BRAMPTON, ON- The Wheeling Nailers and Brampton Beast had their game go down to the final buzzer on Friday night, and unfortunately, when it sounded, the Nailers were eliminated from the 2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs. Brampton scored a pair of shorthanded goals in the first period, then added two more in the middle frame, before holding on to defeat Wheeling, 4-3 at Powerade Centre. Freddie Tiffels, Reid Gardiner, and Troy Josephs were the goal scorers for the Nailers.
The Nailers came out buzzing, and got the game's opening goal 3:13 into the first period. Cam Brown's initial shot got blocked, but Freddie Tiffels followed right behind him, roofing a wrist shot from the right circle. Unfortunately, the rest of the stanza went Brampton's way, who tied the score, then went ahead with a couple of shorthanded strikes. On the first goal, Erik Bradford sped down the right side, putting a shot on goal. Adam Morrison made the save, but the rebound kicked out to Brandon Marino, who converted from the left side of the slot. The second marker came courtesy of a strange bounce off of Brandon MacLean's tape.
The goals continued to fly in at a rapid rate in the middle frame. At the 1:25 mark, the Beast extended their lead. McLean's shot from the right circle got deflected to Luc-Olivier Blain, who turned the puck to his backhand, as he slid in the tally. Wheeling pulled to within one on a 4-on-4 goal. Brown and Tiffels teamed up to work the puck to Reid Gardiner, who banged in a one-timer from the low slot. Brampton's Scott Jacklin deposited a rebound goal at the 11:15 mark, before Matt Petgrave banked a puck into his own net, giving Troy Josephs a goal for the Nailers.
Neither team was able to light the lamp in the third period, as the Beast held on for the 4-3 win.
Chris Driedger backstopped the win for Brampton, turning away 41 of the 44 shots he faced. Adam Morrison suffered the loss for Wheeling, making 22 saves on 26 shots.
The Nailers will close out the 2017-18 regular season on Saturday night in Fort Wayne at 7:30 against the Komets. For information about 2018-19 season tickets, call (304) 234-GOAL.