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Nailers at Walleye Game Day Snap Shot, March 16

March 16, 2019 - ECHL (ECHL) - Wheeling Nailers News Release

Wheeling Nailers (28-26-6-2, 64 Pts.) at Toledo Walleye (34-18-5-3, 76 Pts.), 7:15 p.m.

WHEELING NAILERS

(28-26-6-2, 64 PTS, 5th Central, 9th West)

211 GF, 206 GA

PP: 20.7% (54-for-261), 4th

PK: 80.3% (220-for-274), 24th

NHL Affiliate: Pittsburgh Penguins

AHL Affiliate: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

27-F-Zac Lynch (15 goals, 39 assists, 54 points in 57 games)

9-F-Yushiroh Hirano (16 goals, 33 assists, 49 points in 57 games)

12-F-Renars Krastenbergs (15 goals, 23 assists, 38 points in 53 games)

23-F-Michael Phillips (16 goals, 19 assists, 35 points in 62 games)

14-F-Cedric Lacroix (19 goals, 15 assists, 34 points in 61 games)

5-D-Dan Fick (5 goals, 25 assists, 30 points in 57 games)

30-G-Matt O'Connor (9-4-3 record, 3.03 GAA, .899 Sv% in 18 games)

TOLEDO WALLEYE

(34-18-5-3, 76 PTS, 2nd Central, T-2nd West)

209 GF, 193 GA

PP: 18.7% (51-for-273), 8th

PK: 82.6% (190-for-230), 15th

NHL Affiliate: Detroit Red Wings

AHL Affiliate: Grand Rapids Griffins

10-F-Shane Berschbach (18 goals, 38 assists, 56 points in 56 games)

43-D-Matt Register (12 goals, 34 assists, 46 points in 60 games)

15-F-Dylan Sadowy (19 goals, 21 assists, 40 points in 35 games)

27-F-A.J. Jenks (18 goals, 17 assists, 35 points in 44 games)

16-F-Bryan Moore (15 goals, 19 assists, 34 points in 45 games)

7-F-Tyler Spezia (11 goals, 21 assists, 32 points in 46 games)

33-G-Kaden Fulcher (15-6-5 record, 3.08 GAA, .896 Sv% in 26 games)

Head-to-Head

Season Series: Nailers 3, Walleye 3

Season Series at Huntington Center: Nailers 3, Walleye 0

All-Time Series: Walleye 43, Nailers 36

All-Time Series at Huntington Center: Walleye 24, Nailers 12

Making the Most of Their Chances

The Wheeling Nailers didn't give the Cincinnati Cyclones much in the way of offensive chances, as they limited the Central Division leaders to 21 shots on goal in Friday night's contest at U.S. Bank Arena. However, the best shooting team in the ECHL took advantage of what it was given, bursting out of the gates with three goals in the opening 11 minutes of play. Vasili Glotov, Alex Wideman, and Pascal Aquin were responsible for lighting the lamp, and all three markers came off perfectly executed passing plays. The Nailers cut into the deficit during the middle frame, when Cedric Lacroix smoked home a feed from Craig Skudalski in the bottom of the left circle. Unfortunately, that was the only time Wheeling was able to solve Ty Rimmer, who made 22 saves in his Cyclones debut. Wideman's second of the night was followed by Jesse Schultz, as Cincinnati tacked on insurance in the third for the 5-1 final.

Play Those Final Seconds

The Toledo Walleye did Wheeling a favor on Friday night, as they edged the Kalamazoo Wings, 4-3 at Huntington Center. Bryan Moore needed just 50 seconds to put Toledo on the scoreboard, but the Wings had an answer, as Luke Sandler knotted the tilt six seconds into a power play. Making his Walleye debut, Chris Crane put his new squad back on top, then Brenden Kotyk extended the lead at the 4:15 mark of the second period. Sandler's second of the night brought Kalamazoo within one at the 19:37 mark of the middle stanza, but Hunter Smith responded with just two seconds on the clock. That goal turned out to be the game winner for Toledo, as Zach Diamantoni tallied in the third for the Wings. Pat Nagle made 18 saves in the victory, while Ivan Kulbakov stopped 32 shots in the loss. Fort Wayne and Kalamazoo both surrendered game winning goals in the final 20 seconds of a period this week.

Win Special Teams, Win the Game

One area that has played a large role in determining results this season has been special teams. Both games this week have seen the team with the greater number of power play goals emerge victorious, as Cincinnati outscored Wheeling 2-0 on Friday, after the Nailers edged Indy 1-0 on the man advantage Tuesday morning. Thus far this season, there have been 39 games involving Wheeling in which one team had an edge in power play goals. That team has posted a 32-6-1 record for an .833 points percentage. The Nailers are 21-12-4 when scoring at least one man advantage marker, 11-20-6 when allowing at least one power play goal, and 6-2-2 when both clubs are perfect on the penalty kill. Speaking of penalty kills, five of the six teams in the Central Division have at least ten shorthanded goals. The only one that doesn't is Toledo, who has nine.

On the Verge of 20 and 50

Two Wheeling players are on the verge of hitting significant round numbers, as they enjoy rookie seasons that have seen both players earn AHL contracts from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Cedric Lacroix scored the lone goal for the Nailers on Friday night, giving him 19 on the season. His next goal will make him the second Wheeling player to reach the 20-goal mark this season, and he is two goals away from matching his career total from the University of Maine. Yushiroh Hirano enters Saturday night with 49 points, which places him seventh among ECHL rookies. Hirano is looking to become the second Nailer to amass 50 points this season, while giving Wheeling at least one rookie with 50 or more points in six consecutive campaigns. Toledo has had two players eclipse the 50-point mark this season (Hensick 58, Berschbach 56), while Dylan Sadowy is the top goal scorer with 19.

The Road Show

Saturday night marks the seventh of eight head-to-head meetings between the Nailers and Walleye this season, as well as the fourth and final battle at Huntington Center. All six clashes so far have gone to the road teams, as Wheeling is 3-0-0 in Northwest Ohio, while Toledo is 3-0-0 in West Virginia. In their three victories, the Nailers have outscored the Walleye, 18-6, as Wheeling is responsible for half of Toledo's regulation losses at home in 2018-19. Troy Josephs and TJ Hensick shared the scoring lead in the series with eight points each, but neither is on an active roster, giving Zac Lynch the top spot for the Nailers with seven points, and a tie between Shane Berschbach and Matt Register with six points each for the Walleye. Winston Day Chief has four goals, including a hat trick in the last match on March 1st. The last time Wheeling won four games in Toledo in a single season was 2003-04, when the Nailers went 4-1-0 against the Storm. This year's set concludes on April 5th at WesBanco Arena.


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