WHEELING, WV- WesBanco Winning Wednesdays have been victorious for the Wheeling Nailers three times in a row during the 2017 calendar year. On this particular Wednesday night, the Nailers got large contributions from their offense. Cody Wydo scored his second career hat trick, Michael Webster lit the lamp twice, and Christian Hilbrich dished out three assists, while Sean Maguire was equally as good in goal, making 40 saves. Wheeling earned a key 6-3 win over the division rival Brampton Beast, shrinking the gap to four points between four teams in the North Division.
The first period featured lots of goals in a short stretch of time. Wheeling got on the scoreboard first at the 13:06 mark. Zachary Fucale spun a puck around the boards, but had it intercepted by Michael Webster, who stepped up and converted on a slap shot from the top of the left circle. Brampton responded 24 seconds later. Chris Leveille was persistent in the offensive zone, working his way through, and slipping in a backhander. The Nailers regained their advantage 62 seconds after that. Tyler Currier tipped the puck to Christian Hilbrich, who let a shot go from the left circle. Cody Wydo got a deflection, temporarily pulling himself into a tie for the team lead with his 17th tally of the season. 56 seconds later, Wheeling turned on the red light again. Currier buzzed in with a left circle wrist shot, which was padded away, but a juicy rebound squirted out to Kevin Schulze, who deposited it into the gaping right side of the net. A glass breaking led to a delay and an ice resurfacing, and it took the Nailers three seconds to extend the lead after the stoppage. Hilbrich won a face-off to Wydo, who launched a shot passed Andrew D'Agostini. D'Agostini took over in relief of Zachary Fucale, who was chased with three goals on eight shots.
In the latter stages of period two, the two sides exchanged markers, allowing Wheeling to maintain its three-goal edge. Webster pocketed his second of the evening with 5:24 to go, when he let a wrist shot go from the top of the right circle, sailing it home on the power play. Brampton's strike also came with a difference in man power, as David Vallorani capitalized on a 5-on-3, firing in a wrist shot from the bottom of the right circle.
Wydo completed his hat trick at the 14:03 mark of the third period, despite attempting to be unselfish. Danny Fick banked a pass ahead, leading Wydo in on a 2-on-1 rush. Wydo tried to snap a pass across to a teammate, but ended up getting it back, which allowed him to slam home his third of the night. Tim Billingsley crushed a slap shot with 1:07 left, while the Beast were on a power play, changing which goaltender got the loss, while making the final score 6-3 in favor of the Nailers.
Sean Maguire made a career-high 40 saves in the win for Wheeling. Zachary Fucale gave up three goals on eight shots for Brampton, before giving way to Andrew D'Agostini, who ended up with the loss, after surrendering three goals on 16 shots.
The Nailers and Beast will meet again on Friday night, when a Flat Screen Friday and Frosty take place at 7:35. Then, on Saturday, it's A Valley Divided on Steelers vs. Browns Night. Fans are invited to wear their favorite football team's colors, while getting a chance to meet Merril Hoge and Earnest Byner. The puck drops at 7:05 against Kalamazoo. To purchase tickets, or to get more information on season tickets, mini plans, group tickets, and more, call (304) 234-GOAL.