Fullerton, Jackals Halt Three-Game Winning Streak
ELMIRA, NY- If the amount of chances taken by the Wheeling Nailers counted on Wednesday night, they would have been in great shape. Unfortunately for them, Elmira Jackals goaltender Travis Fullerton had other ideas, playing one of his best games as a pro. Fullerton stopped 56 of 57 Wheeling shots, and got four goals of support from his offense, including a tying goal in the final second of the first period. The Jackals won, 4-1, keeping the Nailers one point ahead of Cincinnati for the fourth and final playoff spot in the North Division.
The Nailers were in control of the play for the majority of the first period, as they put a season-high 24 shots on the Elmira net. One of those shots found its way in at the 14:53 mark of the stanza. Wheeling won an offensive zone face-off, with Mike Ratchuk stepping up with a shot from the blueline. Travis Fullerton made the save, but the rebound kicked out, where it was banged in on the left side of the crease by Jarrett Burton. The visitors nearly carried that lead into the dressing room, but with under one second left, the Jackals pulled even. Trevor Gerling's shot trickled into the crease, where it was poked over the line by Matt Harlow, shortly ahead of the buzzer.
Shortly before the midway mark of regulation, Elmira took its first lead of the night. Mike Seidel flipped the puck into the zone on a 2-on-1 rush, leading Ryan Rashid in alone. Rashid kept the puck on his forehand, ringing a shot off of the right post and into the net for a 2-1 score in favor of the home team.
Wheeling's power play had its struggles finding the net on this particular night, and with 4:40 gone by in the third period, the Jackals turned the tables with a shorthanded marker. Steven Shamanski, Mike Bergin, and Thomas Nesbitt rushed into the offensive zone, with Nesbitt ultimately banking a pass off of a Nailers skate an in for the insurance goal. Lucas Bloodoff finished off the 4-1 Elmira win with 3:15 remaining, when he completed a 2-on-1 break with Nesbitt.
Travis Fullerton turned in an unbelievable performance in the win for Elmira, stopping 56 of the 57 shots he faced. Eric Hartzell suffered the loss for Wheeling, despite making 33 saves on 37 shots, while Brandon Whitney turned away two shots in relief.
The Nailers will return home on Friday night for a 7:35 face-off with the Evansville IceMen.
The Nailers have two home games remaining in the 2014-15 regular season, with a 7:35 tilt against the Evansville IceMen on April 3rd and a 7:35 battle against the Elmira Jackals on April 10th. Both nights will be Flat Screen Fridays, Frosty Fridays, and Player Poster Giveaways, while the regular season home finale will be Fan Appreciation Night.
Wheeling Nailers 2015-16 season tickets, as well as flex tickets, group tickets and single-game tickets for 2014-15 are on sale now. For more information, call 304-234-GOAL or visit wheelingnailers.com.
Listen to all Nailers regular season and post-season games live on the Valley's rock station EAGLE 107.5 FM, on www.iheartradio.com or watch live on www.echl.tv. Catch every road game live on WLUTV on Comcast Cable 14.
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