(17-14-3-0, 37 PTS, 4th North, T-6th East)
121 GF, 112 GA
PP: 21.7% (31-for-143), 1st
PK: 81.3% (113-for-139), 20th
21-F-Cam Brown (6 goals, 25 assists, 31 points in 34 games)
23-F-Garrett Meurs (13 goals, 15 assists, 28 points in 31 games)
8-F-Nick Sorkin (4 goals, 21 assists, 25 points in 32 games)
14-F-Riley Bourbonnais (10 goals, 10 assists, 20 points in 31 games)
26-D-Kevin Schulze (3 goals, 11 assists, 14 points in 21 games)
10-F-Troy Josephs (5 goals, 7 assists, 12 points in 13 games)
30-G-Colin Stevens (2-1-2 record, 2.98 GAA, .910 Sv% in 5 games)
(20-11-1-0, 41 PTS, 3rd Central, T-6th West)
104 GF, 87 GA
PP: 16.8% (21-for-125), 15th
PK: 78.7% (85-for-108), 25th
24-F-Justin Danforth (18 goals, 20 assists, 38 points in 32 games)
12-F-Jesse Schultz (13 goals, 23 assists, 36 points in 32 games)
16-F-Shawn O'Donnell (11 goals, 21 assists, 32 points in 25 games)
5-D-Eric Knodel (9 goals, 13 assists, 22 points in 24 games)
74-F-Brandon McNally (5 goals, 16 assists, 21 points in 32 games)
17-F-Winston Day Chief (13 goals, 1 assist, 14 points in 31 games)
31-G-Jonas Johansson (5-4-0 record, 3.02 GAA, .903 Sv% in 10 games)
Head to Head
Season Series: Cyclones 2, Nailers 1
Season Series at US Bank Arena: Cyclones 1, Nailers 0
All-Time Series: Nailers 61, Cyclones 61
All-Time Series at US Bank Arena: Cyclones 34, Nailers 28
Lighting up the Leaders
The Wheeling Nailers faced the North Division leading Manchester Monarchs on Friday night, and when all was said and done, they had a pretty good story to tell. After falling behind 1-0, the Nailers scored six straight goals over the course of the first two periods, taking a 6-2 lead into the second intermission. The first two tallies came in the closing stages of the first frame, as Riley Bourbonnais scored on a breakaway, then proceeded to bury a shot from the left circle. 17 seconds into the middle stanza, Chris Francis notched his first goal in a Wheeling uniform, tipping in an attempt by Jaynen Rissling. A few minutes later, Bourbonnais completed his hat trick on a 2-on-1 rush, with a wrister from the right circle. Dylan Zink and Nick Sorkin joined in the scoring party during period two, before Francis put the icing on the cake with an empty netter in the third for a 7-4 victory. Adam Morrison made 33 saves in the win.
Another Giant Falls
Three of the four division leaders in the ECHL suffered a loss on Friday, and the Cincinnati Cyclones joined the Nailers in being responsible for one of those results, as they blanked the Toledo Walleye, 3-0 at Huntington Center. It took until the 3:41 mark of the second period for the scoreless draw to be broken, and the Cyclones did so with a shorthanded marker, as Shawn O'Donnell potted his 11th goal of the season. The margin remained one into the third stanza, when Justin Vaive upped the advantage for the visitors. Winston Day Chief added one more strike for Cincinnati, who then turned to goaltender Jason Kasdorf to take them the rest of the way into the win column. Kasdorf, who won just five of 34 games last season as a rookie, was perfect on 29 shots for his first shutout of the season. ECHL All-Star Pat Nagle was 28-of-31 for the Walleye. The shutout was the second in a row for the Cyclones against Toledo.
Hats off to Riley
Riley Bourbonnais had himself a night on Friday, as he netted a hat trick, dished out one assist, and led the Nailers with eight shots on goal, as they took down Manchester, 7-4. After scoring one goal in his first 20 games of the season, Bourbonnais has turned up the heat in a big way, racking up seven goals in his last five outings. Friday night's hat trick was the second of Riley's young career, as he also turned on the red light three times in Wheeling's final home game of the 2016-17 season. The last Nailer player to score multiple hat tricks in his career was Cody Wydo, who had one each in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 campaigns. This hat trick by Bourbonnais came on the heels of a hat trick by Norfolk's Christian Horn on Wednesday night. Wheeling has now scored 90 hat tricks in 26 seasons all-time.
Charles Wasn't in Charge
For the fifth time this season, the Nailers chased an opposing goaltender, as they scored five times on 19 shots against Manchester starting goaltender Charles Williams, who entered Friday night's game with 13 wins. Wheeling also lit the lamp once against Branden Komm, who took over in relief. The first four netminders who didn't finish contests against the Nailers were Greenville's Ty Rimmer (3 goals on October 14th), Cincinnati's Anthony Peters (3 goals on October 21st - equipment issue), Brampton's Marcus Hogberg (6 goals on October 27th), and Indy's Collin Delia (5 goals on November 4th). Wheeling has only switched goaltenders once in its first 34 games, and ended up battling back to earn a point in that one on November 3rd against the Cyclones. The Nailers are now 11-0-0 when scoring at least five goals in a game this season.
Rockin' on the Riverfront
Saturday night marks the fourth of six head-to-head meetings between the Nailers and Cyclones, as well as the second and final battle at US Bank Arena. After Wheeling took the opening match 4-2 to start off its home season, Cincinnati has come out on top in the last two tilts, winning 4-3 in overtime on the road and 3-1 on home ice. Cam Brown and Justin Danforth are the leading scorers for the respective sides, as both players have five points in three matches. The Cyclones are holding their annual Throwback Night promotion, which is typically one of the highest attended games in the league. The last time the Nailers played in Cincinnati on Throwback Night was January 3, 2015, when a crowd of 12,825 witnessed a 3-2 decision for the home club. This season, Wheeling has played in three games with crowds of at least 7,000 fans, going 1-2-0.