Walleye Win on Overtime Power Play
TOLEDO, OH - The Wheeling Nailers won the 5-on-5 battle against the Toledo Walleye on Saturday night at Huntington Center, but special teams went the other way. Toledo scored on three of its five man advantages, including TJ Hensick's goal at 3:33 of overtime, as the Walleye prevailed, 4-3 on their home ice. Wheeling picked up a point, thanks to Cam Hausinger's marker with the goalie pulled in the final two minutes.
The Nailers ran into a bit of penalty trouble in the first period, and Toledo was able to capitalize on the second of its three power play opportunities to score the opening goal of the contest. TJ Hensick centered the puck to Marcus Vela, who connected on a perfect redirection in the slot.
The tight tilt continued into the middle frame, but the score tied, as Wheeling produced an equalizer. Josh Maniscalco created the play, as he carried the puck into the slot, before dishing off for Cam Hausinger on the left side. Hausinger poked a pass to the top of the crease, where Maniscalco stepped up to punch it home. Nick Hutchison also assisted on the marker, as he collected a point for the 11th consecutive contest.
The two offenses opened up in the third. The Nailers took their lone lead of the night at the 3:43 mark. Dylan MacPherson let a shot go from the right point, which hopped off of a Walleye stick and trickled over the goal line. Toledo answered with a goal similar to its first, as Vela tipped in a centering feed from Josh Dickinson. 2:55 later, TJ Hensick put the Walleye ahead, as his left circle wrist shot bounced off of a Wheeling player and in. With 1:06 to go, Wheeling dug deep and came up with a tying tally to earn a point. Tim Doherty floated a wrist shot from the right wall, which got redirected into the cage by Cam Hausinger.
Unfortunately, the contest had an unhappy ending for the Nailers, who were victimized by Toledo's power play for the third time. Hensick recorded the winning goal in the 4-3 final with a wrist shot from the top of the right circle.
Victor Brattstrom got the win in goal for the Walleye, as he made 18 saves on 21 shots. Stefanos Lekkas played extremely well for Wheeling, as he turned aside 29 of the 33 shots he faced, including all 14 attempts in a busy second period.
The Nailers will return home on Sunday for Princesses & Pirates Day, as they host the Indy Fuel at 4:10. Fans are encouraged to dress up like their favorite princesses and pirates, plus there will be a post game skate with the even-numbered players. The next Big 6 Promotional Night is also right around the corner, as Elf Night takes place on Saturday, December 11th, which also features the annual Teddy Bear Toss. Season memberships, mini plans, and single game tickets are available, and fans can get more information by calling (304) 234-GOAL. The Wheeling Nailers, considered one of the top things to do in Wheeling, West Virginia, provide affordable family entertainment for fans throughout the Ohio Valley.
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