WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced their schedule for the 2017-18 regular season. The 26th season of professional hockey in Wheeling will consist of 28 weekend dates on home ice, including New Year's Eve, and 13 different opponents, with 36 of 72 games taking place against teams in the North Division.
The 2017-18 season will begin on the road, as the Nailers will travel to Greenville, South Carolina for the first time since the 2014 Kelly Cup Playoffs for a two-game series against the Swamp Rabbits on October 13th and 14th. The 26th home opener in team history will take place the following week, when Wheeling battles the nearby Cincinnati Cyclones on Saturday, October 21st at 7:05. October concludes with the first divisional set of the year - two games north of the border against the Brampton Beast.
November is a balanced month, with six games at home and six on the road. Cincinnati makes a quick return trip to Wheeling on the 3rd, before the Nailers travel to Indy the following night. The second weekend of November will see the first 3-in-3 of the year, as a Saturday trip to Toledo is sandwiched by a Friday home game against the Walleye on the 10th, and the first visit by the Norfolk Admirals in two years on the 12th. Tuesday, November 14th is the first of two Education Day games on the 2017-18 docket, as Wheeling battles the Adirondack Thunder at 10:45 a.m. The Nailers will spend November 17th and 18th in Norfolk, leading into a busy Thanksgiving Week. The week begins with the first ever game against the Worcester Railers at WesBanco Arena on Thanksgiving Eve. Wheeling will visit Cincinnati for an afternoon game on Black Friday, before a re-match with the Railers at home on Saturday the 25th. The last game of the week and month is Sunday the 26th at Reading.
Three games in three days at home get the fun started in December. The Nailers will clash with the Royals on the 1st and 2nd, while the Fort Wayne Komets make their first appearance of the year on the 3rd. Five of the next six games will be played on the road, as Wheeling will go to Reading three times, as well as Indy and Toledo once each, with a home game against the Fuel mixed in on the 12th. Fans who return to the Ohio Valley for the holidays will be able to get their fill of the excitement, starting with a two-game home series against Brampton on December 22nd and 23rd. The Nailers will travel to Fort Wayne on the 29th, before spending the other two days of New Year's Weekend at home, taking the ice against Toledo on the 30th and Indy on the 31st, with the New Year's Eve game starting at 6:05.
The puck drops on the 2018 calendar year in Norfolk on January 3rd, gearing the team up for its busiest home month of the campaign. Wheeling will play nine home games in January, starting with a visit from the Manchester Monarchs on the Friday the 5th. After a venture to Cincinnati on the 6th, the Nailers will return for four home games in seven days against Fort Wayne, Adirondack, and Norfolk (2). The ECHL All-Star Classic will be played in Indy on January 15th, before Wheeling makes its first trip to New England for games in Manchester on the 19th and Worcester on the 20th and 21st. The longest homestand of the season (seven games) stretches from the end of January to the beginning of February. January concludes with four games in five days, with Kalamazoo, Reading, and Manchester (2) all traveling to the Friendly City.
The two clubs from Indiana will get February started at WesBanco Arena, as the Fuel will be the visitors on the 2nd, followed by the Komets for an 8:05 game on the 3rd. The last game of the homestand takes place on the 6th against Toledo. The Nailers will then get a chance to enjoy some sunshine, when they play a three-game series at Amway Center against the Orlando Solar Bears - their first trip to Orlando since the 2012-13 season. They will be hoping their play on the ice will be just as hot as the Floridian weather, when the team returns home for games against Fort Wayne on February 16th and Cincinnati on February 17th. The longest road stretch of the season is six games, which will be spread across three trips. First up is one game at Reading on the 18th. Then comes the lone contest of the year at Wings Event Center against Kalamazoo on the 21st. Finally, four games in the northeast against Adirondack, Manchester, and Worcester (2), as the calendar flips over to March.
The first home game of March is the second Education Day game of the campaign, as the Railers will have to wake up early for the 10:45 a.m. start time on the 7th. Timing goes back to normal, when the Reading Royals come to town on the 9th and 10th. One more swing through the northeast is on tap for St. Patrick's Day Weekend, as Wheeling will play three games in three days in three states, colliding with Worcester, Adirondack, and Reading. A three-game week at home follows, as the Nailers will host Worcester on March 21st, Brampton on March 23rd, and Cincinnati on March 24th. A trip to Toledo on the 30th sets up the final home game of the regular season - a 7:05 tilt against Manchester on Saturday the 31st. The final two games of the regular season will both be played on the road - April 6th in Brampton and April 7th in Fort Wayne.
The 2017-18 home schedule consists of 11 Friday games, 12 Saturday games, and five Sunday games, making up 28 of the 36 home dates. Two of the eight midweek home dates are Education Day games, and one is Thanksgiving Eve. The opposition breakdown is as follows: Reading 11 (5H, 6A), Worcester 9 (4H, 5A), Manchester 6 (4H, 2A), Cincinnati 6 (4H, 2A), Fort Wayne 6 (4H, 2A), Brampton 6 (3H, 3A), Toledo 6 (3H, 3A), Norfolk 6 (3H, 3A), Indy 5 (3H, 2A), Adirondack 4 (2H, 2A), Orlando 3 (3A), Kalamazoo 2 (1H, 1A), and Greenville 2 (2A).
Home games from Monday through Saturday will take place at 7:05 (exceptions: November 14, February 3, March 7), and Sunday home games will take place at 3:05 (exception: December 31).
2017-18 WHEELING NAILERS SCHEDULE
Fri. Oct. 13 at Greenville, 7:00
Sat. Oct. 14 at Greenville, 7:00
Sat. Oct. 21 vs. Cincinnati, 7:05
Fri. Oct. 27 at Brampton, 7:15
Sun. Oct. 29 at Brampton, 2:00
Fri. Nov. 3 vs. Cincinnati, 7:05
Sat. Nov. 4 at Indy, 7:35
Fri. Nov. 10 vs. Toledo, 7:05
Sat. Nov. 11 at Toledo, 7:15
Sun. Nov. 12 vs. Norfolk, 3:05
Tue. Nov. 14 vs. Adirondack, 10:45 AM
Fri. Nov. 17 at Norfolk, 7:00
Sat. Nov. 18 at Norfolk, 7:00
Wed. Nov. 22 vs. Worcester, 7:05
Fri. Nov. 24 at Cincinnati, 2:35
Sat. Nov. 25 vs. Worcester, 7:05
Sun. Nov. 26 at Reading, 4:00
Fri. Dec. 1 vs. Reading, 7:05
Sat. Dec. 2 vs. Reading, 7:05
Sun. Dec. 3 vs. Fort Wayne, 3:05
Wed. Dec. 6 at Reading, 7:00
Fri. Dec. 8 at Indy, 7:35
Sat. Dec. 9 at Toledo, 7:15
Tue. Dec. 12 vs. Indy, 7:05
Fri. Dec. 15 at Reading, 7:00
Sat. Dec. 16 at Reading, 7:00
Fri. Dec. 22 vs. Brampton, 7:05
Sat. Dec. 23 vs. Brampton, 7:05
Fri. Dec. 29 at Fort Wayne, 8:05
Sat. Dec. 30 vs. Toledo, 7:05
Sun. Dec. 31 vs. Indy, 6:05
Wed. Jan. 3 at Norfolk, 7:00
Fri. Jan. 5 vs. Manchester, 7:05
Sat. Jan. 6 at Cincinnati, 7:35
Sun. Jan. 7 vs. Fort Wayne, 3:05
Wed. Jan. 10 vs. Adirondack, 7:05
Fri. Jan. 12 vs. Norfolk, 7:05
Sat. Jan. 13 vs. Norfolk, 7:05
Fri. Jan. 19 at Manchester, 7:00
Sat. Jan. 20 at Worcester, 7:05
Sun. Jan. 21 at Worcester, 3:05
Wed. Jan. 24 vs. Kalamazoo, 7:05
Fri. Jan. 26 vs. Reading, 7:05
Sat. Jan. 27 vs. Manchester, 7:05
Sun. Jan. 28 vs. Manchester, 3:05
Fri. Feb. 2 vs. Indy, 7:05
Sat. Feb. 3 vs. Fort Wayne, 8:05
Tue. Feb. 6 vs. Toledo, 7:05
Fri. Feb. 9 at Orlando, 7:00
Sat. Feb. 10 at Orlando, 7:00
Sun. Feb. 11 at Orlando, 1:30
Fri. Feb. 16 vs. Fort Wayne, 7:05
Sat. Feb. 17 vs. Cincinnati, 7:05
Sun. Feb. 18 at Reading, 4:00
Wed. Feb. 21 at Kalamazoo, 7:00
Sun. Feb. 25 at Adirondack, 4:00
Wed. Feb. 28 at Manchester, 7:00
Fri. Mar. 2 at Worcester, 7:05
Sat. Mar. 3 at Worcester, 7:05
Wed. Mar. 7 vs. Worcester, 10:45 AM
Fri. Mar. 9 vs. Reading, 7:05
Sat. Mar. 10 vs. Reading, 7:05
Fri. Mar. 16 at Worcester, 7:05
Sat. Mar. 17 at Adirondack, 3:00
Sun. Mar. 18 at Reading, 4:00
Wed. Mar. 21 vs. Worcester, 7:05
Fri. Mar. 23 vs. Brampton, 7:05
Sat. Mar. 24 vs. Cincinnati, 7:05
Fri. Mar. 30 at Toledo, 7:15
Sat. Mar. 31 vs. Manchester, 7:05
Fri. Apr. 6 at Brampton, 7:15
Sat. Apr. 7 at Fort Wayne, 7:30
Stay tuned to wheelingnailers.com, the Nailers app, and social media networks for all of the latest information throughout the summer, as the team prepares for the 2017-18 season. To purchase season tickets, or to receive more information, call the Nailers at (304) 234-GOAL.