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Nailers at Walleye Game Day Snap Shot, December 8

December 8, 2018 - ECHL (ECHL) - Wheeling Nailers News Release

Wheeling Nailers (7-11-1-0, 15 Pts.) at Toledo Walleye (15-3-2-0, 32 Pts.)

WHEELING NAILERS

(7-11-1-0, 15 PTS, 6th Central, 12th West)

55 GF, 63 GA

PP: 18.4% (14-for-76), 8th

PK: 82.2% (74-for-90), 18th

NHL Affiliate: Pittsburgh Penguins

AHL Affiliate: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

13-F-Nick Saracino (6 goals, 10 assists, 16 points in 18 games)

22-D-Kevin Spinozzi (5 goals, 10 assists, 15 points in 17 games)

27-F-Zac Lynch (6 goals, 7 assists, 13 points in 19 games)

4-F-Alex Rauter (4 goals, 8 assists, 12 points in 14 games)

21-F-Cam Brown (2 goals, 8 assists, 10 points in 19 games)

17-F-Winston Day Chief (5 goals, 4 assists, 9 points in 17 games)

31-G-Jordan Ruby (0-1-0 record, 1.57 GAA, .941 Sv% in 1 game)

TOLEDO WALLEYE

(15-3-2-0, 32 PTS, 1st Central, 1st West)

75 GF, 56 GA

PP: 17.0% (17-for-100), 15th

PK: 87.5% (63-for-72), 3rd

NHL Affiliate: Detroit Red Wings

AHL Affiliate: Grand Rapids Griffins

10-F-Shane Berschbach (10 goals, 17 assists, 27 points in 20 games)

17-F-TJ Hensick (6 goals, 19 assists, 25 points in 20 games)

43-D-Matt Register (4 goals, 18 assists, 22 points in 20 games)

27-F-A.J. Jenks (6 goals, 8 assists, 14 points in 13 games)

86-F-Greg Wolfe (6 goals, 8 assists, 14 points in 20 games)

15-F-Dylan Sadowy (6 goals, 4 assists, 10 points in 8 games)

30-G-Pat Nagle (9-2-1 record, 2.65 GAA, .908 Sv% in 12 games)

Head-to-Head

Season Series: Walleye 2, Nailers 0

2017-18 Season Series at Huntington Center: Walleye 2, Nailers 1

All-Time Series: Walleye 42, Nailers 33

All-Time Series at Huntington Center: Walleye 24, Nailers 9

Almost a Trip Down Memory Lane

The Wheeling Nailers erased a four-goal deficit against the Fort Wayne Komets during the 2016-17 season, and nearly achieved the same feat on Friday night at WesBanco Arena. Fort Wayne exploded out of the gates with four goals in the opening stanza, taking what it thought would be a comfortable lead. Brad Drobot dropped the gloves with Taylor Crunk to start the middle frame, and the tides began to turn in Wheeling's favor. Zac Lynch started the rally with a shorthanded goal, and that was followed by goals 61 seconds apart from each other by Alex Rauter and Nick Saracino. Phelix Martineau answered for the Komets 22 seconds after Saracino's marker with what turned out to be an enormous goal, as the score became 5-3. Cam Brown cut the deficit down to one with 5:30 left in the game, but the Nailers came a post away from the equalizer, as they fell, 5-4. Former Nailer J.C. Campagna had two goals for Fort Wayne, while Jake Kamrass notched a Gordie Howe Hat Trick.

Some Wizardry for a Comeback

The Toledo Walleye are celebrating their Wizard Weekend, and on Friday night, the Tulsa Oilers were the victims of a magical spell from the home team. Greg Wolfe netted the first marker of the night for the Walleye, before Tulsa scored four of the next five goals, building a 4-2 lead midway through the contest. Matt Register erased the deficit with back-to-back strikes in the closing minutes of period two, making the score 4-4 at the intermission. At the 4:21 mark of the third period, former Nailer Daniel Leavens put Toledo in front, and Bryan Moore stashed home an empty netter for a 6-4 final score. Kaden Fulcher made 27 saves on 31 shots for the Walleye, who improved to 7-1-0 at Huntington Center, after suffering their first home loss to Cincinnati on Wednesday morning. Evan Fitzpatrick came up with 19 stops on 24 attempts in the crease for the Oilers.

A Strong Start Will be Key

One area that has plagued the Nailers during their recent stretch of play has been their inability to score the game's first goal. Wheeling has surrendered the opening tally in eight consecutive matches, although it has rallied from behind to win three of those eight, bringing the season total up to four comeback triumphs. The importance of the first goal will be highlighted even more on Saturday night, as the Walleye are tied with the Newfoundland Growlers for the most wins in the ECHL when scoring first. Toledo has gone 13-1-1 when it takes the first lead of the night, with the lone blemishes occurring on October 13th at Greenville (regulation) and November 30th at Fort Wayne (overtime). Wheeling is 3-4-0 when scoring first, but late leads have been a strong point for the Nailers, who are 5-0-0 when leading after two periods.

Ruby's Relief Gem

After falling behind 4-0 in the first period on Friday, Wheeling was looking for a few different items to try to get some momentum on its side and turn the game around. For the second time this season, the Nailers made an in-game goaltending change, as Jordan Ruby made his Wheeling debut, taking over for Danny Tirone at the start of the second period. Despite being saddled with the loss, Ruby delivered a strong performance, as he turned aside 16 of the 17 shots he faced. Prior to Friday, the 28-year old had posted an 8-9-3 record in the ECHL with Toledo, Indy, Brampton, and South Carolina, while also going 33-11-6 with the SPHL's Huntsville Havoc and Macon Mayhem. In addition to the swap in net, the Nailers also looked to the physical game to rally the troops, as Robbie Hall and Brad Drobot both threw down the mitts.

The Toledo Test

Saturday night marks the third of eight head-to-head meetings between the Nailers and Walleye this season, as well as the first of four battles at Huntington Center. Toledo skated away with a pair of one-goal wins in the opening two tilts of the set, taking 2-1 and 4-3 decisions at WesBanco Arena. The first victory featured a power play goal in the third period to snap a 1-1 tie, while the second game saw Wheeling nearly erase a three-goal deficit. TJ Hensick leads the Walleye with four assists. Over the years, Toledo has created a dominant home ice advantage, especially in the last four seasons, when it has finished with fewer than ten regulation losses at Huntington Center. The Nailers went 1-2-0 on the road against the Walleye last season, and will need to win there at least twice this year in order to turn around the season series. The two rivals will collide twice in three days to start January, with one game in each building.


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