Wheeling Nailers Weekly Report
Wed. 3/7 Worcester Railers 2 @ WHEELING NAILERS 5
McMullan (Wydo, Gardiner)
Tiffels (Josephs, Bourbonnais)
Fri. 3/9 Reading Royals 3 @ WHEELING NAILERS 4 (overtime)
Abt (Josephs, Schmit)
Tiffels (Meurs, Josephs)
Josephs (Gardiner, Morrison)
Sat. 3/10 Reading Royals 6 @ WHEELING NAILERS 3
Wydo (Gardiner, Sorkin)
Josephs (Sorkin, Laakso)
Meurs (Francis, Laakso)
Tirone- 17/22 (L), Morrison- 12/13
Last week, the Wheeling Nailers won two out of three home games against North Division opponents, maintaining an eight-point lead over the Worcester Railers for fourth place. Worcester was the first team that Wheeling defeated, as the Nailers continued their strong performances in morning games, collecting a 5-2 victory on Wednesday. Freddie Tiffels was ready to go from the start, as he scored just 1:16 into the contest. Ross McMullan tallied later in the opening frame, but the key goal went to Garrett Meurs, who snapped a 2-2 deadlock with 6:56 left in the third period. Cody Wydo and Tiffels tacked on insurance markers in the closing minutes. On Friday night, the Nailers played a thrilling match against the Reading Royals, which came down to the final shot. Matt Abt and Danny Fick built a 2-0 lead for Wheeling, before Reading rattled off three straight strikes to turn the game into its favor. Tiffels slammed home a rebound to force overtime with 1:19 left, and in the extra session, Troy Josephs was the hero at the 2:34 mark. Adam Morrison backstopped both triumphs in goal. Unfortunately, the Nailers came one win shy of a sweeping the week, as they fell 6-3 to the Royals on Saturday night, despite goals by Wydo, Josephs, and Meurs.
Wednesday's victory was Wheeling's eighth in a row in a home morning game, running the club's record to 9-0-2 in its last 11 morning games overall. Freddie Tiffels has seven goals in his last seven games, including a pair of two-goal outings since he returned from the AHL. Garrett Meurs scored his 20th goal of the season on Wednesday, becoming the fourth different Nailer to score 20 goals this season. This is the first time since 2010-11 that Wheeling has had four players score 20 goals in the same season. The Nailers were also the first team in the ECHL to achieve that feat in 2017-18. Nick Sorkin played in his 200th professional game on Friday, while Matt Abt made his professional debut that night, which also featured his first career goal. Wheeling has earned two of its five overtime wins against Reading this season, giving the Nailers seven overtime wins against the Royals since the start of the 2013-14 campaign. Kevin Spinozzi, Jerry Laakso, and Danny Tirone all made their Wheeling debuts last week, as the Nailers set a new team record, using 54 different players this year. The Nailers welcomed their largest crowd of the season to WesBanco Arena on Saturday, as 5,249 fans attended Pittsburgh Penguins Night.
Fri. 3/16 WHEELING NAILERS @ Worcester Railers, 7:05
Sat. 3/17 WHEELING NAILERS @ Adirondack Thunder, 3:00
This week, the Wheeling Nailers will head out on the road for a couple of tilts, as they continue their run of 11 straight games against North Division foes. On Friday night, the Nailers will clash with the Worcester Railers for the fourth time this month, following Wheeling's 5-2 victory last Wednesday. Wheeling has won four of seven games against Worcester, including a 2-1-1 mark at DCU Center. The Railers only played once after losing to the Nailers on Wednesday, as they edged the Adirondack Thunder, 3-2 on Sunday, in a 12-round shootout. Worcester will play host to Fort Wayne and Utah to close out the weekend. On Saturday, Wheeling will make its way to Glens Falls for an afternoon showdown with the Thunder to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. The Nailers have gone 2-0-1 against Adirondack, who leads Wheeling by six points for second place in the North Division, which would secure home ice advantage in round one of the Kelly Cup Playoffs. The Thunder have earned points in nine of their last ten games, going 6-1-3 during that time.
Upcoming Home Games/Promotions
Wed. Mar. 21- WesBanco Winning Wednesday
Fri. Mar. 23- Can Koozie Giveaway (first 2,000 fans), Frosty Friday
Sat. Mar. 24- Charity Night for WVU Children's Hospital
Tue. Mar. 27- Two for Tuesday (2 tickets for $22)
Sat. Mar. 31- Fan Appreciation Night, Trading Card Set Giveaway (first 2,500 fans), Post Game Autograph Session (full team), Diamond Ring Giveaway for one lucky fan, Prizes Throughout the Game
Goals: 26, Reid Gardiner
Assists: 43, Nick Sorkin
Points: 55, Cody Wydo
Penalty Minutes: 124, Dan Milan
Plus/Minus: +14, Riley Bourbonnais
Wins: 14, Adam Morrison
Goals Against Average: 3.14, Adam Morrison
Save Percentage: .906, Adam Morrison
North Division Standings
1. Manchester Monarchs 36-20-3-2, 77 pts.
2. Adirondack Thunder 34-21-3-4, 75 pts.
3. Reading Royals 33-21-7-0, 73 pts.
4. WHEELING NAILERS 31-24-6-1, 69 pts.
5. Worcester Railers 27-25-4-3, 61 pts.
6. Brampton Beast 23-28-6-4, 56 pts.
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