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Wheeling Nailers Community Recap - March

March 31, 2016 - ECHL (ECHL) - Wheeling Nailers News Release

The regular season will come to an end in the next ten days, and while fun times and memories could certainly be ahead in the Kelly Cup Playoffs, the 2015-16 version of the Wheeling Nailers made some lasting impressions with their fanbase in March.

The month began with an important educational program throughout the country, as local schools celebrated "Read Across America Week." Two area schools invited Nailers players into their doors to celebrate the occasion, as Cody Wydo and Nilan Nagy visited Trinity North Elementary School in Washington, Pennsylvania, while Andrew Cerretani and Casey DeSmith read to students at Warwood Elementary School. Dr. Seuss books turned out to be popular selections, taking the players on fun trips down memory lane, as they turned the pages.

The highlight event from the middle of March was a trip to Augusta Levy Learning Center in Wheeling. Augusta Levy Learning Center is the first intensive autism treatment program in the Ohio Valley. When the players first arrived, the program directors gathered everyone in a circle for a warm-up with stretching and movement, as well as music playing in the background. Once everyone was loosened up, it was time for the kids to perform such activities as the balance beam, tumbles, and a tunnel, with the Nailers players coaching them along. The afternoon concluded with a kickball game.

Later that week, the community came to WesBanco Arena event, as sled hockey took center stage on the ECHL team's ice surface. Sled hockey is a sport designed to allow participants who have a physical disability to be able to partcipate in the fun of playing ice hockey. Players maneuver around the ice on a sled with two skate blades underneath, using two small hockey sticks with picks to help propel them along at faster speeds. This is the second straight season that the Nailers have held a sled hockey exhibition, and they were happy to welcome local high school and college players in, who helped with the event.

With the regular season winding down, the final event in March was one in which the Nailers had the opportunity to thank their fans, while performing some unusual duties for professional hockey players. Seven local area McDonald's locations opened their doors to 14 players, who turned into employees for a brief stretch of time. Some of the players took orders from customers at the front counter, while others distributed food or handled money at the Drive-Thru Window. While performing their new jobs, the players also handed out hats and ticket vouchers, while signing autographs and posing for pictures with their fans.

Two more exciting events are scheduled for the month of April. On Saturday night, April 2nd, the Nailers will host their annual Guns & Hoses Game. The contest will feature the Wheeling Police and Fire Departments going up against the Pittsburgh Police and Fire Departments, with face-off scheduled for 4:30. A donation will be made to the American Red Cross. Then, on Wednesday, April 6th, the Nailers will hold their Team Awards & Playoff Rally at Undo's in Elm Grove from 7-8:30. Ten different awards will be handed out, and that event will mark the final time that the fans will get to interact with the entire team away from the rink in 2015-16.

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