Wheeling Nailers Weekly Report, Apr. 3

Wheeling Nailers Weekly Report, Apr. 3

Nailers Clnch Ninth Straight Winning Season, Entering Final Week

Last Week

Fri. 3/31 Brampton Beast 3 @ WHEELING NAILERS 4
Wydo (McMullan)
Leavens (Wydo, Schulze)
Currier (Kerbashian, Carrier)
Leavens (Sorkin, Bourbonnais)
Maguire- 32/35

Sun. 4/2 Reading Royals 5 @ WHEELING NAILERS 3
Leavens (Quinney, Sorkin)
Hilbrich (Wydo)
Meurs (Sorkin, Webster)
Maguire- 24/28 (1 en)

Last week, the Wheeling Nailers split the final two contests of their five-game homestand, beating the Brampton Beast and falling to the Reading Royals. On Friday night, the Nailers flew out to a quick start, grabbing three goals in the first period for a 3-0 lead. Cody Wydo got things started with a breakaway goal at 3:27. Next up, Daniel Leavens stashed home a rebound on the man advantage. Then, Tyler Currier picked up the third tally with a one-timer from the right circle. Brampton scored the lone goal of the middle frame, but Leavens had an answer to start the third period. Leavens' second goal of the night turned out to be the game winner in a 4-3 Wheeling victory. On Sunday afternoon, the Nailers fell behind Reading on two early goals in the first period, but rallied back to take the lead by the two-minute mark of the second stanza. Leavens got the scoring started for the home side, slipping in a power play marker from the left side. Christian Hilbrich wired in a wrist shot during the opening minute of period two, and one minute later, Garrett Meurs punched in a rebound. Unfortunately, that's where the party ended for Wheeling, as the Royals banged in the last three goals for a 5-3 win, eliminating the Nailers from postseason contention.

Friday's win was Wheeling's 20th of the season at WesBanco Arena, marking the 16th time in 25 years that the club has won at least 20 home games in one year. The victory also guaranteed a ninth consecutive winning season and the 19th all-time. Daniel Leavens continued the fantastic start to his professional career, netting his first two-goal game on Friday, before tacking on another tally on Sunday, giving him four goals in four games. Cody Wydo dented the twine for the 30th time this year in Friday's game, making him the first Wheeling player since Thomas Beauregard (34 in 2008-09) to reach the 30-goal plateau in a single season. Wydo's 54 career goals are the 11th most in team history. With his assist on Sunday, Cody hopped over Kevin Schulze for the team lead with his 57th point. The Nailers are 11-8-4 in games against the North Division, with one tilt remaining on the slate.

This Week

Wed. 4/5 WHEELING NAILERS @ Brampton Beast, 7:15
Fri. 4/7 Kalamazoo Wings @ WHEELING NAILERS, 7:35
Sat. 4/8 WHEELING NAILERS @ Kalamazoo Wings, 7:00

This week, the Wheeling Nailers will conclude their 25th season of hockey with three games in four days. On Wednesday, the Nailers will play their last divisional game of the year, when they play the rubber match of their 11-game season series against the Brampton Beast. Wheeling knotted the set at five wins each last Friday, thanks to a 4-3 triumph. The Beast clinched their first playoff berth in their ECHL history the following night, as they knocked off the Reading Royals, 5-2. Brampton currently resides in second place in the North Division, trailing first place Adirondack by three points, while leading third place Manchester by one point and fourth place Reading by two points. The Nailers are 1-3-0 at Powerade Centre thus far this season. On Friday and Saturday, Wheeling will face a team it has fared well against this year, as they are 6-2-0 against the Kalamazoo Wings, with a 3-1-0 mark in each building. Kalamazoo has already guaranteed itself a playoff spot, as it ranks fourth in the Central Division, meaning it will open the Kelly Cup Playoffs against the Toledo Walleye. Despite that, the Nailers have a chance to finish the year with a higher point total than the Wings.

Upcoming Home Games/Promotions
Fri. 4/7- Fan Appreciation Night - Prizes Throughout the Game, Flat Screen Friday Presented by The Highlands, Frosty Friday

Nailers Leaders
Goals: 30, Cody Wydo
Assists: 45, Kevin Schulze
Points: 58, Cody Wydo
Penalty Minutes: 115, Garrett Meurs
Plus/Minus: +22, Christian Hilbrich
Wins: 16, Doug Carr
Goals Against Average: 3.18, Sean Maguire
Save Percentage: .897, Sean Maguire
Shutouts: 2, Sean Maguire

Teams Qualified for the 2017 Kelly Cup Playoffs
North (4/4)- Adirondack, Brampton, Manchester, Reading
South (2/4)- Florida, Greenville
Central (4/4)- Toledo, Fort Wayne, Quad City, Kalamazoo
Mountain (3/4)- Allen, Colorado, Idaho