(29-23-6-1, 65 PTS, 4th North, 6th East)
207 GF, 201 GA
PP: 19.8% (48-for-242), 3rd
PK: 80.4% (185-for-230), 21st
11-F-Cody Wydo (23 goals, 29 assists, 52 points in 45 games)
8-F-Nick Sorkin (7 goals, 40 assists, 47 points in 56 games)
24-F-Reid Gardiner (26 goals, 19 assists, 45 points in 45 games)
23-F-Garrett Meurs (19 goals, 26 assists, 45 points in 48 games)
14-F-Riley Bourbonnais (21 goals, 16 assists, 37 points in 54 games)
5-D-Danny Fick (2 goals, 17 assists, 19 points in 57 games)
29-G-Adam Morrison (12-11-1 record, 3.20 GAA, .904 Sv% in 25 games)
(26-24-4-3, 59 PTS, 5th North, 8th East)
154 GF, 167 GA
PP: 12.2% (24-for-197), 26th
PK: 82.1% (161-for-196), 18th
19-F-Barry Almeida (18 goals, 31 assists, 49 points in 55 games)
21-F-Chris Langkow (16 goals, 26 assists, 42 points in 46 games)
18-F-Nick Saracino (8 goals, 17 assists, 25 points in 46 games)
23-F-Woody Hudson (17 goals, 6 assists, 23 points in 52 games)
16-F-Jeff Kubiak (10 goals, 13 assists, 23 points in 52 games)
12-D-Justin Agosta (3 goals, 15 assists, 18 points in 45 games)
35-G-Mitch Gillam (13-12-1 record, 2.46 GAA, .914 Sv% in 28 games)
Head to Head
Season/All-Time Series: Nailers 3, Railers 3
Season/All-Time Series at WesBanco Arena: Nailers 1, Railers 1
The Road Finally Led us Home
The Wheeling Nailers played only one home game in the last 28 days, as they return to WesBanco Arena after a six-game road trip, and a stretch in which nine of ten contests took place in opposition buildings. The Nailers recorded nine points in those nine tilts, finishing with a tight battle against Worcester at DCU Center, which required extra hockey. After a scoreless first period, T.J. Syner of the Railers snapped the deadlock with a deflection from the right side of the slot. Riley Bourbonnais answered by burying a breakaway attempt, and Wheeling took the lead, courtesy of Freddie Tiffels' tally at 12:20 of the third stanza. With 1:23 left, Woody Hudson dented the twine for Worcester, forcing overtime, and eventually a shootout. The shootout came down to the third and final round, when Tommy Kelley scored for the Railers, and Mitch Gillam stopped Cody Wydo, giving Worcester the 3-2 decision. Matt O'Connor made 30 saves, helping the Nailers secure a point.
Tip of the Crown to Manchester
The Worcester Railers have been in action since Saturday, as they completed a 3-in-3 homestand, by welcoming the Manchester Monarchs to DCU Center on Sunday afternoon. The Railers notched the lone goal in the opening stanza, as Matt Lane snapped in a shot from the left side. The Monarchs quickly turned things around in the second period, lighting the lamp three times to go ahead by a pair. Rob Hamilton drove in a shot from high in the zone for the equalizer, Matt Marcinew tipped in a Keegan Iverson attempt for the go-ahead strike, and Matt Schmalz roofed a wrister from the right circle, all in a span of less than ten minutes. Spencer Watson put the icing on the cake with an empty netter in the final frame, while Evan Cowley made 30 saves, as Manchester was victorious, 4-1. Former Nailer Will King made 21 saves in the loss for Worcester.
Two Different Tricks up His Sleeve
Riley Bourbonnais has had two regular hat tricks during his time with the Nailers, notching one in the 2017 regular season home finale against Kalamazoo, and another on January 5th of this season, when Wheeling defeated the Manchester Monarchs, 7-4. On Saturday night, Bourbonnais added another hat trick to his resume, but this was one of a different variety - a Gordie Howe Hat Trick. The first item that Riley checked off was the goal, which he scored at 10:33 of the second period. Next up was the fight, as he threw down the gloves with Connor Doherty at 5:32 of the third period. Finally, the assist came less than seven minutes later, when he helped set up Freddie Tiffels to give the Nailers the lead. The Rochester, New York native was the second Wheeling player to record a Gordie Howe Hat Trick this season, as Hunter Fejes had one on December 2nd against Reading.
Our Only Shootout Opponent
Since the start of the 2016-17 campaign, shootouts have been few and far between for the Nailers, who participated in just their second one of this season, and third since the start of last year, when they and the Railers clashed on Saturday night. Worcester has been the lone shootout opponent this year for Wheeling, and both teams have skated away with one win, as the Nailers scored on two of four attempts at home on November 22nd, while the Railers came out on top in a three-round set over the weekend. Saturday's shootout defeat was the first for Wheeling since March 11, 2016 - a run of 144 straight games without one, which was the longest active streak in the ECHL. That run now belongs to Reading at 91 games in a row. The Nailers have gone past regulation in three of their last five games, and 12 times on the season, posting a 5-7 record. Worcester has also turned in a 5-7 mark in 12 matches with extra time.
Divisional Homestand Begins
Wednesday morning marks the seventh of nine head-to-head meetings between the Nailers and Railers this season, as well as the third of four battles at WesBanco Arena. Wheeling will play three home games in four days, facing the two teams surrounding them in the standings, as it leads Worcester by six points, while trailing Reading by three points. The Nailers and Railers have split their first six games against each other, with both sides winning twice in regulation and once in a shootout. The series has also been split in both venues, as the teams get ready to take the ice in West Virginia for the first time since late November, when Wheeling won in a shootout on Thanksgiving Eve, and Worcester grabbed a regulation win three days later. Nick Saracino of the Railers leads all players with seven points, followed by Reid Gardiner and Cody Wydo, who both have six for the Nailers. Wheeling travels to Worcester on March 16th, before the set concludes with a home tilt on March 21st.