Nailers Top Cyclones 4-1 In Season Finale
Wheeling, WV - The Nailers ended the 2009-2010 regular season with an exciting 4-1 victory over the Cincinnati Cyclones at WesBanco Arena. After the game, the Nailers players saluted the crowd with a team stick-raise while most of the crowd stayed to the very end to give the team a standing ovation for their efforts all season long.
The Nailers were lead by rookie goalie and Michigan State product Bobby Jarosz in his professional debut. Jarosz had a sound performance, stopping 21 of 22 shots for his first ever professional win. Also contributing to the victory were goals by: T.J. Fox (26), Aaron Clarke (25), Chris Davis (11) and Andrew Lord (17).
The victory came on the heels of the announcement before the game that the Nailers have worked out a deal and arrangement to keep professional hockey in the city of Wheeling for their return in 2010-2011.
The Wheeling Nailers began their final home game with a bang as only 24 seconds into the game, TJ Fox lit the lamp. Aaron Clarke connected with Fox right up the middle for Fox's 26th goal of the season. The goal was the quickest score for the Nailers all season and gave them an early 1-0 lead.
The second period commenced and 12:58 in, a puck got loose crossing into the Wheeling zone. It became a race to the puck between Wheeling's rookie goalie Bobby Jarosz and Cyclone's forward Matt Pierce. Pierce corralled the puck right before a diving Jarosz and shot the puck into the open net to tie the game 1-1.
Later in the period, Aaron Clarke beat Brian O'Hanley and raced up ice on the breakaway to blast one over the right shoulder of goalie Jeremy Smith. It was Clarke's 5th shorthanded goal of the season to lead the ECHL. The goal also gave the lead back to the Nailers, 2-1.
In the 3rd period, Chris Davis grabbed the puck between the circles and backhanded it over the shoulder of Smith. It was the Nailers' first power play goal of the evening and it increased their lead to 3-1.
Later in the 3rd, Captain Andrew Lord's 17th goal of the season gave the Nailers even more breathing room, 4-1, when he picked up a rebound and backhanded it home.
The Nailers would like to thank their fans for their support all season. They look forward to an exciting 2010-2011 season when they return for their 19th year of professional hockey in the Friendly City.
Previous to the game the Nailers had their annual awards ceremony. Numerous Wheeling players were honored including Ryan Schnell, who received the Humanitarian Award. Other honorees include: Kevin Schmidt for Rookie of the Year, Mitch Ganzak for Defensive Player of the Year, Andrew Lord for Players' Player, T.J. Fox was awarded the leading scorer, Kyle Bushee the Unsung Hero, Fan Favorite Mitch Ganzak, 3 Stars award given to Aaron Clarke and MVP Andrew Lord. The Nailers Booster Club also awarded Billy Higgins for his 500 games.
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