(33-26-8-1, 75 PTS, 4th North, 6th East)
232 GF, 232 GA
PP: 20.0% (54-for-270), 3rd
PK: 80.3% (216-for-269), 21st
8-F-Nick Sorkin (7 goals, 46 assists, 53 points in 65 games)
24-F-Reid Gardiner (27 goals, 25 assists, 52 points in 54 games)
23-F-Garrett Meurs (21 goals, 28 assists, 49 points in 57 games)
21-F-Cam Brown (15 goals, 31 assists, 46 points in 51 games)
14-F-Riley Bourbonnais (21 goals, 19 assists, 40 points in 63 games)
26-D-Kevin Schulze (8 goals, 21 assists, 29 points in 43 games)
1-G-Danny Tirone (0-1-0 record, 7.53 GAA, .773 Sv% in 1 game)
(47-16-3-2, 99 PTS, 1st Central, 1st West)
227 GF, 158 GA
PP: 19.5% (47-for-241), 4th
PK: 86.7% (189-for-218), 3rd
7-F-Tyler Barnes (20 goals, 30 assists, 50 points in 62 games)
28-F-Kyle Bonis (25 goals, 24 assists, 49 points in 62 games)
20-F-Mike Borkowski (19 goals, 27 assists, 46 points in 49 games)
10-F-Shane Berschbach (16 goals, 30 assists, 46 points in 55 games)
8-F-Christian Hilbrich (22 goals, 23 assists, 45 points in 64 games)
14-D-Ryan Obuchowski (5 goals, 29 assists, 34 points in 68 games)
30-G-Pat Nagle (34-5-4 record, 2.18 GAA, .925 Sv% in 46 games)
Head to Head
Season Series: Walleye 3, Nailers 2
Season Series at Huntington Center: Nailers 1, Walleye 1
All-Time Series: Walleye 39, Nailers 33
All-Time Series at Huntington Center: Walleye 23, Nailers 9
Cyclones Twist Away on Top
The Wheeling Nailers closed out a four-game homestand on Tuesday night, looking to earn at least one point in all four contests, as they continue their quest to qualify for the 2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs. Wheeling fell behind a couple of times in the first period, as the Cincinnati Cyclones sandwiched a pair of tallies around Dan Milan's wrist shot from the left point. The Nailers temporarily turned the game into their favor during the middle frame, converting on back-to-back power plays. Cam Brown netted the equalizer by roofing a shot on the right side of the net, before Kevin Spinozzi's one-timer from the right circle put the home team in the lead. Cincinnati's Alex Kile answered to even the score just nine seconds after Spinozzi's goal, sending the tilt into the third period knotted at three. At the 7:04 mark of the final stanza, Daniel Muzito-Bagenda's power play strike put the Cyclones ahead for good, and Justin Vaive tacked on an empty netter, as the visitors prevailed, 5-3.
A Rare Skid Ends
The Toledo Walleye entered Sunday's game with consecutive home losses for just the second time this season, and they were determined to end that streak quickly against the Kalamazoo Wings. Kyle Bonis needed just 61 seconds to put the Walleye on the scoreboard with his team-leading 25th goal of the season. With less than one minute remaining in the stanza, Tyler Barnes reached the 20-goal plateau, building a 2-0 advantage for Toledo. A.J. Jenks added a power play tally at the 1:13 mark of the middle frame, before Justin Taylor gave the Wings their lone marker of the day. Mike Borkowski tacked on one more insurance goal in the third period, as the Walleye improved to 27-6-1 at Huntington Center with the 4-1 triumph. Pat Nagle made 31 saves for his league-leading 34th win of the year.
Productivity from the Point
Two of the three goals scored in Tuesday night's game came from defensemen, as Dan Milan got the offense going in the first period, before Kevin Spinozzi lit the lamp in the middle frame. Spinozzi spent the majority of the season with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, but since joining the Nailers, his offensive game has hit the ground running. Tuesday's two-point night gives the Granby, Quebec native five points in eight ECHL games. Milan's goal added to his career high, pushing his season total to five, which is second among Wheeling blueliners, trailing Kevin Schulze who leads the way with eight goals and 29 points. Toledo's leading defensive scorer is Simon Denis, who is currently playing with the AHL's Hartford Wolf Pack, putting the offensive lead into the hands of Ryan Obuchowksi, who has 34 points in 68 games. Kevin Tansey has the most goals among Walleye defensemen, tossing in seven.
Keep them Under the Century Mark
For the past four seasons, fans in Toledo have been treated to some outstanding hockey, as the Walleye have already clinched a spot in the 2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs, and are currently in search of their fourth consecutive division title. Toledo also has a chance to reach the 100-point mark for the third time in four years - a number that the Nailers hope to keep out of the standings on Friday night. After finishing with the worst record in the Eastern Conference in 2013-14, the Walleye have gone 195-68-9 in regular season play. Wheeling enters Friday with a three-point lead over the Worcester Railers for fourth place in the North Division, as Worcester got a 27-save shutout from Mitch Gillam to edge the Adirondack Thunder, 2-0 on Wednesday night. The Railers will play three games in three days this weekend, hosting Brampton on Friday and Saturday, before a road tilt against Adirondack on Sunday. The magic number for the Nailers remains nine.
Going for Two in T-Town
Friday night marks the sixth and final head-to-head meeting between the Nailers and Walleye this season, as well as the third battle at Huntington Center. Wheeling has an opportunity to do something that no other ECHL team has done in 2017-18 - win two games in Toledo. The Nailers got their first road victory against the Walleye on December 9th, when the team scored twice in a span of 12 seconds, and Jarrett Burton had a pair of goals in a 4-2 result. The best that Wheeling can do in the overall season series is come away with a split, as Toledo went 2-0-1 at WesBanco Arena, and has won three of the first five matches. Christian Hilbrich scored for the first time against his former team in the last clash on February 6th - a 6-2 Walleye win. Toledo's Mike Borkowski leads the set with five goals, while teammate Ryan Obuchowski has produced seven points. Cody Wydo and Kevin Schulze both have five points for the Nailers.