Nailers Rally Back for First Point in Indy
INDIANAPOLIS, IN- The Wheeling Nailers took one step on Saturday night, as they earned their first point of the season at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. Unfortunately, two points went the other way to the Indy Fuel. Cameron Hillis scored off an odd-man rush at the 4:36 mark of overtime, as the Fuel edged the Nailers, 4-3, despite Wheeling erasing a pair of deficits. Davis Bunz forced the extra hockey with 4:04 left, while Jordan Frasca had three assists for the Nailers.
The Nailers played a solid first period for the most part, as they outshot Indy, 8-5. However, the lone goal of the stanza went to the home side, as the Fuel cashed in on a power play. Bryan Lemos wristed a pass into the slot, where Seamus Malone redirected the puck into the left side of the cage.
The middle frame had lots of ups and downs, as both teams struck twice. The period started on a down, as Indy's Jon Martin roofed a wrist shot from the slot off of an offensive zone face-off win. However, the Nailers came back with a fantastic answering shift to get onto the scoreboard. Dillon Hamaliuk centered the puck into the low slot, where Tanner Laderoute willed himself around his defender to chip a shot into the top-left corner of the net. 3:48 later, Wheeling tied the contest with a power play marker. Lukas Svejkovsky wired a shot off of the crossbar, which created a big rebound for Hamaliuk to sweep in from the bottom of the left circle. 2-2 would have been a great score going into the intermission, but with 1:11 remaining, the Fuel regained the lead. Kyle Maksimovich had his initial try denied, but the rebound kicked out to Bryan Lemos, who converted from the bottom of the left circle.
The Nailers put up a strong fight in the third period, and with 4:04 remaining, they tied the game to secure a point. Justin Lee sent the puck toward the goal from the middle of the blueline, and Davis Bunz crashed in to dribble the equalizer in over the goal line for a 3-3 score.
Both teams had chances in the extra session, but at the 4:36 mark, Indy emerged with the win on an odd-man break. Cameron Hillis fired in a one-timer from the left side of the slot for the 4-3 final.
Mitchell Weeks picked up his third straight win against his former team, as he stopped 24 of 27 shots for the Fuel. Michael McNiven received the overtime loss, as he made 17 saves on 21 shots for Wheeling.
The Nailers will finish up their stretch of eight games in 12 days on Sunday afternoon at 4:10, when they play host to Kalamazoo at WesBanco Arena. Sunday's game is a Screen Time Sunday, in which one lucky fan will win a free TV courtesy of Walmart. Additionally, fans will be able to skate with the even-numbered players following the contest, and $2 sundaes will be available for kids at Flurry's. The next Big Six game is Wheeling Wonderland on Saturday, December 9th. That night will have a Pom Pom Hat Giveaway, the Small Business Holiday Village, a chance to meet Santa and other characters, free hot chocolate, and the annual Teddy Bear Toss. Season memberships and other terrific ticket plans for the 2023-24 season are available now by calling (304) 234-GOAL. The Wheeling Nailers, considered one of the top things to do in Wheeling, West Virginia, provide affordable family entertainment for fans throughout the Ohio Valley.
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Wheeling Nailers' Jordan Frasca and Indy Fuel's Cam Bakker in action
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