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Nailers at Cyclones Game Day Snap Shot, March 15

March 15, 2019 - ECHL (ECHL) - Wheeling Nailers News Release

Wheeling Nailers (28-25-6-2, 64 Pts.) at Cincinnati Cyclones (43-10-4-3, 93 Pts.), 7:35 p.m.


(28-25-6-2, 64 PTS, 5th Central, 9th West)

210 GF, 201 GA

PP: 20.7% (54-for-261), 4th

PK: 80.7% (218-for-270), 20th

NHL Affiliate: Pittsburgh Penguins

AHL Affiliate: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

27-F-Zac Lynch (15 goals, 39 assists, 54 points in 56 games)

9-F-Yushiroh Hirano (16 goals, 33 assists, 49 points in 56 games)

12-F-Renars Krastenbergs (15 goals, 23 assists, 38 points in 53 games)

23-F-Michael Phillips (16 goals, 19 assists, 35 points in 61 games)

14-F-Cedric Lacroix (18 goals, 15 assists, 33 points in 60 games)

5-D-Dan Fick (5 goals, 25 assists, 30 points in 56 games)

31-G-Jordan Ruby (11-6-3 record, 2.73 GAA, .915 Sv% in 22 games)


(43-10-4-3, 93 PTS, 1st Central, 1st West)

240 GF, 145 GA

PP: 17.2% (45-for-262), 14th

PK: 85.4% (181-for-212), 5th

NHL Affiliate: Buffalo Sabres

AHL Affiliate: Rochester Americans

19-F-Jesse Schultz (19 goals, 52 assists, 71 points in 60 games)

27-F-Brady Vail (24 goals, 33 assists, 57 points in 56 games)

10-F-Alex Wideman (20 goals, 36 assists, 56 points in 56 games)

24-F-Pascal Aquin (23 goals, 28 assists, 51 points in 58 games)

17-F-Myles Powell (24 goals, 26 assists, 50 points in 46 games)

5-D-Eric Knodel (15 goals, 30 assists, 45 points in 60 games)

29-G-Michael Houser (25-5-4 record, 2.15 GAA, .921 Sv% in 34 games)


Season Series: Cyclones 5, Nailers 1

Season Series at U.S. Bank Arena: Cyclones 3, Nailers 0

All-Time Series: Cyclones 69, Nailers 62

All-Time Series at U.S. Bank Arena: Cyclones 38, Nailers 28

Staying Late for One More Point

The Wheeling Nailers put in some work after class during Tuesday's Education Day Game, as regulation and overtime weren't enough to settle a 1-1 tie against the Indy Fuel at WesBanco Arena. Wheeling registered the first goal of the contest, as Yushiroh Hirano hammered in a one-timer from the left circle on a man advantage. The Fuel took until the 7:09 mark of the third period to pull even, when Mathew Thompson squeezed in a shot from the right wing wall, just above the goal line. Netminders Jordan Ruby and Matt Tomkins played large roles in keeping the match deadlocked, earning their teams one point. After surrendering a goal in round one of the shootout, the Nailers rallied back for the triumph, as Zac Lynch knotted the score in the third round, before Hirano put Wheeling ahead on the club's fourth attempt. Ruby made 37 saves in the game, then added three more in the shootout, including the punctuation of the 2-1 victory, as he denied Matt Rupert in round four.

Saving Their Best for Last

The Cincinnati Cyclones were in unfamiliar territory on Wednesday night, as they trailed the Fort Wayne Komets 4-1 at home with less than nine minutes remaining in regulation. However, the Cyclones were determined to make sure that Fort Wayne didn't hand them a second regulation loss at U.S. Bank Arena. Myles Powell began Cincinnati's comeback at the 11:08 mark, then just 20 seconds later, the deficit was one, as Mike Marnell sliced through the defense with a backhand tally. Brady Vail netted the equalizer by potting the rebound of Tobie Bisson's shot, setting the stage for some late game heroics. The hero of the night was Kurt Gosselin, who was making his professional debut. With 19 seconds left, Gosselin collected the puck off the end wall, then slammed a shot into the left side of the cage, lifting the Cyclones to the 5-4 regulation win. Michael Houser made 16 saves for his league-leading 25th victory of the year.

Riding with Ruby

When Jordan Ruby first arrived in Wheeling in early December, he got tested immediately, entering into a 4-0 Wheeling deficit, which nearly turned into a win, as the Nailers fell to Fort Wayne, 5-4. Ruby played in each of the next four games, going 3-0-1, while solidifying his spot on the roster. However, Jordan didn't see a lot of the crease in the weeks that followed, appearing in just five of the team's 24 games from December 15-February 8. On February 9th, the Tavistock, Ontario native was given the starting nod in Worcester, where he posted a 33-save effort in a 5-1 Wheeling victory. Including that night, Ruby has started 12 of the last 14 games, going 7-4-1, while making at least 30 saves in eight of the 12 games. On February 13th, Jordan set a career high, when he stopped 43 shots in a 5-2 win over Reading. For Cincinnati, Michael Houser has been handling the work in the crease, as he has made nine straight starts, posting a 7-1-1 mark during that stretch.

The First to Punch a Ticket

Two teams have punched their tickets to the 2019 Kelly Cup Playoffs, and the first of those was Cincinnati, who clinched on March 6th. This weekend, the Cyclones can knock another item off their checklist, as they need just one point to secure home ice advantage in the opening round. Cincinnati's 93 points are the most in the ECHL, and the Cyclones have three games in hand on Florida, who ranks second with 91. Cincinnati offered some assistance to the Nailers with its comeback victory on Wednesday, as the Fort Wayne Komets were unable to collect any points. Four teams are separated by five points in the race for the final two playoff positions in the Central Division. This weekend, Fort Wayne visits Brampton for a pair of games, Indy travels to Reading for two tilts, and Kalamazoo plays Toledo twice and Cincinnati once.

We're Due for One Around This Time

Friday night marks the seventh of eight head-to-head meetings between the Nailers and Cyclones this season, as well as the fourth of five battles at U.S. Bank Arena. Although Cincinnati has emerged victorious in five of the first six games, Wheeling has played its division leader tough, acquiring points in all three clashes at WesBanco Arena. All three tilts in Ohio have seen identical 4-1 final scores, as the Cyclones have made their arena the toughest one in the ECHL for visiting teams this season. Cincinnati's Eric Knodel has been the post productive player in the set with seven points, while teammate Brady Vail leads the way with four goals, including back-to-back game winners. Former Cyclone Winston Day Chief has three points to top the Nailers, who are looking for their first triumph in Cincinnati since March 17, 2016, when Mathew Maione snapped a 1-1 tie in overtime. Wheeling returns to the Queen City to finish off the season series on March 20th.

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