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 Wheeling Nailers

Yee-Haw: Nailers Gallop Past Wings on Country Night

February 24, 2024 - ECHL (ECHL)
Wheeling Nailers News Release

Wheeling Nailers' Taylor Gauthier in action
Wheeling Nailers' Taylor Gauthier in action
(Wheeling Nailers)

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers played a smart and disciplined game on Saturday night, while also cashing in on their biggest opportunity of the contest, as they gave 3,151 fans a 2-1 victory to celebrate against the Kalamazoo Wings at WesBanco Arena. Taylor Gauthier backstopped his 20th win of the campaign with 23 saves, while Justin Lee and Jordan Frasca both tallied on the power play. Wheeling didn't spend a single second on the penalty kill.

Defense and goaltending were the names of the game for the first 37 minutes of action, as neither side was able to turn on the red light. That changed in the closing minutes of the second period, when Kalamazoo took three straight penalties, and the Nailers cashed in twice during a pair of 5-on-3's. Justin Lee put the home squad on the board with 2:21 remaining, when he stepped into the left circle and whipped a wrist shot into the right side of the cage. 1:11 later, Jordan Frasca battled his way into the low slot, where he shuffled David Jankowski's one-time feed through goaltender Jonathan Lemieux's legs. Evan Vierling assisted on both markers in his return to the lineup.

Kalamazoo spoiled the shutout bid in the final minute of the contest, as Collin Adams swatted in a loose puck on the left side of the slot, while Brad Morrison went sliding into the crease. The Nailers buttoned things up in the closing seconds to preserve the 2-1 win.

Taylor Gauthier earned the 14th season of at least 20 wins for a Wheeling netminder, and the first since 2015-16, as he denied 23 of the 24 shots he faced. Jonathan Lemieux took the loss for the Wings, despite a busy evening of 37 saves on 39 shots.

The Nailers and Wings will finish off the weekend on Sunday afternoon at 4:10. That game is a Screen Time Sunday, in which one lucky fan will win a free TV, courtesy of Walmart. There will also be a post-game skate with even-numbered players, and $2 ice cream sundaes will be available for kids at Flurry's. The next Big Six Promotional Game is Wizards & Wands on Saturday, March 23rd. 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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Wheeling Nailers' Taylor Gauthier in action
Wheeling Nailers' Taylor Gauthier in action


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