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Nailers at Thunder Game Day Snap Shot, January 18

January 18, 2019 - ECHL (ECHL) - Wheeling Nailers News Release

Wheeling Nailers (19-17-2-0, 40 Pts.) at Adirondack Thunder (21-12-3-2, 47 Pts.), 7:00 p.m.

WHEELING NAILERS

(19-17-2-0, 40 PTS, T-4th Central, T-7th West)

133 GF, 119 GA

PP: 21.2% (35-for-165), 3rd

PK: 84.1% (148-for-176), 12th

NHL Affiliate: Pittsburgh Penguins

AHL Affiliate: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

27-F-Zac Lynch (11 goals, 26 assists, 37 points in 38 games)

4-F-Alex Rauter (9 goals, 18 assists, 27 points in 31 games)

10-F-Troy Josephs (16 goals, 10 assists, 26 points in 21 games)

9-F-Yushiroh Hirano (9 goals, 17 assists, 26 points in 33 games)

12-F-Renars Krastenbergs (11 goals, 12 assists, 23 points in 31 games)

23-F-Michael Phillips (9 goals, 14 assists, 23 points in 38 games)

1-G-John Muse (7-8-0 record, 2.87 GAA, .899 Sv% in 15 games)

ADIRONDACK THUNDER

(21-12-3-2, 47 PTS, 2nd North, 3rd East)

118 GF, 110 GA

PP: 19.3% (28-for-145), 7th

PK: 81.8% (121-for-148), 22nd

NHL Affiliate: New Jersey Devils

AHL Affiliate: Binghamton Devils

15-F-James Henry (9 goals, 26 assists, 35 points in 38 games)

9-F-John Edwardh (12 goals, 14 assists, 26 points in 29 games)

91-F-Mike Szmatula (15 goals, 10 assists, 25 points in 34 games)

19-F-Shane Conacher (8 goals, 15 assists, 23 points in 31 games)

16-F-Peter MacArthur (8 goals, 13 assists, 21 points in 32 games)

6-D-Matias Cleland (2 goals, 15 assists, 17 points in 38 games)

1-G-Alex Sakellaropoulos (11-3-3 record, 2.49 GAA, .918 Sv% in 19 games)

Head-to-Head

Season Series: Thunder 1, Nailers 0

Season Series at Cool Insuring Arena: Thunder 1, Nailers 0

All-Time Series: Nailers 5, Thunder 5

All-Time Series at Cool Insuring Arena: Thunder 4, Nailers 3

Tough Start to Overcome

The Wheeling Nailers ended up behind the eight ball early in Wednesday night's tilt against the Adirondack Thunder at Cool Insuring Arena, as the host squad stormed out of the gates with three goals in the opening 8:17 of play. Wheeling had some quality chances in the first period, including its first goal of the contest, as Zac Lynch setup Yushiroh Hirano for a one-timer in the left circle. After another early marker in the middle frame by Adirondack, the Nailers were given a tremendous chance to cut into the deficit, as the Thunder took four straight penalties. Michael Phillips cashed in on one of the man advantages, drilling in a one-time feed from Dan Fick in the middle of the ice. Adirondack lit the lamp once more, before former Thunder Aaron Titcomb scored his first professional goal, tossing in a shot from the right point, giving the game a 5-3 final score. John Muse made 32 saves on 36 shots for Wheeling.

Thunder Rolling at Home

The Adirondack Thunder have been playing some outstanding hockey at home as of late, and Wednesday's 5-3 win over the Nailers gave them points in 11 consecutive matches (8-0-3) at Cool Insuring Arena - the third longest home point streak in the ECHL this season. Former Wheeling defenseman Matias Cleland opened the scoring for Adirondack at the 2:02 mark of the first period, and he was followed just over three minutes later by John Edwardh, then 3:12 after that by Mike Szmatula, as the Thunder snagged an early 3-0 advantage. Edwardh added his second of the evening at the 2:17 mark of the middle frame, then completed his hat trick into an empty net with 3:25 left in the game. Alex Sakellaropoulos returned from the AHL to earn his 11th win of the year, turning aside 25 of the 28 shots he faced.

He'll Remember That One

Aaron Titcomb will remember a special moment during Wednesday's game for quite some time. With 2:35 remaining in the third period, the rookie defenseman let a shot go from the right point that made its way to the back of the net, giving him his first goal in a Nailers uniform. The goal was a long time coming for Titcomb, who last lit the lamp with the Merrimack College Warriors on November 21, 2015 in a 1-1 tie against the UMass Minutemen. To make the occasion even more significant, Aaron's tally on Wednesday took place in the same building that he made his ECHL debut in on April 6th, when he dished out an assist in a 3-2 Adirondack win over Manchester. Five players were on the ice in both games, including current teammate Zac Lynch. The Charlestown, Massachusetts native is the 13th Wheeling player to score his first ECHL goal this season, and the seventh since the start of December.

Hats off on the Road

John Edwardh became the third player this season to score a hat trick in a game involving the Nailers, as he found the back of the net once in each period during Wednesday's home win for Adirondack. All three hat tricks have been recorded away from WesBanco Arena, as Troy Josephs tallied three straight goals in Jacksonville on November 16th, while former Nailer Reid Gardiner dented the twine three times in a home game for Kalamazoo on December 28th. Wheeling has mixed its recent hat tricks evenly, scoring four at home and four on the road, while opposing players tend to be more successful in their home buildings, as seven of the last eight opponent hat tricks have been scored on their home ice. The last two hat tricks in Nail City came on back-to-back days, as Troy Josephs tricked the Indy Fuel on February 2nd, before Gabriel Desjardins notched three goals on February 3rd for the Fort Wayne Komets.

Looking to Even the Score

Friday night marks the second and final head-to-head meeting between the Nailers and Thunder this season, with both battles taking place at Cool Insuring Arena. This will be the seventh season series completed by Wheeling in 2018-19, and thus far, the Nailers are 5-1-0 in their finished sets, having knocked off Allen, Greenville, Jacksonville, Norfolk, and South Carolina, while Utah was responsible for the lone setback. In addition to taking aim at the split, Wheeling will also look to end a six-game winning streak by the home teams in the all-time series against Adirondack. Wednesday night was the first regulation loss in Glens Falls by the Nailers and just the second overall in the set since the Thunder moved to New York in 2015. Wheeling has played just five of its 16 games against North Division foes.


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