(34-29-8-0, 76 PTS, 5th North, 10th East)
242 GF, 234 GA
PP: 19.9% (66-for-331), 8th
PK: 75.0% (201-for-268), 27th
26-D-Kevin Schulze (13 goals, 46 assists, 59 points in 67 games)
23-F-Garrett Meurs (25 goals, 29 assists, 54 points in 70 games)
14-F-Tyler Currier (19 goals, 28 assists, 47 points in 72 games)
9-F-Christian Hilbrich (16 goals, 29 assists, 45 points in 64 games)
24-D-Michael Webster (5 goals, 23 assists, 28 points in 56 games)
72-F-Kale Kerbashian (8 goals, 14 assists, 22 points in 34 games)
31-G-Doug Carr (16-12-3 record, 3.46 GAA, .885 Sv% in 33 games)
(37-30-1-3, 78 PTS, 4th Central, 7th West)
217 GF, 235 GA
PP: 14.1% (41-for-290), 24th
PK: 81.6% (213-for-261), 18th
93-F-Justin Taylor (31 goals, 28 assists, 59 points in 69 games)
3-F-Peter Schneider (21 goals, 32 assists, 53 points in 60 games)
21-F-Lane Scheidl (26 goals, 23 assists, 49 points in 66 games)
9-F-Tanner Sorenson (19 goals, 22 assists, 41 points in 70 games)
24-D-Blake Kessel (10 goals, 30 assists, 40 points in 48 games)
15-D-Eric Kattelus (7 goals, 33 assists, 40 points in 59 games)
49-G-Joel Martin (18-18-3 record, 3.21 GAA, .902 Sv% in 40 games)
Head to Head
Season Series: Nailers 7, Wings 2
Season Series at Wings Event Center: Nailers 3, Wings 1
All-Time Series: Nailers 26, Wings 23
All-Time Series at WesBanco Arena: Nailers 12, Wings 11
One Lasting Impression at Home
The Wheeling Nailers put the wraps on their home season Friday night, and the 4,314 fans in attendance had plenty to cheer about, as their local club had a dominant performance, earning a 21st win at WesBanco Arena. The Nailers got the offensive party started early, as Christian Hilbrich scored 42 seconds into the contest. Riley Bourbonnais followed, as Wheeling took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission. The contest opened up even more in the second period, as Bourbonnais potted his second of the night, and was joined in the goal column by Daniel Leavens and Garrett Meurs for a 5-2 advantage. Kevin Schulze wired in a slap shot for the sixth goal of the game, before Bourbonnias completed his hat trick in the closing minute for the 7-2 final score. Sean Maguire had a busy night, making 36 saves for his 14th victory of the campaign.
That Left a Mark
The Kalamazoo Wings were left licking their wounds on Friday night, as they dressed 15 skaters in their 7-2 setback against the Nailers at WesBanco Arena. Kalamazoo notched one goal in the first period, which at the time made the margin one, as Peter Schneider fished out a loose puck in the slot, sliding in a shot along the ice. In the middle frame, Lane Scheidl got credit for the tally, as he tipped in a left point wrist shot from former Nailer Kyle Bushee, who recorded his 30th point of the season. Schneider and Scheidl both assisted on each other's goals, which were the only two pucks to find the twine on 38 attempts. Nick Riopel got lit up for the second time in Wheeling this season, as he surrendered seven goals on 34 shots. On October 29th, the Nailers blitzed the netminder for eight goals on 34 shots.
Seventh Heaven Filled with Hats
Hat tricks have flown into the nets at an incredible rate for the Nailers during the 2016-17 campaign, and on Friday night, the team potted its seventh of the year. Riley Bourbonnais turned on the red light once in each period, as part of Wheeling's 7-2 triumph over Kalamazoo. His first tally was a bank shot from the right side of the goal line. His second strike came off of a centering pass from Kale Kerbashian. Finally, goal number three took place on a rush into the zone on the power play, in which he picked the top-left corner with just over ten seconds left on the clock. Bourbonnais became the seventh different Wheeling player to score three goals in a game this season, joining Josh Shalla, Adam Krause, Christian Hilbrich, Cody Wydo, Johnny Daniels, and Gage Quinney. It was the third hat trick of the year against Kalamazoo, the fourth all-time by a Nailer against the Wings, and the 84th in team history.
Might Want to Tighten that up
Opposing teams have been lighting the lamp a bit too much for Kalamazoo's liking as of late. In the Wings three-game road series against Florida, the Everblades found the back of the net six times in the opener, then five times each during the last two matches. With Friday's game included in the mix, Kalamazoo has surrendered 23 goals in its last four games. That is scary news for the Wings, who will open up the playoffs against the Toledo Walleye. Toledo leads the ECHL with 292 goals in 71 games, and has a chance to lock up a second Brabham Cup in three years on Saturday. The seven-goal outburst on Friday gave the Nailers 242 goals this season, which averages out to 3.41 per game. That is the highest average for the club since the 2008-09 season, and the fourth highest average in the last 19 years. Wheeling has scored at least five goals on 20 occasions this season, hitting six five times, seven twice, eight once, and nine once.
Finish Them off Once More
Saturday night marks the tenth and final head-to-head meeting between the Nailers and Wings this season, as well as the fifth and final battle at Wings Event Center. 2016-17 has seen the most convincing performance in a season series in the eight years that the squads have played, as Wheeling enters with a 7-2 advantage. The Nailers have enjoyed loads of offensive success against Kalamazoo this season, scoring at least five goals in three of their victories, including eight and seven-goal performances in the opening and closing clashes at WesBanco Arena. Garrett Meurs came into this season with plenty of experience playing against the Wings, when he was a member of the Fort Wayne Komets, and the success he had carried over to Wheeling, as he leads all scorers in the set with 12 points in nine games. Lane Scheidl is Kalamazoo's top player against the Nailers, as he has nine points, including a series best seven goals. Wheeling has a winning record in both venues this season and all-time.