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Nailers at Monarchs Game Day Snap Shot, February 8

February 8, 2019 - ECHL (ECHL) - Wheeling Nailers News Release

Wheeling Nailers (20-21-4-1, 45 Pts.) at Manchester Monarchs (24-20-1-1, 50 Pts.), 7:00 p.m.

WHEELING NAILERS

(20-21-4-1, 45 PTS, 6th Central, 11th West)

158 GF, 155 GA

PP: 21.4% (43-for-201), 4th

PK: 81.3% (165-for-203), 21st

NHL Affiliate: Pittsburgh Penguins

AHL Affiliate: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

27-F-Zac Lynch (13 goals, 32 assists, 45 points in 46 games)

10-F-Troy Josephs (20 goals, 15 assists, 35 points in 29 games)

9-F-Yushiroh Hirano (13 goals, 22 assists, 35 points in 41 games)

4-F-Alex Rauter (10 goals, 23 assists, 33 points in 38 games)

23-F-Michael Phillips (12 goals, 17 assists, 29 points in 46 games)

5-D-Dan Fick (3 goals, 19 assists, 22 points in 41 games)

30-G-Matt O'Connor (8-4-1 record, 3.04 GAA, .898 Sv% in 15 games)

MANCHESTER MONARCHS

(24-20-1-1, 50 PTS, T-3rd North, T-6th East)

143 GF, 138 GA

PP: 15.2% (23-for-151), 20th

PK: 81.1% (120-for-148), 22nd

NHL Affiliate: Los Angeles Kings

AHL Affiliate: Ontario Reign

17-F-Spencer Watson (17 goals, 18 assists, 35 points in 37 games)

61-F-Nic Pierog (19 goals, 12 assists, 31 points in 44 games)

6-D-David Kolomatis (8 goals, 19 assists, 27 points in 45 games)

24-F-Michael Doherty (5 goals, 21 assists, 26 points in 41 games)

12-F-Tony Cameranisi (12 goals, 12 assists, 24 points in 29 games)

11-F-Cory Ward (12 goals, 11 assists, 23 points in 46 games)

1-G-Charles Williams (13-7-1 record, 2.29 GAA, .931 Sv% in 22 games)

Head-to-Head

2017-18 Season Series: Nailers 4, Monarchs 2

2017-18 Season Series at SNHU Arena: Nailers 1, Monarchs 1

All-Time Series: Nailers 6, Monarchs 3

All-Time Series at SNHU Arena: Monarchs 2, Nailers 1

We'll Take a Point

The Wheeling Nailers experienced a difficult homestand, but the final game should have left them with some encouraging feelings, as they earned a point against the team with the second best record in the ECHL, the Cincinnati Cyclones. The defense and goaltending were outstanding all night long, and it took over 49 minutes for the puck to find the back of the net for the first time. Alex Wideman opened the scoring for Cincinnati, drilling in a one-time feed from Jesse Schultz. With 3:12 left in regulation, the Nailers drew even, as former Cyclone Winston Day Chief set up Mark Petaccio in the slot. The contest progressed to overtime, and at the 2:56 mark, the Cyclones skated away with the bonus point, courtesy of Eric Knodel's shot from the right side of the crease. Jonas Johansson stopped 30 of the 31 shots he faced for Cincinnati, while John Muse made 19 saves on 21 shots for Wheeling.

Not Exactly a Super Sunday

The Manchester Monarchs blanked the Reading Royals, 3-0 on Saturday night, thanks to a 33-save performance by Charles Williams. On Sunday afternoon, Manchester turned to Cole Kehler, and the Royals greeted the rookie netminder rather rudely, denting the twine three times in the opening stanza. Joe Houk put Reading on the scoreboard 2:36 into the match, and he was followed 1:23 later by Adam Schmidt. The Royals then converted on their only two power plays of the afternoon, as Frank DiChiara and Brayden Low extended the lead to 4-0 in the middle of the second period. Spencer Watson answered Low quickly, but that was the lone bright spot for the Monarchs, who watched Jack Riley and Tyson Fawcett tack on insurance in a 6-1 Reading triumph. Watson scored one of the goals on Saturday, when Chris Carlisle and Nic Pierog also turned on the red light.

Time to be Road Warriors

The road ahead is an important one for the Nailers, who will play 12 of their next 18 games away from WesBanco Arena, as they look to stay on pace in the race for the Kelly Cup Playoffs. Wheeling has passed some challenging tests on the road this season, starting with the second 3-in-3 sweep in three different road cities in team history, when the Nailers knocked off Jacksonville, South Carolina, and Greenville in November. The following month, Wheeling swept a three-game set in Norfolk, and the Nailers have also won in regulation twice at Toledo, who has only lost four home games in regulation all year. Wheeling enters this weekend with ten home wins and ten road wins. During their 27-year history, the Nailers and Thunderbirds have had their road wins outnumber their home wins only twice - in 2005-06 and 2015-16.

Charles in Charge

For the second straight season, the Monarchs have given the bulk of their goaltending duties to Charles Williams, and he has delivered in a big way, helping to lift the team into a tie for third place in the North Division. Williams, who is expected to get the starting nod on Friday, has posted an 8-2-0 record in his last ten decisions, allowing three goals or less in nine of those contests. Last year, Charles won 22 regular season games for Manchester, then turned in a sparkling performance in the first round of the playoffs, allowing just seven goals in four games against Reading and John Muse, who allowed only 11 goals in those four clashes. Muse will not get his chance at redemption on Friday, as he was reassigned to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Wednesday. With Muse in the AHL, the Nailers will look for Matt O'Connor and Jordan Ruby to continue their successful seasons, as the two have combined to go 12-6-3 in 21 decisions.

A Trip of Familiar Faces on Rare Opponents

Friday night marks the first and only head-to-head meeting between the Nailers and Monarchs this season, and it takes place at SNHU Arena. Last year, Wheeling and Manchester were division rivals, and despite the fact that Manchester reached the playoffs while Wheeling didn't, it was the Nailers who got the upper hand in the season series, winning four of six games. Three of the four victories came on home ice, while Wheeling also earned its first ever win in New Hampshire, with a 6-3 decision on February 28th. Both teams have new head coaches and plenty of new players in 2018-19, but there will be one familiar face on each roster. Current Nailer Zac Lynch tallied 80 points in 92 games with Manchester from 2016-18, while current Monarch Danny Tirone earned his first professional win with Wheeling earlier this season on November 30th.


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