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Nailers vs. IceMen Game Day Snap Shot

April 3, 2015 - ECHL (ECHL) - Wheeling Nailers News Release

Wheeling Nailers (33-31-1-1, 68 PTS) vs. Evansville IceMen (14-45-5-3, 36 PTS)

WHEELING NAILERS

(33-31-1-1, 68 PTS, 4th North, 10th East)

193 GF, 195 GA

PP: 16.9% (43-for-255), 14th

PK: 84.3% (231-for-274), 7th

23-F-Riley Brace (18 goals, 43 assists, 61 points in 55 games)

16-F-Derek Army (26 goals, 34 assists, 60 points in 66 games)

15-F-Zack Torquato (17 goals, 39 assists, 56 points in 53 games)

12-F-David Gilbert (16 goals, 21 assists, 37 points in 59 games)

20-F-Jarrett Burton (12 goals, 16 assists, 28 points in 50 games)

98-F-Chaz Johnson (16 goals, 10 assists, 26 points in 59 games)

9-D-David Makowski (7 goals, 8 assists, 15 points in 38 games)

30-G-Eric Hartzell (16-13-1 record, 2.68 GAA, .915 Sv% in 30 games)

EVANSVILLE ICEMEN

(14-45-5-3, 36 PTS, 7th North, 14th East)

159 GF, 255 GA

PP: 13.1% (32-for-244), 28th

PK: 81.0% (213-for-263), 19th

32-F-Jarret Lukin (12 goals, 26 assists, 38 points in 56 games)

10-F-Robin Soudek (17 goals, 19 assists, 36 points in 57 games)

5-D-Spencer Humphries (3 goals, 23 assists, 26 points in 62 games)

8-D-Brandon Martell (8 goals, 13 assists, 21 points in 64 games)

16-F-Myles Bell (10 goals, 9 assists, 19 points in 41 games)

92-F-Peter Sakaris (9 goals, 9 assists, 18 points in 54 games)

12-F-Colin Murray (10 goals, 7 assists, 17 points in 53 games)

35-G-Branden Komm (3-9-2 record, 3.50 GAA, .897 Sv% in 18 games)

Head-to-Head

Season Series: IceMen 2, Nailers 1

Season Series at WesBanco Arena: First Meeting

All-Time Series: Nailers 5, IceMen 5

All-Time Series at WesBanco Arena: Nailers 4, IceMen 1

Foolishly Good Goaltending

The Wheeling Nailers were unable to collect their fourth consecutive win on Wednesday night against the Elmira Jackals, but it wasn't for a lack of effort and shooting. Wheeling peppered the Elmira net with 57 shots, but was only able to solve Travis Fullerton once, as Jarrett Burton potted the rebound of Mike Ratchuk's point shot off of a first period face-off. The Nailers seemed to be in control of the contest during the opening stanza, until the Jackals pulled even with a Matt Harlow goal before the buzzer. Ryan Rashid put Elmira ahead during the second period, before a shorthanded tally by Thomas Nesbitt and one more insurance marker from Lucas Bloodoff put the finishing touches on a 4-1 final score. Eric Hartzell also had a busy evening for the Nailers, making 33 saves, while Brandon Whitney denied two shots in relief.

IceMen Facing an Avalanche

The Evansville IceMen have suffered through a rough season in 2014-15, particularly in the last two months. Since the start of February, the IceMen have picked up two wins, defeating the Kalamazoo Wings 7-3 on February 21st, before a 2-1 victory over the Nailers on March 10th. Since that last triumph, Evansville has been on the wrong side of the scoreboard in each of its last ten games, which included the team's final five home dates of the regular season. On Wednesday night, the IceMen embarked on their season-ending six-game road trip with a 4-1 setback to the Fort Wayne Komets. Joe Zarbo produced the lone tally for Evansville, while Alex Vazzano made 29 saves in his fourth professional appearance.

That's a Lot of Bodies

While everyone in the Evansville lineup for Friday has played in at least one game, there has been no shortage of the amount of players who have suited up for the IceMen, who have gone seen 54 different players put the uniform on at one point during the campaign. Some of the most recent additions have been Alex Vazzano, Cody Freeman, Luke Greiner, Joe Zarbo, Kyle Shapiro, and Chris Rumble. Rumble possesses one of the more fascinating stories, as the son of former NHL defenseman Darren Rumble is also a cancer survivor. Among the recent additions, Zarbo has been the most productive, with two goals and four points. The Nailers are expected to see Tommy Fallen make his professional debut out of Yale University, while another young new face could also join the club at some point over the weekend.

Playing Short Can Be Beneficial

Special teams play was one of the turning points of Wednesday's game between the Nailers and Jackals, as Elmira's 3-for-3 performance on the penalty kill kept the home team in the game, allowing for the tying goal to be scored in the final second of the stanza. In addition to having a perfect penalty kill, the Jackals also netted a shorthanded goal, which has been a sore subject for Wheeling's power play, as it was the 16th time that the opposition lit the lamp, while playing a man down. While those numbers aren't the most pleasant, the Nailers have been superb on the penalty kill themselves as of late, climbing into seventh place in the ECHL with an 84.3% success rate, which includes 20 successful kills in a row and 26 of the last 27.

Almost a Year to the Day

Friday night marks the fourth and final head-to-head meeting between the Nailers and IceMen this season, as well as the lone battle between the two clubs at WesBanco Arena. Evansville's last visit to town came all the way back on April 4th of last season, when Wheeling applied the final nail in the IceMen's playoff hopes with a 4-1 victory. Thus far this season, Evansville has had the edge, coming out on top in two of the three prior clashes. Most recently, the two sides met up for a quick two-game series in Indiana in March, with the IceMen prevailing 2-1 in the opener, before the Nailers answered with a 5-2 triumph two nights later. Home ice dominance has been the story of the three-year all-time series, as both squads have gone 4-1 in their respective buildings.

The Nailers have two home games remaining in the 2014-15 regular season, with a 7:35 tilt against the Evansville IceMen on April 3rd and a 7:35 battle against the Elmira Jackals on April 10th. Both nights will be Flat Screen Fridays, Frosty Fridays, and Player Poster Giveaways, while the regular season home finale will be Fan Appreciation Night.

Wheeling Nailers 2015-16 season tickets, as well as flex tickets, group tickets and single-game tickets for 2014-15 are on sale now. For more information, call 304-234-GOAL or visit wheelingnailers.com.

Listen to all Nailers regular season and post-season games live on the Valley's rock station EAGLE 107.5 FM, on www.iheartradio.com or watch live on www.echl.tv. Catch every road game live on WLUTV on Comcast Cable 14.


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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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