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Nailers at Railers Game Day Snap Shot, February 9

February 9, 2019 - ECHL (ECHL) - Wheeling Nailers News Release

Wheeling Nailers (20-21-5-1, 46 Pts.) at Worcester Railers (21-19-3-3, 48 Pts.), 7:05 p.m.

WHEELING NAILERS

(20-21-5-1, 46 PTS, 6th Central, T-10th West)

161 GF, 159 GA

PP: 21.7% (44-for-203), 4th

PK: 80.8% (168-for-208), 21st

NHL Affiliate: Pittsburgh Penguins

AHL Affiliate: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

27-F-Zac Lynch (14 goals, 32 assists, 46 points in 47 games)

10-F-Troy Josephs (21 goals, 16 assists, 37 points in 30 games)

9-F-Yushiroh Hirano (13 goals, 24 assists, 37 points in 42 games)

4-F-Alex Rauter (10 goals, 23 assists, 33 points in 39 games)

23-F-Michael Phillips (12 goals, 18 assists, 30 points in 47 games)

5-D-Dan Fick (3 goals, 19 assists, 22 points in 42 games)

31-G-Jordan Ruby (4-2-2 record, 2.66 GAA, .911 Sv% in 10 games)

WORCESTER RAILERS

(21-19-3-3, 48 PTS, 6th North, 10th East)

116 GF, 132 GA

PP: 12.7% (20-for-158), 27th

PK: 84.4% (130-for-154), 8th

NHL Affiliate: New York Islanders

AHL Affiliate: Bridgeport Sound Tigers

7-F-Tyler Barnes (18 goals, 17 assists, 35 points in 46 games)

19-F-Barry Almeida (12 goals, 14 assists, 26 points in 46 games)

8-F-Nick Sorkin (10 goals, 14 assists, 24 points in 46 games)

6-D-Mike Cornell (3 goals, 20 assists, 23 points in 43 games)

27-F-Ryan Hitchcock (7 goals, 14 assists, 21 points in 20 games)

21-F-Matthew Gaudreau (8 goals, 12 assists, 20 points in 26 games)

35-G-Mitch Gillam (14-11-2 record, 2.67 GAA, .920 Sv% in 27 games)

Head-to-Head

2017-18 Season Series: Nailers 5, Railers 4

2017-18 Season Series at DCU Center: Railers 3, Nailers 2

All-Time Series: Nailers 5, Railers 4

All-Time Series at DCU Center: Railers 3, Nailers 2

We Took Something With Us

The Wheeling Nailers opened up their three-game New England road trip on Friday night against the Manchester Monarchs, and while they weren't able to skate away with a victory, they did earn one point. Wheeling battled back from three separate deficits to force overtime, starting with Dane Birks' first professional goal at the 3:54 mark of the second period. The power play took care of business for the team's second goal of the evening, as Zac Lynch got a friendly deflection on his shot from the top of the offensive zone. Trailing 3-2 after 40 minutes, Wheeling rallied to get a point when trailing after two for the third time in 21 games, as Troy Josephs tipped in Robbie Hall's pass for the equalizer. Unfortunately, the deciding tally went to the Monarchs, as David Kolomatis converted on a man advantage 56 seconds into overtime. Charles Williams made 31 saves in the win for Manchester, while Matt O'Connor stopped 27 shots for the Nailers.

Powerful Comeback in the Third

The Worcester Railers found themselves in a difficult situation on Friday night, as they trailed the Greenville Swamp Rabbits, 2-0 after two periods at DCU Center. However, the Swamp Rabbits ran into serious penalty trouble, and the Railers made them pay, converting on three of four opportunities in the final frame for a 3-2 comeback win. Ryan Hitchcock started the rally at the 4:55 mark, with a wrist shot from the outer edge of the right circle. Less than four minutes later, Tyler Barnes knotted things up, depositing the rebound of Mike Cornell's point shot. With 6:17 left in the game, Barnes struck again, getting a fortunate bounce, as Ivan Kosorenkov's shot banked off his leg, before squibbing past Greenville goaltender Chris Nell. Both netminders made 25 saves, with Mitch Gillam earning the win for Worcester.

We're Right There

The last few weeks have been on the frustrating side for the Nailers, as they enter Saturday on a seven-game winless streak. However, the games have been incredibly close, as six of the seven have been decided by only one goal, with four of those six requiring overtime, as Wheeling has captured four points. Dating back to the middle of January, nine of the last 12 contests have been one-goal games, including all three of the team's wins, as it swept a two-game set from Indy, then picked up a 4-3 victory in Reading. 20 of 47 games have been decided by one goal this season, and the Nailers have posted a 7-7-6 record in those matches. At 11-1-6, Worcester is one of the better teams in the league in one-goal games, with the top spot belonging to the 16-1-7 Toledo Walleye. Reading has the fewest one-goal wins (4), but is over .500 (4-1-8), with the one regulation loss being delivered by the Nailers in the aforementioned game.

Our Captain, Their Assistant Coach

The familiarity tour continues on Saturday night, as the Nailers will see two of their former players across the way. Derek Army made his professional debut with the Nailers at the end of the 2013-14 campaign, then went on to play parts of four seasons in Wheeling, including the memorable run to the 2016 Kelly Cup Final. Army served as the team's captain during his final two years, before hanging up the skates this past summer to accept the assistant coaching position in Worcester. One of the players under his guidance is Nick Sorkin, who was Derek's teammate with the Nailers from 2016-18. Sorkin was traded to the Railers during the summer in a deal that brought Nick Saracino to Wheeling. Both Sorkin and Saracino have already bested their goal totals from a year ago, although Worcester fans won't get to see their former player, as he is currently with the AHL's Binghamton Devils. Army and Saracino were teammates for two seasons at Providence College.

Revenge for Last Season

Saturday night marks the first and only head-to-head meeting between the Nailers and Railers this season, and it takes place at DCU Center. Last year was Worcester's first in the ECHL, and thanks to a late season surge, the Railers were able to sneak past Wheeling for the fourth and final playoff spot in the North Division. Despite that, the Nailers got the upper hand in the season series, winning five of nine clashes, including three of four on home ice. Unfortunately, Massachusetts was an unfriendly destination for Wheeling last March, as Worcester collected three huge home wins to aid its postseason push. Once Saturday's game is completed, the Nailers will have finished over half of their season series in 2018-19, as they currently sit at 5-3-0 with nine sets left to punctuate. The Railers are the 16th different opponent on the slate, with Maine on Sunday being the 17th and final new squad on the docket.


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