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Nailers vs. Fuel Game Day Snap Shot, December 9

December 9, 2018 - ECHL (ECHL) - Wheeling Nailers News Release

Wheeling Nailers (8-11-1-0, 17 Pts.) vs. Indy Fuel (11-11-0-0, 22 Pts.)

WHEELING NAILERS

(8-11-1-0, 17 PTS, 6th Central, 12th West)

60 GF, 65 GA

PP: 21.0% (17-for-81), 5th

PK: 81.7% (76-for-93), 20th

NHL Affiliate: Pittsburgh Penguins

AHL Affiliate: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

13-F-Nick Saracino (7 goals, 10 assists, 17 points in 19 games)

22-D-Kevin Spinozzi (5 goals, 11 assists, 16 points in 18 games)

27-F-Zac Lynch (6 goals, 9 assists, 15 points in 20 games)

4-F-Alex Rauter (4 goals, 9 assists, 13 points in 15 games)

21-F-Cam Brown (3 goals, 10 assists, 13 points in 20 games)

23-F-Michael Phillips (4 goals, 8 assists, 12 points in 20 games)

31-G-Jordan Ruby (1-1-0 record, 1.83 GAA, .936 Sv% in 2 games)

INDY FUEL

(11-11-0-0, 22 PTS, T-3rd Central, T-9th West)

70 GF, 78 GA

PP: 14.6% (14-for-96), 21st

PK: 82.8% (82-for-99), 19th

NHL Affiliate: Chicago Blackhawks

AHL Affiliate: Rockford IceHogs

24-F-Josh Shalla (9 goals, 12 assists, 21 points in 20 games)

22-F-Ryan Rupert (4 goals, 16 assists, 20 points in 22 games)

20-F-Matt Rupert (11 goals, 8 assists, 19 points in 22 games)

10-F-Kevin Dufour (9 goals, 8 assists, 17 points in 20 games)

13-F-Olivier Labelle (8 goals, 9 assists, 17 points in 22 games)

18-D-Neil Manning (2 goals, 9 assists, 11 points in 21 games)

1-G-Kevin Lankinen (4-1-0 record, 2.82 GAA, .905 Sv% in 5 games)

Head-to-Head

Season Series: Nailers 1, Fuel 1

Season Series at WesBanco Arena: Nailers 1, Fuel 1

All-Time Series: Nailers 8, Fuel 8

All-Time Series at WesBanco Arena: Nailers 4, Fuel 4

The Power (Play) to Break the Spell

The Wheeling Nailers traveled to Toledo on Saturday night, hoping to silence the Walleye and their magic during Wizard Weekend. Wheeling's special power came courtesy of the man advantage, as the visitors went 3-for-5 on the power play, starting with Michael Phillips' opening goal, as he cashed in on the rebound of Alex Rauter's initial shot. Toledo netted back-to-back tallies to pull ahead during the first minute of the second period, but the Nailers power play came surging back with two goals in a span of 1:51. Cam Brown knotted the score off a perfect pass from Phillips, then Phillips got his second goal of the night with a wrist shot from the left circle. Nick Saracino added a big insurance marker at the 8:33 mark of the final frame, before Winston Day Chief tacked on an empty netter for the 5-2 triumph. Jordan Ruby made 28 saves to earn his first victory in a Wheeling uniform.

Indy on the Board In-State

The Indy Fuel made sure they didn't lose three straight games against their in-state rivals, the Fort Wayne Komets, as they joined the Nailers by silencing a large opposing crowd on Saturday night. Indy fell behind on a shorthanded goal by Jamie Schaafsma, but Matt Rupert had a quick answer to even the score in the opening stanza. Rupert then gave the Fuel their first lead of the night at the 6:15 mark of the second period, and that was followed by a shorthanded marker from Mathew Thompson, as Indy went ahead, 3-1. Jason Binkley tried to get a rally started in the first minute of the third period for Fort Wayne, but that fire was dissolved 33 seconds later by Olivier Labelle. Rupert completed his hat trick in the closing seconds, putting a bow on the second regulation win for the Fuel in five seasons at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. Matt Tomkins was the winning goaltender, as he stopped 28 of 30 shots.

Getting Their Phil Offensively

Two players who have stood out in the first two games of the weekend are forwards Cam Brown and Michael Phillips, as they have made large contributions on the scoresheet for the Nailers. Both players posted three-point nights on Saturday against Toledo, as Phillips notched two goals and an assist, while Brown flipped those numbers around with one goal and two assists. Wheeling has scored eight goals thus far this weekend, and it's the aforementioned duo leading the way with five points each. Phillips' performance is taking him to the top of a few categories for the Nailers, particularly on the man advantage, where he has three goals (2nd), five assists (T-1st), and eight points (1st). His two game winning goals are tied with Kevin Spinozzi for the top spot on the club. On the other side of the puck, Jordan Ruby has turned away 44 of 47 shots in 98 minutes of action.

Reversible Records

At 11-11-0, the 2018-19 season has been very even for the Fuel, but their record is made up of total opposites when broken down into home games and away games. Indy has had great success at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, winning eight of its 11 home matches. However, the road results haven't been friendly for the Fuel, who snapped a four-game road skid with their 5-2 victory at Fort Wayne on Saturday, while improving to 3-8-0 in enemy territory. Wheeling hasn't had as drastic of numbers as Indy, but the Nailers have started the year better on the road. Saturday's triumph at Toledo lifted Wheeling back to .500 away from WesBanco Arena at 5-5-0. Wheeling will look to turn around a 3-6-1 home mark with four of its next five games taking place in front of its loyal fanbase over the course of the next eight days.

Wrapping up the Divisional Run

Sunday afternoon marks the third of 11 head-to-head meetings between the Nailers and Fuel this season, as well as the third of nine battles at WesBanco Arena. The two new division rivals split the first two clashes, with Indy taking a 5-3 decision in Wheeling's home opener on November 3rd, before the Nailers responded with a 6-2 victory on November 30th. This game will complete a stretch of eight consecutive tilts against divisional foes for Wheeling, who has gone 3-4-0 thus far, earning wins against Cincinnati, Indy, and Toledo. The leaders in the first two games of the set are Kevin Spinozzi and Josh Shalla, who both have four points. Later on in December, the Nailers will make their first visit to Indiana Farmers Coliseum, before returning for their final trip just over a week later. This collision will break an 8-8 tie in the all-time series, as well as a 4-4 deadlock in West Virginia.


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