MOLINE, IL- Saturday night's clash between the Wheeling Nailers and Quad City Mallards came down to the final shot. Brett Stern broke a 2-2 tie with 3:04 left in the third period for the Nailers, and Quad City's Justin Kovacs drilled the crossbar in the last second of the game, as Wheeling skated away with a 3-2 victory at iWireless Center. Adam Krause factored into the scoring on all three goals, while JP Anderson made 33 saves for his third win of the campaign.
Prior to Saturday, a power play goal had been scored in ten of 12 games involving the Nailers on the season. The first period made it 11 of 13, as both teams converted with the man advantage. The first side to do so was Quad City at 1:24 mark. Chris Francis whirled his way around the back of the cage, before connecting with Michael Parks, who chipped a shot into the top-right corner. Wheeling got the equalizer with 3:17 to pick up a power play goal for the seventh consecutive contest. Brett Stern let a wrist shot go from the right point, which was blocked by CJ Motte. However, the rebound kicked out to Adam Krause, who roofed a shot under the crossbar for a 1-1 score at the intermission.
After a scoreless middle frame, the Nailers took an early lead at the 2:51 mark of the third period. Krause drove down the left side of the ice, jamming the puck to the front of the net. Motte kept his shot out, but not the rebound, which was drilled home by Garrett Meurs. The Mallards responded less than six minutes later to knot the score, when Justin Kovacs flew in on a breakaway, putting a shot into the top-right corner of the cage. With 3:04 to go, Wheeling went ahead for good. Brett Stern sent a puck in from the left point, which fluttered over Motte's glove, putting the Nailers up, 3-2. Kovacs rang a shot off of the crossbar in the final second, allowing the visitors to hang on for the 3-2 triumph.
JP Anderson picked up the win in goal for Wheeling, turning aside 33 of the 35 shots he faced. CJ Motte was saddled with the defeat for Quad City, despite coming up with 45 saves on 48 shots.
The Nailers and Mallards will meet again in Moline on Sunday at 5:05. Wheeling will then return home on Saturday to face Greenville at 7:05. The first 2,500 fans in attendance that night will receive a Spike Eastern Conference Champions Bobblehead, courtesy of WesBanco. Additionally, 98.7 Country WOVK presents the annual Teddy Bear Toss, there will be Craft Beer Tasting, and XTO Blades for Grades. The first celebrity appearance of the season takes place the following week on December 3rd, when Clint Hurdle comes to town for Pittsburgh Pirates Night. To purchase tickets, or to receive information on season tickets, mini plans, group tickets, and more, call (304) 234-GOAL.