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Komets Hold Off Late Wheeling Surge

Thursday, December 29th
Komets Hold Off Late Wheeling Surge

FORT WAYNE, IN- The Wheeling Nailers nearly pulled off back-to-back big time rallies in their weekend series against the Fort Wayne Komets, as the weekend set shifted to Allen County War Memorial Coliseum on Saturday night. Wheeling fell behind 3-0, but rallied to score three of the game's next four goals, cutting the margin to one. Despite a powerful effort in the third period, the Nailers came up short, 4-3, getting their goals from Garrett Meurs, Andrew Ammon, and Cody Wydo.

The Nailers had a decent start to the first period, outshooting Fort Wayne, 6-4. However, the second half of the stanza went in the wrong direction, as Fort Wayne controlled the play, while opening up a 3-0 lead. The opening goal came at the 12:11 mark. Shawn Szydlowski tossed a shot towards the net from the left point, which was stopped. However, the rebound kicked out to Mike Cazzola, who slipped his attempt off of the post and in over the line. 1:20 later, the lead was extended. Jamie Schaafsma centered a pass out of the trapezoid to Brady Vail, who deposited a shot in from the left side of the slot. With 1:10 remaining, the third goal went in, and it came on a power play. Szydlowski set up Kyle Thomas, who banged in a pass from the top of the crease.

The second period was better for the visitors, who battled back to within two. Garrett Meurs announced his return to Allen County War Memorial Coliseum with Wheeling's first goal of the night, picking the puck up off of the left wall, and slipping in a wrist shot from the bottom of the left circle. Kyle Thomas temporarily regained the three-goal edge for Fort Wayne, when he finished off a three-way passing play with Vail and Jason Binkley. Kyle Flemington and Cody Sol threw down the mitts on the next shift, and 19 seconds after that, the Nailers lit the lamp. Tyler Currier gathered in a point in his debut with the squad, setting up Andrew Ammon, who wired home his second tally in as many nights from the left circle.

Wheeling had a golden opportunity in the third period, when Fort Wayne was whistled for back-to-back penalties on the same shift, creating a full two-minute 5-on-3. Unfortunately, the Nailers came up empty on that, but did trim the deficit to one with 4:11 remaining. Christian Hilbrich skied a pass through center ice to Cody Wydo, who gloved down the feed, and flipped a shot into the top-left corner of the cage. The majority of the third period was controlled by Wheeling, who held a 13-2 advantage in shots. However, the tying goal wasn't able to find the net, as the Komets prevailed, 4-3.

Garrett Bartus backstopped the win for Fort Wayne, turning away 26 of the 29 shots he faced. Sean Maguire played well, but came up short, despite making 24 saves on 28 shots.

The Nailers will return home for two more games before the holidays. Tuesday is a 7:05 tilt against the Manchester Monarchs, and McDonald's presents $6 kids tickets. On Thursday at 7:05, fans can wear an ugly sweater to the game and get an $11 ticket, as Wheeling battles the Cincinnati Cyclones. Later this month, fans will be able to get $10 tickets for Throwback Night on New Year's Eve, when the Nailers wear Thunderbirds jerseys in their game against the Elmira Jackals. Holiday packs are currently available, and may be purchased through the Nailers office only. The 12 Days of Christmas are taking place now. Keep tabs on the team's social media networks to learn about that day's special. To purchase tickets, or to get more information about season tickets, mini plans, group tickets, packages, and more, call (304) 234-GOAL.

Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
Bloomington Bison
Wheeling Nailers
Saturday, November 2nd
Bloomington Bison @ Wheeling Nailers
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM EDT
WesBanco Arena
Bloomington Bison
BLM Bloomington Bison
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena
Trois-Rivières Lions
Wheeling Nailers
Friday, November 8th
Trois-Rivières Lions @ Wheeling Nailers
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM EST
WesBanco Arena
Trois-Rivières Lions
TR Trois-Rivières Lions
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena
Trois-Rivières Lions
Wheeling Nailers
Saturday, November 9th
Trois-Rivières Lions @ Wheeling Nailers
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM EST
WesBanco Arena
Trois-Rivières Lions
TR Trois-Rivières Lions
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena

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