ORLANDO, FL- The Wheeling Nailers played their first game at Amway Center since 2013, but unfortunately, the host Orlando Solar Bears weren't in a welcoming mood, as they had the magic with them in special jerseys. Mike Monfredo scored a pair of goals and added an assist, while Max Novak had four points, as Orlando was victorious, 5-2. Cody Wydo extended his point streak to ten games with a goal in the second period.
The Solar Bears scored the lone goal of the opening stanza, doing so at the 4:17 mark. Darryl Bootland chipped the puck up the right wing wall, sending Joshua Winquist and Mike Monfredo on a 2-on-1 break. Winquist carried the puck into the zone, before feeding Monfredo, who rang a shot in off of the crossbar.
The second period saw lots of offense, as the two teams combined to turn on the red light five times. First up was Wheeling. Dylan Zink's shot went wide, but the rebound exploded off of the end boards and into the slot, where it was deposited by Freddie Tiffels. Orlando briefly regained the lead less than two minutes later, when Joe Perry punched in the rebound of Alex Gudbranson's initial attempt. 48 seconds after that, Cody Wydo extended his point streak to ten games, when he buried a shorthanded breakaway to tie the contest, 2-2. However, the rest of the frame belonged to the Solar Bears, who struck twice on the man advantage. J.J. Piccinich roofed a wrist shot from the left circle at 8:27, and Mike Monfredo tossed a shot in through traffic with just 13 seconds left on the clock.
Max Novak tacked on one more goal with 1:22 left, as the Solar Bears put the finishing touches on their 5-2 win.
Cal Heeter got the win in goal for Orlando, making 22 saves on 24 shots. Will King took the loss for the Nailers, surrendering five goals on 34 shots.
The Nailers and Solar Bears will play twice more in Orlando. The next game will be Sunday morning at 9:30, and after that, Monday night at 7:00. Wheeling's next home game is Olympics Night, which is also a Frosty Friday on February 16th against Fort Wayne at 7:05. The Nailers will also be home on February 17th for Ladies Night against Cincinnati at 7:05. The next big promotional game is Pittsburgh Penguins Night on March 10th. To purchase tickets, or to get more information about season tickets, flex plans, group tickets, and more, call (304) 234-GOAL.