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Nailers at Mallards Game Day Snap Shot

December 18, 2015 - ECHL (ECHL) - Wheeling Nailers News Release

Lots of Red Lights for the Holidays

The Wheeling Nailers played their final home game prior to the holidays on Saturday night, and they made sure to get into the spirit of the season, by making the red light flash on multiple occasions against the rival Toledo Walleye. After surrendering the game's first goal, John McCarron drew the home team even with a redirection of Ty Loney's initial shot. In the second period, the Nailers came out firing, as Zack Torquato, Cody Wydo, and Harrison Ruopp all found the back of the net, building a 4-1 lead in a span of 4:57, before the stanza was eight minutes old. A power play marker brought Toledo within two, but a shorthanded tally by Riley Brace put Wheeling back on top by three with 9.9 seconds left in the period. McCarron added a shorthanded empty net goal of his own for the 6-2 final score, while Brian Foster made 21 saves for his third straight victory between the pipes.

Success Away From Home

The Quad City Mallards return home after playing four straight games on enemy ice, where they posted a 3-1-0 record. The trip began with a 2-1 shootout win in Cincinnati, and was followed five days later by a thrilling 6-5 overtime triumph in Evansville. The Mallards then suffered their lone setback on Friday - a 5-2 decision against the Rapid City Rush, before rebounding the following night for a 2-1 victory at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. Former Chicago Blackhawk Matt Carey played his first three games in a Quad City uniform, coming away with five points, as he and defensemen Mike Monfredo tied for the team lead on the voyage. Brody Hoffman and Steve Michalek both got two starts, with Michalek going 2-0 and Hoffman splitting his two decisions. Michalek is on a personal six-game winning streak.

A Shorthanded Specialty

Spending over 15 minutes on the penalty kill generally isn't the greatest recipe for success in a hockey game, but on Saturday night, the Nailers faced that challenge head on, and came away with an impressive end result. Wheeling killed off six of seven Toledo power plays, which included a stretch of 5:30 to finish the game, as defenseman Mickael Beauregard was assessed a major penalty for boarding. While the kills were impressive in their own right, the home team took it one step further, netting a pair of shorthanded goals to add insurance in the 6-2 thumping of the Walleye. Saturday was the second time this season that the Nailers scored twice shorthanded, as they achieved that feat in the home opener on October 24th against Brampton.

Tough to Win Here

iWireless Center has been a house of horrors for visiting teams to start the 2015-16 season, as the Mallards have done a nearly perfect job of protecting their home ice. Quad City lost its home opener 1-0 to the Tulsa Oilers on October 23rd, and hasn't lost at home in regulation since that date. There has been one overtime defeat, as the league-leading Missouri Mavericks got the upper hand in a 4-3 decision on November 4th. The Mallards enter the weekend on an eight-game home winning streak and an 11-game home points streak, both of which have helped Quad City claim the top spot in the Midwest Division. Three of the last four home victories have been decided by one goal, including a 3-2 result against the Indy Fuel on November 29th in the most recent tilt on the banks of the Mississippi River.

A New City to Check Out

Friday night marks the second of three head-to-head meetings between the Nailers and Mallards this season, as well as the second of two battles at iWireless Center. The lone prior clash took place on Halloween at WesBanco Arena, when Wheeling received first period goals from Sahir Gill and Riley Brace to build a 2-0 lead. Those tallies stood up in a 2-1 final score, thanks to 23 saves from Brian Foster. This will be the Nailers' first ever visit to Moline, Illinois, as well as their first trip to "The Land of Lincoln," since splitting a couple of games with the Chicago Express in March of 2012. Wheeling and Quad City will conclude their season series on Saturday, which will ultimately push the Nailers past the midway mark of their schedule against Midwest Division and Western Conference opponents.

Wheeling Nailers (13-9-1-2, 29 Pts.) at Quad City Mallards (14-8-1-2, 31 Pts.)

WHEELING NAILERS

(13-9-1-2, 29 PTS, 2nd North, T-7th East)

75 GF, 73 GA

PP: 15.1% (16-for-106), 21st

PK: 80.8% (80-for-99), 17th

23-F-Riley Brace (10 goals, 14 assists, 24 points in 25 games)

20-F-Jarrett Burton (9 goals, 12 assists, 21 points in 25 games)

15-F-Zack Torquato (11 goals, 4 assists, 15 points in 19 games)

16-F-Derek Army (5 goals, 10 assists, 15 points in 18 games)

25-F-John McCarron (5 goals, 9 assists, 14 points in 25 games)

18-D-Mathew Maione (4 goals, 10 assists, 14 points in 23 games)

29-G-Franky Palazzese (7-4-1 record, 2.67 GAA, .909 Sv% in 12 games)

QUAD CITY MALLARDS

(14-8-1-2, 31 PTS, 1st Midwest, 2nd West)

69 GF, 67 GA

PP: 21.1% (19-for-90), 5th

PK: 86.3% (82-for-95), 6th

8-F-Matt Neal (10 goals, 10 assists, 20 points in 25 games)

19-F-Olivier Archambault (7 goals, 13 assists, 20 points in 19 games)

4-D-Mike Monfredo (3 goals, 16 assists, 19 points in 25 games)

26-D-Guillaume Gelinas (4 goals, 12 assists, 16 points in 23 games)

28-F-Raphael Bussieres (8 goals, 6 assists, 14 points in 17 games)

71-F-Vladimir Nikiforov (2 goals, 10 assists, 12 points in 20 games)

31-G-Steve Michalek (8-3-3 record, 2.32 GAA, .924 Sv% in 14 games)

Head to Head

Season Series: Nailers 1, Mallards 0

Season Series at iWireless Center: First Game

All-Time Series: Nailers 1, Mallards 0

All-Time Series at iWireless Center: First Game


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