, the opening stanza featured another fight early on, as Shaw Boomhower threw down with Sean Allen.

The Nailers continued to work towards bouncing back in the middle frame, and they pulled within two at the 4:32 mark. Dylan MacPherson let a wrist shot go from the blueline, which was tipped down and into the cage by Nick Hutchison. Later in the period, the Thunder answered off the rush, led by former Nailer Brady Fleurent, and eventually resulted in Stewart feeding Carter Johnson for a one-timer in the slot.

With 1:34 remaining in the second period, there was a hole in the ice, which caused a delay of approximately 90 minutes. The delay ended up working in Wheeling's favor in a big way, as the visitors exploded in the third period.

The comeback began at the 1:45 mark. Watling fired in a shot from the left point, which was tipped into the net by Josling. Then, at 7:12, Justin Almeida picked up Cam Hausinger's shot off the end boards, and tucked it into the right side of the goal. Almeida struck again 2:09 later, as he capitalized off a Wichita turnover and tossed a shot into an open left side of the twine. With less than four minutes to go, the Nailers got a power play, and scored their biggest goal of the early season. Josh Maniscalco took a wrist shot from the point, and Josling ramped a deflection into the top corner to put Wheeling ahead 6-5 in a game they trailed by as many as four. That surge was plenty to get the game to its conclusion, as the Nailers were victorious by that 6-5 final.

Tommy Nappier was phenomenal in relief for Wheeling, as he earned the win, making 18 saves on 19 shots, after Alex D'Orio surrendered four goals on eight shots. Evan Buitenhuis was the losing goaltender for the Thunder, as he allowed six goals on 44 shots.

Next up for the Nailers is their first home game of the 2021-22 season, which takes place on Saturday, November 6th against the Fort Wayne Komets at 7:10.

Mavericks Take Special Teams Battle & Game
Nailers Wrap up Season Opening Trip in Wichita Saturday

INDEPENDENCE, MO- Special teams were the story of Friday night's game, as the Wheeling Nailers and Kansas City Mavericks did battle at Cable Dahmer Arena. The Mavericks converted on a power play in each of the first two periods, while Wheeling came up empty on seven attempts, as Kansas City collected a 3-0 win on home ice. Angus Redmond made 31 saves in the shutout.

The first period was a spirited one, which featured a fight, matching roughing minors, and five power plays. There was also a goal, which was scored by the Mavericks on one of those man advantages. Nick Pastujov rushed the puck in on the left side of the offensive zone, before making a pass to the slot, where Lane Scheidl lifted a quick wrist shot into the top-right corner of the net.

Kansas City extended its lead in the middle frame, taking advantage of another power play. Ryan Harrison jammed at the puck on the left side of the crease, and ultimately got a friendly deflection off of teammate Pastujov, as the loose biscuit squibbed its way across the goal line. The Nailers had a big chance to get a goal back in the second, as they received a 5-on-3, but the Mavericks maintained their two-goal edge into the dressing room.

Wheeling threw the kitchen sink at Kansas City with a 14-3 shots advantage, but Angus Redmond stood tall in the Mavericks crease, and Scheidl put the finishing touches on the 3-0 result with an empty netter.

Angus Redmond backstopped the shutout with a 31-save performance for Kansas City. Tommy Nappier made 18 saves on 20 shots in goal for the Nailers.

The Nailers will wrap up their season-opening road trip on Saturday night, when they visit the Wichita Thunder at 8:05.

ALMEIDA THE OT HERO IN WHEELING'S FIRST WIN OF THE SEASON
Hausinger & Ortiz Net First Pro Goals on Memorable Night

CORALVILLE, IA- The Wheeling Nailers needed a bit of a dramatic ending to secure their first win of their 30th season, and they got that on Wednesday night in their first ever trip to Coralville, Iowa. The Iowa Heartlanders scored with 90 seconds left to force overtime, but in the extra session, Justin Almeida made sure the visitors skated away with the two points, as his left side rip gave the Nailers a 4-3 triumph. Cam Hausinger and Chris Ortiz both scored their first career goals in the victory.

The two squads played to a 1-1 draw in the opening stanza, as the Nailers got on the board first, before Iowa tied things up less than three minutes later. Wheeling's goal was a special one, as Cam Hausinger lit the lamp for the first time in his pro career, after taking last season off. Justin Almeida dribbled a pass deep on the left side to Hausinger, who chipped a backhander up and over goaltender Hunter Jones. Brett Gravelle was responsible for the equalizer, as he battled his way into the slot, where he ultimately swung a shot into the right side of the net.

The goals were a bit more spread out in the middle frame, and they came in reverse order. The Heartlanders struck at the 6:15 mark to pull ahead, as Jack Billings capitalized on a turnover, then faked to his backhand to shovel in the tally. Wheeling responded with a 4-on-4 strike on another first. Tim Doherty sent Patrick Watling and Chris Ortiz ahead on a 2-on-1 break. Watling feathered a pass across the slot to Ortiz, who snapped in a one-timer from the right side for his first pro goal.

The Nailers poured on the shots to a 19-3 tune during the third period, and with just under seven minutes left, they thought they were in good shape. Tim Doherty snagged the puck at the right face-off dot, and slithered a shot through Jones' legs. However, with 90 seconds remaining, Iowa sent the contest past regulation. Gravelle collected his second of the night by redirecting a point shot from Fedor Gordeev.

In overtime, Wheeling took its time to gain clean possession, then march ahead to deposit the winning marker. Justin Almeida flew down the left side, and rang a shot in off the crossbar to give the Nailers their first victory of the season, 4-3.

Tommy Nappier picked up the win in goal for Wheeling, as he made 14 saves on 17 shots. Hunter Jones turned aside 39 of the 43 shots he faced in the overtime loss for the Heartlanders.

The Nailers will continue their road trip with another first time stop, when they visit the Kansas City Mavericks on Friday at 8:05.

Nailers Battle Hard, but Komets Prevail on Banner Night
Sean Josling Leads Wheeling Offense with a Goal & an Assist

FORT WAYNE, IN- The Wheeling Nailers opened their 30th season on Saturday night with a seesaw battle against the Fort Wayne Komets at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. Things were going well for approximately 25 minutes, as the Nailers built a 3-1 lead. However, the Komets rallied back and eventually pulled ahead with 7:24 remaining in the game, as they collected a 4-3 win on their home ice. Sean Josling led the offensive attack for Wheeling with a goal and an assist.

The first period of the season went well for the Nailers, who got things started with the first goal of the campaign. Nick Hutchison poked the puck away from a Fort Wayne player and broke all the way down the length of the ice, before sliding a backhander through goaltender Jiri Patera's legs for a shorthanded strike. The Komets got on the board with a power play marker later in the frame, when an errant clear deflected off of Stephen Harper and into the net. Wheeling rebounded to snag the lead back with just eight seconds left in the period, when Sean Josling redirected in a left point shot from Adam Smith.

The Nailers carried that momentum into the early stages of the middle stanza, as they increased their lead to two. Matt Alfaro swept a pass across to Patrick Watling, who blazed in a one-timer from the right circle. Fort Wayne came back with a pair of goals to draw even, getting both from Matthew Boudens. Boudens' first marker was a tip-in off of Will Graber's right point wrist shot. Then, his second tally was a breakaway, which he lifted into the top-left corner of the cage.

The teams battled tooth and nail in the third period, when it became clear that one goal would make the difference in the game. With 7:24 to go in regulation, it was the Komets who got that goal, as Oliver Cooper tipped in Marcus McIvor's right point shot, which was set up by an offensive zone face-off win by Stephen Harper. Fort Wayne won three key defensive zone face-offs in a row during the final minute of the contest, which helped them take the 4-3 score to the finish line.

Jiri Patera picked up the win in goal for the Komets, as he made 25 saves on 28 shots. Joe Murdaca turned aside 24 of the 28 shots he faced in his Wheeling debut, and was unfortunately saddled with the defeat.

The Nailers will continue their season-opening four game road trip on Wednesday night at 8:00, when they face the expansion Iowa Heartlanders for the first time ever. Wheeling's first home game is Saturday, November 6th at 7:10 against the Fort Wayne Komets.