(19-15-3-0, 41 PTS, 4th North, 6th East)
133 GF, 121 GA
PP: 21.4% (33-for-154), 1st
PK: 80.8% (122-for-151), 22nd
21-F-Cam Brown (9 goals, 27 assists, 36 points in 37 games)
23-F-Garrett Meurs (14 goals, 17 assists, 31 points in 34 games)
24-F-Reid Gardiner (16 goals, 14 assists, 30 points in 32 games)
8-F-Nick Sorkin (4 goals, 23 assists, 27 points in 35 games)
14-F-Riley Bourbonnais (11 goals, 12 assists, 23 points in 34 games)
26-D-Kevin Schulze (4 goals, 13 assists, 17 points in 24 games)
30-G-Colin Stevens (2-2-2 record, 3.24 GAA, .906 Sv% in 6 games)
(13-18-3-1, 30 PTS, 6th South, 12th East)
107 GF, 136 GA
PP: 17.5% (29-for-166), 16th
PK: 84.9% (129-for-152), 8th
7-F-Brodie Dupont (11 goals, 26 assists, 37 points in 35 games)
12-F-Grant Besse (14 goals, 16 assists, 30 points 31 games)
14-F-Darik Angeli (12 goals, 13 assists, 25 points in 30 games)
16-F-Thomas Frazee (7 goals, 16 assists, 23 points in 28 games)
25-D-TJ Melancon (6 goals, 12 assists, 18 points in 30 games)
4-D-Michael Young (5 goals, 12 assists, 17 points in 32 games)
1-G-Jamie Murray (3-5-2 record, 4.18 GAA, .888 Sv% in 12 games)
Head to Head
Season Series: Nailers 2, Admirals 2
Season Series at WesBanco Arena: Nailers 1, Admirals 0
All-Time Series: Nailers 5, Admirals 5
All-Time Series at WesBanco Arena: Nailers 2, Admirals 1
Had it All the Way
The Wheeling Nailers took an early lead in their game on Wednesday night, and maintained their advantage on the scoreboard throughout the contest, earning their third straight home win, as they bounced the Adirondack Thunder, 6-3 at WesBanco Arena. Wheeling opened the scoring just 1:09 into the game, when Riley Bourbonnais stole the puck, and buried a shot on a 2-on-1 rush. Garrett Meurs upped the lead less than three minutes later, with a zipper from the right side of the slot. After Adirondack closed within one, Ross McMullan scored for the second straight tilt, tipping in Dan Milan's point shot. The Nailers tacked on three more tallies in the third period to two by the Thunder, as Reid Gardiner lit the lamp twice in his return from the AHL, while former Adirondack forward Cam Brown also made his way onto the scoresheet. Adam Morrison made 37 saves for his third victory in a row.
Swinging Through the South
The Norfolk Admirals played three games in four days on the road against South Division foes, going 1-1-1, with a 5-2 win over Greenville, a 5-4 overtime loss to South Carolina, and a 4-1 setback against Atlanta. In Wednesday's tilt, the Gladiators needed just 16 seconds to get on the scoreboard, as Tanner Pond found the back of the net. The Admirals pulled even at the 4:49 mark of the second period, when Don Olivieri tallied for the third time this season. With 46 seconds to go in the middle frame, Colin Jacobs put Atlanta ahead for good, and the home side added two more strikes in the third period from Pond and Stephen Pierog. Dan Vladar made 34 saves in the win for the shorthanded Gladiators, while Ty Reichenbach stopped 35 of the 39 shots he faced for Norfolk. Reichenbach has played in 12 of his club's last 13 games.
Quick Like Lightning
Fans barely had a chance to get situated in their seats on Wednesday night, before the Nailers got the goal horn blowing at the 1:09 mark of the first period. Riley Bourbonnais was the goal scorer, doing so 31 seconds quicker than the team's previous fastest goal this season, which was also scored by Bourbonnais on December 23rd against the Brampton Beast. Each of the last three games at WesBanco Arena has featured a goal on a team's first shot, as the Fort Wayne Komets scored 17 seconds into Sunday's game, while the Manchester Monarchs scored on their first shot at 5:40 last Friday. Wheeling has scored within the first two minutes of a period in three of its last four matches, including twice in the opening minute of a stanza. The Admirals have been the victims of quick strikes in each of their last two tilts, as South Carolina scored 22 seconds into overtime on Tuesday, and Atlanta scored 16 seconds into the game on Wednesday.
Closing out a Second Set
There are 13 different opponents on the 2017-18 schedule for the Nailers, and thus far, they have finished off just one season series, as they won both of their tilts with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits back in October. A second set will be completed this weekend, when Wheeling plays games five and six against Norfolk. The Nailers are still waiting to get their first look at the Kalamazoo Wings and Orlando Solar Bears, and when they do, they will hope to achieve something that they haven't done since the 2011-12 season - beat every opponent on the docket. Wheeling has earned at least one victory against all 11 of its opponents thus far, with three wins over Reading being the highest total. The Nailers are 4-1-1 against the South Division, with five games left. After the weekend, the next season series that will be completed will be a five-game set against Indy, which concludes on February 2nd.
Finish Them off at Home
Friday night marks the fifth of six head-to-head meetings between the Nailers and Admirals this season, as well as the second of three battles at WesBanco Arena. The home teams have had good success in the first four games of the campaign, as Wheeling won its lone match in the Friendly City, while Norfolk posted a 2-1-0 mark at the Scope. Last Wednesday was the most recent game between the clubs, as the Admirals battled back from a 2-1 deficit to tie the score in the third period, and ultimately go on to a 3-2 overtime win, thanks to a hat trick from Christian Horn. The Nailers have scored 11 goals in their two victories, while being held to three goals in their two defeats. Norfolk's Brodie Dupont leads all scorers with seven points in the four contests, while Garrett Meurs leads the way for Wheeling with four goals and six points.