(16-14-3-0, 35 PTS, 4th North, T-6th East)
114 GF, 108 GA
PP: 21.0% (29-for-138), 2nd
PK: 80.6% (108-for-134), 23rd
21-F-Cam Brown (6 goals, 24 assists, 30 points in 33 games)
23-F-Garrett Meurs (13 goals, 14 assists, 27 points in 30 games)
8-F-Nick Sorkin (3 goals, 21 assists, 24 points in 31 games)
14-F-Riley Bourbonnais (7 goals, 9 assists, 16 points in 30 games)
26-D-Kevin Schulze (3 goals, 10 assists, 13 points in 20 games)
10-F-Troy Josephs (5 goals, 5 assists, 10 points in 12 games)
29-G-Adam Morrison (2-7-0 record, 3.04 GAA, .900 Sv% in 9 games)
(21-10-2-1, 45 PTS, 1st North, 2nd East)
132 GF, 95 GA
PP: 19.0% (30-for-158), 11th
PK: 86.2% (119-for-138), 6th
28-F-Joel Lowry (14 goals, 17 assists, 31 points in 26 games)
10-F-Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman (16 goals, 14 assists, 30 points in 33 games)
16-F-Zac Lynch (16 goals, 13 assists, 29 points in 33 games)
17-F-Matt Leitner (6 goals, 23 assists, 29 points in 31 games)
23-D-Colton Saucerman (3 goals, 22 assists, 25 points in 33 games)
24-F-Michael Doherty (8 goals, 13 assists, 21 points in 30 games)
1-G-Charles Williams (13-5-2 record, 2.41 GAA, .922 Sv% in 21 games)
Head to Head
2016-17 Season Series: Nailers 1, Monarchs 0
2016-17 Season Series at WesBanco Arena: Nailers 1, Monarchs 0
All-Time Series: Nailers 2, Monarchs 1
All-Time Series at WesBanco Arena: Nailers 2, Monarchs 0
One Point and Lots of Snow
The Wheeling Nailers made the trek to Norfolk for one game, before tackling the bomb cyclone on their return trip back to the Friendly City. The Norfolk Admirals opened the scoring in Wednesday's tilt, as Christian Horn slipped in a shot from the left side of the shot, while his team was playing on the man advantage. Wheeling responded in the early stages of the second period, starting with Kevin Schulze's marker 21 seconds into the frame, as he shoveled in a shot from the top of the crease. 2:32 later, Riley Bourbonnais gave the Nailers the lead, converting on a breakaway. Just 38 seconds into the third period, the Admirals drew even, and it was Horn collecting his second of the night, depositing the rebound of Nicholas Miglio's initial attempt. With both teams securing one point, an extra point was up for grabs, and that went to Norfolk, as Horn finished his hat trick with a backhander from the slot. Ty Reichenbach made 44 saves for the win, while Colin Stevens stopped 27 in the overtime defeat.
Extra Time in the North
The Manchester Monarchs also played in a game with bonus hockey on Wednesday night, as all three games involving North Division squads went to overtime. The Monarchs built a 2-0 lead on the road against the Adirondack Thunder, as Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman and Keegan Iverson found the back of the net. David Kolomatis scored the lone goal of the middle stanza for Manchester, who had its advantage trimmed down to one, thanks to a pair of strikes by Shane Conacher. Former Nailer Ty Loney netted the equalizer early in the third period for the Thunder, forcing the extra session. At the 1:21 mark of overtime, Loney helped put Adirondack into the win column, as he fed Desmond Bergin with a pass through his legs for the overtime winner on the power play. Drew Fielding stopped 28 shots in the win for Adirondack, edging Charles Williams, who finished with 26 stops for the Monarchs.
Load up the Home Games
The first part of the season has seen the Nailers log quite a bit of mileage, as they crossed the midway mark of their road schedule on Wednesday night. However, the majority of the next month will be spent in the Friendly City, as Wheeling will play five of its next six games at home, as well as 12 of the next 16, leading up to the team's lone flight of the year, when it visits the Orlando Solar Bears in February. The Nailers have posted an 8-6-1 mark in their first 15 tilts at WesBanco Arena this season, which includes a 4-3-0 record against North Division opponents. Manchester will be the most popular visitor during the stretch, coming to town three times. Wheeling has historically feasted on heavy doses of home games, having collected at least 20 home wins in six of the last seven seasons, while finishing above .500 at home in nine straight years and 22 of 25 seasons all-time.
Rulers of the Road
The team with the most road wins in the ECHL will make their first visit of the season to WesBanco Arena on Friday night, as the Monarchs enter play with a 14-5-3 record in 22 contests outside of the Granite State. With the exception of a 4-2 home win over Worcester on New Year's Eve, Manchester is spending its fourth straight week entirely on the road - a journey which has taken the Monarchs through South Division cities Jacksonville and Greenville, and will conclude with a visit to Central Division Toledo on Saturday. At the end of November, Manchester swept a three-game series in Utah, making it very well-traveled in its third ECHL season. The Kanas City Mavericks are second in the league with 13 road victories, as they and the Tulsa Oilers have both played 21 matches on enemy ice. The Nailers are 8-8-2 away from the Ohio Valley, with their 18 road points tying for the second most in the North Division.
Let's Get to Know Each Other
Friday night marks the first of six head-to-head meetings between the Nailers and Monarchs this season, as well as the first of four battles at WesBanco Arena. After spending 14 years in the AHL, Manchester joined the ECHL in the summer of 2015. Despite being in the same division last season, and in the same conference for the last two years, Wheeling has seen very little of the Monarchs, facing off twice at home, while traveling to New Hampshire once. A few more games have been added to the divisional tussle in 2017-18, and four of them will be played during January. So far, all three matches in the all-time series have gone to the home team, as the Nailers won 2-1 in 2015-16 and 4-3 last year, while Manchester took a 6-2 decision during its inaugural ECHL campaign. Current Wheeling netminder Colin Stevens played in two of the three contests for the Monarchs.