Big Third Period Springs Solar Bears
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. 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. Season memberships, single game tickets, and partial packages are available, and fans can get more information by calling (304) 234-GOAL. The Wheeling Nailers, considered one of the top things to do in Wheeling, West Virginia, provide affordable family entertainment for fans throughout the Ohio Valley.
• Discuss this story on the ECHL message board...
ECHL Stories from January 14, 2022
- Iowa Charges to Force OT vs. Kansas City - Iowa Heartlanders
- Explosive First Period Hands Indy Fourth Straight Win - Indy Fuel
- Rush Strike Late, Beat Thunder, 3-2 - Rapid City Rush
- Americans Fall to Tulsa in OT - Allen Americans
- Admirals Fall to South Carolina in Friday Night Tilt - Norfolk Admirals
- Oilers Top Americans in Overtime - Tulsa Oilers
- Stingrays Complete Comeback Behind Cherniwchan's Hat Trick - South Carolina Stingrays
- Blades Down Rabbits 3-1 in Weekend Opener - Florida Everblades
- Hoelscher Plays Hero in Overtime for Glads - Atlanta Gladiators
- Royals Roar Too Loud as the Railers Lose 6-3 - Worcester Railers HC
- Milosek Stops 40 for Toledo, But Kalamazoo Emerges Victorious, 4-2 - Toledo Walleye
- Ebbing Scores Twice as Royals Move into First Place - Reading Royals
- Big Third Period Springs Solar Bears - Wheeling Nailers
- ECHL Transactions - January 14 - ECHL
- Buitenhuis Heads Back to Bakersfield - Wichita Thunder
- Florida Panthers Sign Evan Fitzpatrick to NHL Deal, Goaltender Assigned to Taxi Squad - Greenville Swamp Rabbits
- Royals Look to Stay Hot against Last-Place Railers - Reading Royals
- Grizzlies Gameday: Homestand Opener vs Idaho - Utah Grizzlies
- Admirals Announce Make-Up Dates for Two Postponed Home Games - Norfolk Admirals
- Game Notes: at Wichita - Rapid City Rush
- Frank Hora Signs AHL Deal with Syracuse Crunch - Greenville Swamp Rabbits
- Game Preview: Solar Bears vs. Wheeling Nailers: January 14, 2022 - Orlando Solar Bears
- Everblades Chomping at the Bit for Greenville Trip - Florida Everblades
- Wichita, Rapid City Round Two Tonight - Wichita Thunder
- With Mariners on Break, Ten Players Earn AHL Call Ups - Maine Mariners
- Nate Clurman Reassigned to Utah - Utah Grizzlies
- Game Day Preview: Americans at Tulsa, 7:05 PM - Allen Americans
- Stingrays Assigned High-Scoring Gentile - South Carolina Stingrays
- Glads Return Home to Face Icemen - Atlanta Gladiators
- Former Royals Goaltender Pat Nagle Selected for U.S. Olympic Team - Reading Royals
- Williams Loaned to Rochester; Fortunato Returns & Icemen Add Two Players - Jacksonville Icemen
- Thunder Silenced by Rush, 4-1 - Wichita Thunder
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.