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Nailers vs. Grizzlies Game Day Snap Shot, January 11

January 11, 2019 - ECHL (ECHL) - Wheeling Nailers News Release

Wheeling Nailers (17-15-2-0, 36 Pts.) vs. Utah Grizzlies (21-8-3-1, 46 Pts.), 7:05 p.m.

WHEELING NAILERS

(17-15-2-0, 36 PTS, 5th Central, 10th West)

123 GF, 106 GA

PP: 21.5% (32-for-149), 4th

PK: 83.4% (131-for-157), 15th

NHL Affiliate: Pittsburgh Penguins

AHL Affiliate: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

27-F-Zac Lynch (9 goals, 23 assists, 32 points in 34 games)

10-F-Troy Josephs (15 goals, 10 assists, 25 points in 17 games)

4-F-Alex Rauter (9 goals, 16 assists, 25 points in 27 games)

9-F-Yushiroh Hirano (8 goals, 14 assists, 22 points in 29 games)

12-F-Renars Krastenbergs (10 goals, 11 assists, 21 points in 27 games)

23-F-Michael Phillips (8 goals, 13 assists, 21 points in 34 games)

1-G-John Muse (6-6-0 record, 2.83 GAA, .897 Sv% in 12 games)

UTAH GRIZZLIES

(21-8-3-1, 46 PTS, 1st Mountain, 3rd West)

116 GF, 88 GA

PP: 20.3% (32-for-158), 5th

PK: 85.9% (130-for-152), 7th

NHL Affiliate: Colorado Avalanche

AHL Affiliate: Colorado Eagles

21-F-Austin Carroll (10 goals, 12 assists, 22 points in 25 games)

15-F-Ryan Walters (6 goals, 16 assists, 22 points in 33 games)

23-F-Tim McGauley (11 goals, 10 assists, 21 points in 30 games)

7-F-J.T. Henke (11 goals, 6 assists, 17 points in 17 games)

28-F-Jake Marchment (7 goals, 10 assists, 17 points in 25 games)

11-D-Taylor Richart (4 goals, 8 assists, 12 points in 33 games)

37-G-Kevin Carr (11-2-1 record, 2.68 GAA, .901 Sv% in 14 games)

Head-to-Head

2017-18 Season Series: Did Not Play

All-Time Series: Nailers 4, Grizzlies 0

All-Time Series at WesBanco Arena: Nailers 4, Grizzlies 0

We Built a Snowman

The Wheeling Nailers had their best offensive performance of the season on Saturday night, as they trounced the Toledo Walleye, 8-2 at Huntington Center, earning their sixth divisional win of the season. Alex Rauter got the visitors off on the right foot, as he turned on the red light twice in a span of 2:32. After TJ Hensick put Toledo on the board, Johnny Austin tipped in a Mark Petaccio feed for his first professional goal. The puck continued to find the back of the net in the middle frame, as Troy Josephs and Yushiroh Hirano upped the Wheeling lead to four. Renars Krastenbergs, Cedric Lacroix, and Hirano put the finishing touches on the one-sided triumph during the third period, with Lacroix's goal completing the first Gordie Howe Hat Trick of the season for the Nailers. John Muse made 29 saves in the win, while Wheeling chased an opposing goaltender from the net for the second time this year.

Starting Successfully in Cincinnati

The Utah Grizzlies opened up a three-game Central Division road trip on Wednesday, as they took on a fellow first place club in the Cincinnati Cyclones. Utah surrendered the first goal of the night to Mike Marnell, but bounced back with a power play strike from J.T. Henke and an even strength marker by Ryan Walters to take a lead into the first intermission. The Cyclones responded with a strong second period, lighting the lamp twice, including Arvin Atwal's goal with two seconds left for a 3-2 advantage. With 4:55 left in regulation, Tim McGauley capitalized on a turnover, knotting the score, while assuring one point for each side, as overtime and a shootout were required. The shootout came down to the third and final round, and that is when the Grizzlies prevailed, as Jack Walker roofed his shot, then Joe Cannata shut the door on Myles Powell, clinching the 4-3 Utah win.

Next Man up Mentality

Both teams have had some dynamic talent on their rosters this season, which has led to players getting promoted to the American Hockey League. Three of Wheeling's top four scorers (Nick Saracino, Cam Brown, Kevin Spinozzi) are in the AHL, while Utah is without the services of its top three scorers, as Caleb Herbert and Matt Berry are in the AHL, while Cole Ully has missed five straight games due to injury. The Nailers showed how deep of a team they were on Saturday night, setting a season-high with eight goals, while ten of 16 skaters recorded at least one point. The Grizzlies have also had players rise to the occasion, as they have won four consecutive contests and eight of their last ten, dating back to the middle of December. Two big time contributors as of late have been Wheeling's Troy Josephs, who has 11 points in his last eight games, and Utah's J.T. Henke, who has 14 points in his last ten games.

Needing the Home Ice Advantage

January and early February will be a key part of the schedule for the Nailers, as the team will play a three-game homestand this weekend, followed by six consecutive contests in Nail City from January 25th-February 5th. Wheeling has had good success at WesBanco Arena lately, winning five of its last six home tilts, while knocking off at least one team from each of the ECHL's four divisions. On the season, the Nailers have gone 8-7-1 in their own venue - a place that has treated them very well over the years, as Wheeling has posted a winning home record in 23 of its first 26 seasons. The upcoming stretch of home matches will feature mostly Central Division games, as Indy visits three times, and Cincinnati, Fort Wayne, and Kalamazoo travel in once each, while Brampton, Reading, and Utah will help add some variety into the mix.

We See Them Every Couple of Years

Friday night marks the first and only head-to-head meeting between the Nailers and Grizzlies this season. Wheeling and Utah have met up before, as the Grizzlies came to town for two-game series during the 2014-15 and 2016-17 campaigns. The Nailers swept both of those sets, prevailing 5-2 and 7-3 the first year, then 5-4 and 4-1 the second time around. Two players remain from the last match - Wheeling's Dan Fick and Utah's Taylor Richart. Fick, Winston Day Chief, and Zac Lynch are the only Nailers who have ever played against the Grizzlies in their careers, while Richart and Stanislav Dzhakov are the lone Utah players who have skated against Wheeling. This will conclude the slate against the Mountain Division for the Nailers, who defeated Allen, 3-1 on December 12th. The Grizzlies are 3-2-0 against the Central Division, with one more game at Fort Wayne on Saturday.


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