Wheeling Nailers Weekly Report, November 12
Wednesday, November 7th: WHEELING NAILERS 1 @ Cincinnati Cyclones 4
The Wheeling Nailers got last week started with a divisional clash on the road against the Cincinnati Cyclones on Wednesday night. Zac Lynch opened the scoring for the visitors, but unfortunately, that was Wheeling's lone goal celebration of the night. Pascal Aquin and Justin Vaive scored 27 seconds apart from each other in the middle frame to put Cincinnati ahead, before Brady Vail and Mike Marnell iced the 4-1 victory in the third period. Michael Houser made 22 saves in the win, while John Muse stopped 23 shots for the Nailers.
Friday, November 9th: Greenville Swamp Rabbits 1 @ WHEELING NAILERS 5
The first win of the home season went Wheeling's way on Friday night, and the Nailers earned that triumph with an outstanding performance in all areas. Troy Josephs and Michael Phillips got the game off on the right foot with tallies in the first period, then Cedric Lacroix and Renars Krastenbergs added to the advantage in the middle stanza. Cam Brown tacked on one more goal in the third period, while John Muse and the defense stood tall, limiting Greenville to one goal on 18 shots. In addition to a pair of 5-on-5 goals, Wheeling also netted a power play goal, a shorthanded tally, and a 4-on-4 marker.
Saturday, November 10th: Greenville Swamp Rabbits 3 @ WHEELING NAILERS 2 (overtime)
In Saturday's re-match between Wheeling and Greenville, the Nailers fell behind early, but rallied back to earn one point by forcing overtime. The first goal for the Swamp Rabbits went to former Nailer Jake Bolton, who finished a stellar week with four goals in three games. Troy Josephs got Wheeling's comeback started in the late stages of the opening period, setting the stage for Nick Saracino's tying tally with 8:06 to go in the second. The two sides played to a scoreless third period, leading to overtime, which was when Austen Brassard rose up as the hero for Greenville at the 1:19 mark. Garrett Bartus made 27 saves in the win, while Matt O'Connor turned aside 18 shots in the defeat.
Tuesday, November 13th, 10:45 a.m.: Toledo Walleye @ WHEELING NAILERS
Tuesday morning is the first of two Education Day games for the Nailers in 2018-19, which has been fantastic news in previous seasons. Wheeling has earned at least one point in 11 straight morning games, posting a 9-0-2 record, including a 3-0-0 mark last year. The opponent comes in on quite the tear, as the Toledo Walleye have won eight straight games following a 1-1-1 start, opening up a three-point lead atop the Central Division. Toledo has won four consecutive division titles, and while the Nailers battled tough, the Walleye prevailed 4-2 in last year's season series. Toledo's top scorer is Shane Berschbach (8-11-19), while its top goaltender is Pat Nagle (6-0-1).
Friday, November 16th, 7:35 p.m.: WHEELING NAILERS @ Jacksonville IceMen
On Friday night, the Nailers will check off a new city on their historical road map, as they make their first ever visit to Jacksonville, Florida to tangle with the IceMen. Wheeling previously played two games against the Jacksonville Lizard Kings, but both of those tilts took place in West Virginia. Jacksonville joined the ECHL in 2017 from Evansville, following a one-year absence. After missing the playoffs by ten points last season, the IceMen roared out of the gates with five straight wins to start out this year. However, Jacksonville is 2-4-0 since then, including back-to-back road losses against the Florida Everblades over the weekend. The IceMen are led in scoring by Wacey Rabbit (7-6-13), while Mikhail Berdin (4-2-0) and Tanner Jaillet (3-2-0) have shared goaltending duties.
Saturday, November 17th, 7:05 p.m.: WHEELING NAILERS @ South Carolina Stingrays
Pleasant memories will return on Saturday night, when the Nailers enter North Charleston Coliseum for the first time since game seven of the 2016 Eastern Conference Final. Only three players remain from that contest - Dan Fick for Wheeling and Joey Leach and Marcus Perrier for South Carolina. The Stingrays reached the Kelly Cup Final in 2017, but lost in the first round last year, before Ryan Warsofsky accepted an assistant coaching position in the AHL. Under new head coach Spiros Anastas, South Carolina has gone 6-6-0 to start the year, playing nine of its first 12 games on the road. 2017-18 ECHL All-Rookie Team member Grant Besse leads the Stingrays in scoring (9-9-18), while Parker Milner (3-2-0) and former Nailer Adam Morrison (3-4-0) have manned the crease.
Sunday, November 18th, 3:05 p.m.: WHEELING NAILERS @ Greenville Swamp Rabbits
The season series will be on the line at Bon Secours Wellness Arena on Sunday afternoon, as the Nailers and Swamp Rabbits look to settle the score after a weekend split at WesBanco Arena. Wheeling's victory on Friday night ended a four-game winning streak for the road teams in the season set. The teams have alternated winning the season series in five consecutive years - a trend that the Nailers are hoping to end by coming out on the winning side in back-to-back years for the first time since 2012-13 and 2013-14. Greenville has began the season with a 4-8-1 record, as it tries to climb up the South Division Standings. Saturday's hero Austen Brassard is the team's top scorer (5-7-12), while Garrett Bartus (4-6-1) has been between the pipes for all but two games.
- The Nailers allowed 18 shots on goal to Greenville on Friday - the lowest shot total by an opponent since December 22, 2016, when Cincinnati recorded 17.
- Nine of the last 12 regular season games between Wheeling and Greenville have been won by the road team.
- Michael Phillips, Cedric Lacroix, and Renars Krastenbergs all scored their first career ECHL goals in Friday night's victory, while Robbie Hall dished out an assist for his first career ECHL point.
- Dan Fick appeared in his 200th professional game on Wednesday, and his 200th game as a Nailer on Saturday. The 200 games with Wheeling are seventh most all-time.
- Troy Josephs has recorded multiple points in three of six games.
Central Division Standings
1. Toledo Walleye 9-1-1-0, 19 pts.
2. Cincinnati Cyclones 7-3-2-0, 16 pts.
3. Indy Fuel 6-5-0-0, 12 pts.
4. Fort Wayne Komets 5-6-0-0, 10 pts.
5. Kalamazoo Wings 4-6-0-1, 9 pts.
6. WHEELING NAILERS 2-5-1-0, 5 pts.
Goals: Troy Josephs- 5
Assists: Zac Lynch- 6
Points: Zac Lynch- 9
Penalty Minutes: Cedric Lacroix- 42
Plus/Minus: Alex Rauter- +2
Wins: John Muse- 2
Goals Against Average: John Muse- 2.98
Save Percentage: John Muse- .891
Next Big Promotional Nights
Wednesday, November 21st- Marvel Super Hero Night - Special Jerseys, $2 Beers
Saturday, December 15th- NailerMania - Wrestling Legend, Teddy Bear Toss, Wear Your Ugly Sweater
Family Four Packs are available for Marvel Super Hero Night and NailerMania. Fans can get four tickets, four hats, and four McDonald's meal vouchers for $60.
Next Five Home Games
Tuesday, November 13th vs. Toledo Walleye, 10:45 a.m.
Wednesday, November 21st vs. Reading Royals, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, November 24th vs. Toledo Walleye, 7:05 p.m.
Sunday, November 25th vs. Cincinnati Cyclones, 3:05 p.m.
Friday, November 30th vs. Indy Fuel, 7:05 p.m.
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