Wheeling Nailers Weekly Report, Apr. 2

Wheeling Nailers Weekly Report, Apr. 2

Nailers Enter Final Week of the Season in Search of a Playoff Spot

Last Week

Tue. 3/27 Cincinnati Cyclones 5 @ WHEELING NAILERS 3
Milan (Josephs, Spinozzi)
Brown (Sorkin, Gardiner)
Spinozzi (Tiffels, Valente)
Morrison- 23/27 (1 en)

Fri. 3/30 WHEELING NAILERS 1 @ Toledo Walleye 4
Francis (Abt, Josephs)
Tirone- 22/26

Sat. 3/31 Manchester Monarchs 2 @ WHEELING NAILERS 5
Josephs (Gardiner, Abt)
Brown (Josephs, Fick)
Gardiner (Sorkin, Schulze)
Sorkin (Josephs, Tiffels)
Bourbonnais (Brown, McMullan)
Morrison- 25/27

Last week, the Wheeling Nailers wrapped up their home schedule, earning a win in front of 4,294 fans on Fan Appreciation Night. The week began on Tuesday night, when the Nailers and Cincinnati Cyclones exchanged leads through the first two periods, with the score entering the second intermission with a 3-3 deadlock. Dan Milan tallied in the opening stanza for Wheeling, while Cam Brown and Kevin Spinozzi struck on the man advantage in the middle frame. With 12:56 left in the third period, the Cyclones pulled ahead on Daniel Muzito-Bagenda's power play goal, and Justin Vaive iced a 5-3 Cincinnati win with an empty netter. On Friday night, the Nailers fell behind the Toledo Walleye on a pair of goals in the first period, and unfortunately, were unable to recover. Chris Francis scored Wheeling's lone marker of the night, which came shorthanded at the 11:33 mark of the third period. On Saturday night, Troy Josephs opened the scoring for the home team, and Brown's shorthanded strike gave the Nailers a 2-1 advantage after one. Reid Gardiner, Nick Sorkin, and Riley Bourbonnais added insurance in the third period, as Wheeling took down the division leading Manchester Monarchs, 5-2.

The Nailers completed the home portion of their regular season schedule with a record of 21-12-3, which is good for 45 points. Wheeling has earned at least 21 home wins in five of the last six seasons, after going 5-2-1 at WesBanco Arena in March. The Nailers scored shorthanded goals on Friday and Saturday, giving them eight on the season. Troy Josephs assisted on both of those tallies, and is tied for the team lead with three shorthanded points. Reid Gardiner scored his team-leading seventh power play goal and eighth game winning goal in Saturday's tilt. Garrett Meurs suited up in his 300th professional game on Tuesday, while Chris Francis played in his 400th career ECHL game on Saturday. Wheeling posted a 4-2-0 record against Manchester, raising its record against the top two North Division clubs to 6-2-2.

This Week

Fri. 4/6 WHEELING NAILERS @ Brampton Beast, 7:15
Sat. 4/7 WHEELING NAILERS @ Fort Wayne Komets, 7:30

This week, the Wheeling Nailers will play their two biggest games of the season, as they continue to chase down a spot in the 2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs. Wheeling enters the week one point back of Worcester, with the Nailers playing twice and the Railers playing three times. Wheeling's first game of the week takes place on Friday, when the club visits the Brampton Beast. The Nailers have won three of their first five games against the Beast this season, and will be making their first trip to Canada since late October, when the North Division rivals split a weekend series. Brampton knows that its season will come to a close on Sunday, as the Beast sit in sixth place in the North Division with 62 points. On Saturday night, Wheeling will experience a quick turnaround, as it returns to the United States for a clash with the Fort Wayne Komets. Fort Wayne has won four of five games against the Nailers, with the most recent result being a 4-3 nail-biter, which saw the Komets score the winning goal in the last minute of regulation. Fort Wayne has secured itself in second place in the Central Division, and is currently in line to face Cincinnati in the opening round of the postseason. Worcester faces Reading on Wednesday, then Manchester on Saturday and Sunday. The Royals and Monarchs both have something to play for, as Reading tries to jump ahead of Adirondack for home ice advantage, while Manchester tries to hold off Adirondack for the division crown.

Upcoming Home Games/Promotions/Events
Wed. Apr. 4- Playoff Rally & Team Awards at Undo's in Elm Grove. Mingle begins at 5:30. Awards begin at 6:30.
2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs- Dates and Times TBD

Nailers Leaders
Goals: 28, Reid Gardiner
Assists: 47, Nick Sorkin
Points: 56, Cody Wydo
Penalty Minutes: 126, Dan Milan
Plus/Minus: +12, Riley Bourbonnais
Wins: 17, Adam Morrison
Goals Against Average: 3.09, Adam Morrison
Save Percentage: .906, Adam Morrison
Shutouts: 1, Adam Morrison

North Division Playoff Picture
1. Manchester Monarchs 40-23-3-3, 86 pts.
This Week's Schedule: Friday at Adirondack, Saturday vs. Worcester, Sunday at Worcester
2. Adirondack Thunder 39-24-3-4, 85 pts.
This Week's Schedule: Friday vs. Manchester, Sunday at Brampton
3. Reading Royals 37-24-8-0, 82 pts.
This Week's Schedule: Wednesday vs. Worcester, Friday vs. Norfolk, Saturday at Norfolk
4. Worcester Railers 35-26-4-4, 78 pts.
This Week's Schedule: Wednesday at Reading, Saturday at Manchester, Sunday vs. Manchester
5. WHEELING NAILERS 34-27-8-1, 77 pts.
This Week's Schedule: Friday at Brampton, Saturday at Fort Wayne

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