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Nailers at Cyclones Game Day Snap Shot, October 20

October 20, 2018 - ECHL (ECHL) - Wheeling Nailers News Release

Wheeling Nailers (0-1-0-0, 0 Pts.) at Cincinnati Cyclones (1-1-0-0, 2 Pts.)


(0-1-0-0, 0 PTS, 6th Central, T-12th West)

3 GF, 5 GA

PP: 42.9% (3-for-7), 1st

PK: 66.7% (2-for-3), T-23rd

NHL Affiliate: Pittsburgh Penguins

AHL Affiliate: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

15-F-Eliot Grauer (2 goals, 2 points in 1 game)

12-F-Renars Krastenbergs (2 assists, 2 points in 1 game)

27-F-Zac Lynch (2 assists, 2 points in 1 game)

5-D-Dan Fick (1 goal, 1 point in 1 game)

23-F-Michael Phillips (1 assist, 1 point in 1 game)

30-G-Matt O'Connor (2-9-4 record, 4.08 GAA, .879 Sv% in 16 games last season)


(1-1-0-0, 2 PTS, T-2nd Central, T-7th West)

6 GF, 6 GA

PP: 0.0% (0-for-9), T-24th

PK: 100.0% (7-for-7), T-1st

NHL Affiliate: Buffalo Sabres

AHL Affiliate: Rochester Americans

15-F-Spencer Dorowicz (3 goals, 3 points in 2 games)

20-D-Arvin Atwal (2 goals, 1 assist, 3 points in 2 games)

27-F-Brady Vail (2 assists, 2 points in 2 games)

28-D-Devante Stephens (2 assists, 2 points in 2 games)

46-F-Justin Vaive (1 goal, 1 point in 2 games)

29-G-Michael Houser (28-11-4 record, 2.73 GAA, .909 Sv% in 45 games last season)


2017-18 Season Series: Cyclones 5, Nailers 1

2017-18 Season Series at U.S. Bank Arena: Cyclones 2, Nailers 0

All-Time Series: Cyclones 64, Nailers 61

All-Time Series at U.S. Bank Arena: Cyclones 35, Nailers 28

Power Play Surges Late in Opener

The Wheeling Nailers have been off for a full week, since opening their 27th season last Saturday on the road against the Norfolk Admirals. The Admirals struck first in the opening stanza, then went on to add two goals in the second period and one more at the start of the third, building a 4-0 advantage. However, Wheeling's power play helped the offensive attack come to life in the third period, ultimately trimming the deficit to two. Eliot Grauer netted his first two career ECHL goals, snapping in a one-time feed from Zac Lynch in the left circle, then banging home the rebound of Michael Phillips' shot. Dan Fick collected the third and final marker of the evening with a rocket from the right circle. The Nailers outshot Norfolk, 48-29, as Ty Reichenbach made 45 saves in the 5-3 win for the Admirals.

Splitting with the Indiana Squads

The Cincinnati Cyclones have hit the ice twice thus far this season, earning a 5-2 home win against the Fort Wayne Komets on opening night, then falling 4-1 on the road to the Indy Fuel on Friday night. Arvin Atwal and Spencer Dorowicz were the two standout performers in Cincinnati's victory, as both players notched a pair of goals, while Atwal added an assist. Dorowicz picked up right where he left off, opening the scoring at the three-minute mark of the first period on Friday. 19 seconds later, Matt Rupert answered for the Fuel, who also got a two goals from former Nailer and Cyclone Josh Shalla. Matt Tomkins turned in an excellent performance in goal for Indy, keeping the Cyclones off the scoreboard the rest of the night with a final total of 39 saves. Jonas Johansson played both of Cincinnati's games to start the year, turning away 45 of 51 shots.

Easing into the Season

For the second week in a row, the Nailers will play only one game, as they will conclude the weekend tied with the Jacksonville IceMen for the fewest games played in the ECHL. Wheeling will ultimately play four games in October - all of which will take place on the road, before opening up its home schedule on November 3rd, which will be the latest home opener in team history. The four October matches are tied for the second fewest in the 27-year history of the team, with the all-time record being three by the 2013-14 club. The most games ever played by the Nailers in October was ten, which occurred in 2002 and 2010. After starting off with five games in the first four weeks of the campaign, the season will heat up extremely quickly, as 13 games in the following four weeks will take the club to the quarter mark of the schedule on December 1st.

Day Chief's Debut is a Homecoming

Forward Winston Day Chief will suit up in a Wheeling uniform for the first time in his career on Saturday night, when he returns to one of his two former home cities in the ECHL. After spending the first four years of his career in the CHL and ECHL with the Rapid City Rush, Day Chief posted 22 goals, seven assists, and 29 points in 60 games with Cincinnati last season. The 22 goals were third on the team. In addition to Winston, as many as five other Nailers could make their season debuts on Saturday, as defensemen Robbie Hall and Aaron Titcomb, and forwards Brad Drobot, Yush Hirano, and Mark Petaccio are all headed to the Queen City. Both teams could also be looking at season debuts between the pipes, as Matt O'Connor and Michael Houser have both yet to see action in the regular season, after being the goaltenders of record in both exhibition clashes.

This One has Points on the Line

Saturday night marks the first of eight head-to-head meetings between the Nailers and Cyclones this season, as well as the first of five battles at U.S. Bank Arena. Wheeling and Cincinnati got a preview of each other during the preseason, when the two sides split a home-and-home series, with each team winning on the road. Matt O'Connor stopped all 24 shots he faced at U.S. Bank Arena for the Nailers, leading his squad to a 3-2 shootout triumph. Now that the two geographical rivals are back in the same division, the season set will heat up, as the eight games on the docket are the most since 2013-14, when a 12-game series was split, 6-6. The Cyclones have won each of the last two sets, coming out on top in five of six contests last season and three of four in 2016-17. Wheeling returns to Cincinnati on November 7th, while the Cyclones make their first visit to West Virginia on November 25th.

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