Fri. 2/2 Indy Fuel 3 @ WHEELING NAILERS 7
Francis (Gardiner, Wydo)
Schulze (Francis, Sorkin)
Josephs (Beirnes, Fick)
Josephs (Taylor, Brown)
Tiffels (Fick, Taylor)
Sat. 2/3 Fort Wayne Komets 7 @ WHEELING NAILERS 3
Fick (Francis, Rissling)
Tiffels (Zink, Taylor)
Schulze (Sorkin, Wydo)
Last week, the Wheeling Nailers split a pair of home games against the teams from Indiana, taking their record to 3-2-1 on their season-long seven-game homestand. The Nailers had an excellent first period on Friday night, as they took control of the game early against the Indy Fuel. Chris Francis, Kevin Schulze, and Troy Josephs all lit the lamp, with Schulze and Josephs doing so 1:07 apart from each other. Josephs and Francis upped the advantage to 5-2 in the middle frame, before another victorious period closed out the night with a 7-3 final in favor of Wheeling. Freddie Tiffels got on the scoreboard in the third stanza, and he was joined by Josephs, who completed his first career hat trick with a breakaway goal in the last minute. On Saturday night, the Fort Wayne Komets turned the tables on the Nailers, skating away with a 7-3 win of their own. Nine different Wheeling players recorded one point each on Saturday, with Danny Fick, Tiffels, and Schulze as the goal scorers. Adam Morrison played both games between the pipes.
The Nailers are currently in a three-way tie for second place in the North Division, along with the Reading Royals and Adirondack Thunder. All three clubs have 24 games remaining in the regular season. Friday's game marked the third time this season that Wheeling scored seven goals in a game. Three of those tallies belonged to Troy Josephs, who collected the team's fourth hat trick of the year and 11th since the start of last season. Both games over the weekend featured hat tricks (Fort Wayne's Gabriel Desjardins on Saturday), creating the second occurrence of back-to-back games with hat tricks this season. The Nailers completed their season series with Indy on Friday, going 3-2-0 to gain the upper hand for the first time in the Fuel's four-year history. Danny Fick set a season high with a +4 rating on Friday. Reid Gardiner (currently with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton) is on a nine-game point streak, while Cody Wydo has points in eight straight tilts. Tyler Murovich began his third tour of duty with Wheeling on Saturday, and in doing so, became the fifth veteran (260 or more professional games) to appear in a game with the Nailers in 2017-18.
Tue. 2/6 Toledo Walleye @ WHEELING NAILERS, 7:05
Fri. 2/9 WHEELING NAILERS @ Orlando Solar Bears, 7:00
Sun. 2/11 WHEELING NAILERS @ Orlando Solar Bears, 9:30 a.m.
Mon. 2/12 WHEELING NAILERS @ Orlando Solar Bears, 7:00
This week, the Wheeling Nailers will play their third of five home games in February, before beginning a stretch which sees them play nine of 11 tilts away from the Friendly City. The home contest takes place on Tuesday night, when the Toledo Walleye make their final trip to WesBanco Arena in 2017-18. The Nailers are 2-2-0 against the Central Division leaders, as both squads have won once in each building. The Walleye enter on a five-game point streak (4-0-1), and former Nailer Christian Hilbrich is their leading goal scorer with 16. Over the weekend, Wheeling will travel to Amway Center in Orlando, Florida for the first time since January of 2013 for a Friday-Sunday-Monday series. The Orlando Solar Bears are the last different opponent on the schedule this season, as the Nailers attempt to beat everyone they face. Wheeling is still in search of its first ever victory against the Solar Bears, going 0-6-2 since Orlando joined the ECHL in 2012. The Solar Bears hold a two-point lead for the final playoff spot in the South Division, and are also led in the goal column by a former Nailer, as Hunter Fejes tops the group with 22. Those will be the final three games for the Nailers against the South Division, having posted a 6-1-1 mark thus far.
Upcoming Home Games/Promotions
Tue. Feb. 6- Two for Tuesday (2 tickets for $22)
Fri. Feb. 16- Olympics Night, Frosty Friday
Sat. Feb. 17- Ladies Night
Wed. Mar. 7- Education Day Game #2 (10:45 a.m. start)
Sat. Mar. 10- Pittsburgh Penguins Night
Goals: 26, Reid Gardiner
Assists: 33, Nick Sorkin
Points: 45, Cody Wydo
Penalty Minutes: 102, Garrett Meurs
Plus/Minus: +13, Nick Sorkin
Wins: 10, Adam Morrison
Goals Against Average: 2.95, Adam Morrison
Save Percentage: .906, Adam Morrison
North Division Standings
1. Manchester Monarchs 28-15-3-1, 60 pts.
2. WHEELING NAILERS 26-18-4-0, 56 pts.
3. Reading Royals 27-19-2-0, 56 pts.
4. Adirondack Thunder 26-18-2-2, 56 pts.
5. Worcester Railers 19-19-4-2, 44 pts.
6. Brampton Beast 17-20-5-3, 42 pts.