Fri. 12/1 Reading Royals 4 @ WHEELING NAILERS 3
Fejes (Zink, Fick)
Wydo (Sorkin, Gardiner)
Army (Wydo, Tiffels)
Sat. 12/2 Reading Royals 4 @ WHEELING NAILERS 5 (overtime)
Tolkinen (Meurs, Brown)
Tolkinen (Tiffels, Bourbonnais)
Brown (Fejes, Zink)
Sun. 12/3 Fort Wayne Komets 3 @ WHEELING NAILERS 2
Wydo (Gardiner, Zink)
Milan (Brown, Tiffels)
Last week, the Wheeling Nailers opened the month of December with three straight home games. On Friday night, the Reading Royals opened the scoring, but the Nailers came back with an incredibly fast answer, as Hunter Fejes lit the lamp just ten seconds later. Cody Wydo gave Wheeling the lead at the first intermission, and after the Royals briefly tied the game, Derek Army put the Nailers back on top in the second period. Unfortunately, the final frame belonged to Reading, who tallied twice on the power play to win 4-3. On Saturday night, Wheeling got its revenge, while wearing Star Wars jerseys in front of 3,245 fans. Zach Tolkinen netted his first two goals of the season, Cam Brown dented the twine, and Fejes collected a Gordie Howe Hat Trick, as the contest was deadlocked 4-4 at the end of regulation. The hero ended up being Garrett Meurs at the 2:10 mark of overtime. On Sunday afternoon, the Nailers and Fort Wayne Komets played a seesaw tilt, which saw both teams lead for less than 30 seconds. The final lead lasted the longest, and that belonged to Fort Wayne, who prevailed, 3-2. Wydo and Dan Milan were the goal scorers for Wheeling. Adam Morrison was the goaltender of record on Friday and Sunday, while Will King made 39 saves for Saturday's triumph.
All three games last week were decided by one goal, which has been the margin in 12 of 21 tilts thus far this season. Both teams came up empty with the man advantage on Saturday and Sunday, marking just the second and third times that both squads have had perfect penalty kills in a game this year. The team with the lower shots on goal total won all three matches, which has been the case in 16 of 21 contests. Hunter Fejes became the first Nailer since Garrett Meurs on February 17th to record a Gordie Howe Hat Trick, doing so on Saturday night. Additionally on Saturday, Zach Tolkinen notched the first two-goal game of his professional career. Meurs became the first Wheeling player since Mike Ratchuk (4 in 2013-14) to score multiple overtime goals in the same regular season, thanks to his winning strike on Saturday. One more note came from the middle game of the weekend, as Derek Army collected his 150th professional point. On Sunday, Dan Milan set a career high, with his third goal of the season. Cody Wydo's goal on Sunday was his 66th as a Nailer, tying him for seventh in team history, along with John Varga and Zack Torquato.
Wed. 12/6 WHEELING NAILERS @ Reading Royals, 7:00
Fri. 12/8 WHEELING NAILERS @ Indy Fuel, 7:35
Sat. 12/9 WHEELING NAILERS @ Toledo Walleye, 7:15
This week, the Wheeling Nailers will play three games in four days, while visiting three different cities. On Wednesday night at Santander Arena, the Nailers and Reading Royals most likely won't bring much holiday cheer to the ice, as they will lock up for the fourth time in 11 days. The two rivals have alternated wins and losses thus far this season, with both teams winning once each at home and on the road. Wheeling has a two-point lead over Reading at the top of the North Division Standings. On Friday night, the Nailers will clash with the Indy Fuel, who they clobbered 5-1 on November 4th. Indy has the second lowest point total in the ECHL, entering the week with a 5-10-3 record. Friday will be the final visit of the year to Indiana Farmers Coliseum for Wheeling, who will host Indy twice in December and once in February. On Saturday night, the Nailers could hand the Toledo Walleye their first home loss of the season. Toledo is 7-0-0 at Huntington Center, and will also play there on Friday against the Tulsa Oilers. The Walleye have a six-point lead in the Central Division, going 14-4-3. The 6,000th goal in team history will be within reach this week, as Wheeling enters with 5,993 goals in 26 years.
Upcoming Home Games/Promotions
Tue. Dec. 12- Two For Tuesday
Fri. Dec. 22- Ugly Sweater Night, Frosty Friday
Sat. Dec. 30- Youth Hockey Night
Sun. Dec. 31- New Year's Eve
Fri. Jan. 5- Frosty Friday
Goals: 12, Garrett Meurs & Cody Wydo
Assists: 18, Cam Brown
Points: 27, Cody Wydo
Penalty Minutes: 50, Garrett Meurs
Plus/Minus: +11, Garrett Meurs
Wins: 8, Sean Maguire
Goals Against Average: 3.28, Sean Maguire
Save Percentage: .910, Sean Maguire
North Division Standings
1. WHEELING NAILERS 12-7-2-0, 26 pts.
2. Manchester Monarchs 12-7-1-1, 26 pts.
3. Reading Royals 11-7-2-0, 24 pts.
4. Adirondack Thunder 11-8-1-1, 24 pts.
5. Brampton Beast 9-9-1-2, 21 pts.
6. Worcester Railers 8-8-2-1, 19 pts.