Nailers Star as Comeback Kids on Education Day
WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers gave their fans plenty of physical fireworks in the beginning of the game, but it was the end of the game that featured the best fireworks of all. Wheeling erased a 2-0 deficit, scoring twice in the third period, before a 2-for-4 effort landed the home team a 3-2 comeback win over the Elmira Jackals, in front of a season-high 4,855 fans at WesBanco Arena.
A pair of special teams goals allowed the Jackals to jump out to the 2-0 lead in the first period. At the 3:52 mark, Zach Tolkinen took a wrist shot from the top of the right circle, with loads of traffic parked in the slot. The shot found its way through for the power play marker, with Justin Kea and Thomas Nesbitt drawing assists. Later in the frame, Nesbitt helped to set up a shorthanded goal. The forward battled the puck through to the slot for a wide open Mike Seidel, who converted on a wrist shot from in close.
After a scoreless second period, the Nailers began to claw back in the third. Derek Army brought the home team within one at the 6:26 mark, when he grabbed a loose puck behind the net, wrapping it around and through Sam Marotta's legs. Morgan Ellis and David Gilbert picked up the assists. 1:41 later, Wheeling pulled even, as Clark Seymour hammered home his first professional goal from the right point. Riley Brace extended his point streak to seven games with an assist, while Nick D'Agostino grabbed the second helper.
Seymour's equalizer ultimately forced overtime, followed by a shootout, as the Nailers required bonus hockey for the first time in 2014-15. After Mike Seidel missed, David Gilbert's backhand goal put Wheeling on the board in round one. The two sides exchanged saves in each of the next two rounds, as Taylor Stefishen, Sahir Gill, Stefano Momesso, and Riley Brace all came up empty. Then, in round four, an unsuccessful attempt by Steven Shamanski set up Zack Torquato for the dramatic finish, as he punctuated the 3-2 victory with a forehand shot through Marotta's legs.
Eric Hartzell earned the win for Wheeling, thwarting 19 of 21 shots in the game, before a perfect 4-for-4 effort in the shootout. Sam Marotta took the shootout loss for Elmira, making 25 saves on 27 shots in the game, before allowing two goals on four shootout tries.
The Nailers and Jackals will meet in Elmira on Saturday at 7:05 and Sunday at 4:05, before Wheeling returns to WesBanco Arena to begin a five-game homestand on November 26th against Greenville at 7:05.
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