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Wheeling Nailers Weekly Report

January 24, 2018 - ECHL (ECHL) - Wheeling Nailers News Release

Last week, the Wheeling Nailers spent some time on the road, and kept their winning ways rolling, as they went 2-1-0 to grab sole possession of second place in the North Division. On Friday night, the Nailers battled back from a 2-0 deficit on goals by Cam Brown and Reid Gardiner, but the Manchester Monarchs prevailed 3-2, thanks to Michael Doherty's tally with 6:20 remaining. On Saturday night, Wheeling got on the board right away, as Riley Bourbonnais opened the scoring against the Worcester Railers at DCU Center. Jeff Taylor snapped a 1-1 deadlock later in the first frame, but the night belonged to Reid Gardiner, who netted a hat trick in a 5-2 Nailers triumph. On Sunday afternoon, Wheeling completed its second consecutive two-game sweep of an opponent, as it downed the Railers, 4-2. Gardiner and Taylor both found the net for the second day in a row, and were joined by Troy Josephs and Cody Wydo. Adam Morrison backstopped both victories, with identical 28-save performances.

With a 23-16-3 record, the Nailers have matched their best mark of the season, as they are seven games over .500 for the third time. Wheeling had a lead of at least two goals in both of its wins over the weekend, and now owns a record of 20-1-0 in games when it leads by multiple goals. On Friday, Reid Gardiner became the second straight Nailer to score on his birthday, following in the footsteps of Garrett Meurs, who achieved the feat exactly one week earlier. Adam Morrison is hoping that theory applies to wins, when the team faces Orlando on February 9th. Zach Tolkinen appeared in his 250th professional game on Friday, while Kevin Schulze suited up in his 100th professional game on Saturday. Riley Bourbonnais has opened the scoring three times this season, and all three markers have come during the first two minutes of games. Reid Gardiner scored the third Wheeling hat trick this season, and in doing so, added to his team-high with his sixth game winning goal. Cody Wydo's goal on Sunday was his 69th as a Nailer, tying him with Sean Collins for sixth in team history. Adam Morrison has won each of his last five starts, and is 7-2-0 in his last nine games.

This week, the Wheeling Nailers will begin their longest homestand of the season, as they will play their next seven games in the Friendly City, looking to build on a 13-6-1 home mark. On Wednesday night, the Nailers will face the Kalamazoo Wings for the first time in 2017-18, after beating them in seven of ten meetings a year ago. Kalamazoo currently sits in fourth place in the tight Central Division, trailing Kansas City by one point, while leading Cincinnati by one point. Former Nailer Kyle Bushee represented the Wings at the ECHL All-Star Classic, and is their leading defensive scorer with 27 points. On Friday night, Wheeling welcomes a familiar opponent to town in the Reading Royals. Reading leads the season series, 4-3, but three of the four remaining matches will be played at WesBanco Arena. The Nailers lead the Royals by three points in the North Division. On Saturday and Sunday, Wheeling will wrap up the weekend against the Manchester Monarchs. The home team has won all five games played between the two clubs historically, and the Nailers will look to continue that trend against the division leaders.

Nailers Leaders Goals: 21, Reid Gardiner Assists: 27, Cam Brown Points: 39, Cam Brown Penalty Minutes: 96, Garrett Meurs Plus/Minus: +12, Garrett Meurs & Dan Milan Wins: 8, Sean Maguire Goals Against Average: 2.88, Adam Morrison Save Percentage: .912, Will King Shutouts: 0

North Division Standings 1. Manchester Monarchs 24-14-3-1, 52 pts. 2. WHEELING NAILERS 23-16-3-0, 49 pts. 3. Adirondack Thunder 22-17-1-2, 47 pts. 4. Reading Royals 22-18-2-0, 46 pts. 5. Brampton Beast 17-17-1-3, 38 pts. 6. Worcester Railers 15-19-3-2, 35 pts.

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