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Nailers at Beast Game Day Snap Shot

Thursday, December 15th
Nailers at Beast Game Day Snap Shot

WHEELING NAILERS(11-7-2-0, 24 PTS, 5th North, T-7th East)66 GF, 59 GAPP: 16.9% (15-for-89), 14thPK: 79.3% (65-for-82), 23rd

26-D-Kevin Schulze (4 goals, 14 assists, 18 points in 20 games)25-F-Josh Shalla (10 goals, 7 assists, 17 points in 20 games)11-F-Cody Wydo (7 goals, 8 assists, 15 points in 20 games)17-F-Jordan Kwas (7 goals, 7 assists, 14 points in 20 games)23-F-Garrett Meurs (7 goals, 7 assists, 14 points in 20 games)16-F-Derek Army (7 goals, 5 assists, 12 points in 19 games)29-G-Sean Maguire (First Start of the Season)

BRAMPTON BEAST(11-7-1-2, 25 PTS, 4th North, 6th East)81 GF, 83 GAPP: 15.4% (12-for-78), 17thPK: 84.2% (80-for-95), 15th

97-F-David Vallorani (13 goals, 12 assists, 25 points in 21 games)61-F-David Pacan (13 goals, 12 assists, 25 points in 21 games)13-F-Brandon Marino (6 goals, 15 assists, 21 points in 21 games)11-F-Luke Pither (4 goals, 15 assists, 19 points in 18 games)17-F-Brandon MacLean (7 goals, 11 assists, 18 points in 20 games)4-D-Tim Billingsley (2 goals, 8 assists, 10 points in 19 games)31-G-Zachary Fucale (8-3-0 record, 2.99 GAA, .896 Sv% in 13 games)

Head to HeadSeason Series: Nailers 2, Beast 2Season Series at Powerade Centre: Nailers 1, Beast 1All-Time Series: Nailers 12, Beast 5All-Time Series at Powerade Centre: Nailers 8, Beast 2

Two Comebacks, but Three Fell ShortThe Wheeling Nailers were forced to play from behind a couple of times in Friday's weekend opener at Powerade Centre. The visitors were able to come back to even the score twice, but ran out of time before being able to erase deficit number three, as they suffered back-to-back road defeats for the first time in 2016-17. Wheeling's first marker came at the 11:58 mark of the second period, when Garrett Meurs flew down the left side of center ice, then drove to the middle, sliding in his seventh goal of the season. The second tally came off of a fortunate bounce. Derek Army slammed a puck into the corner, and it proceeded to deflect out to the right circle, where Milos Bubela pounced on the opportunity, potting his first professional goal. Doug Carr was the victim of two unlucky bounces himself in the crease for the Nailers, as he ended the night with 21 saves on 24 shots.

Brampton Climbs to FourthThe Brampton Beast earned their third consecutive victory on Friday night and fifth in their last six home games, as they came out on the higher end of the final equation. After a scoreless first period, David Vallorani opened the scoring for the Beast, as he deposited the rebound of Luke Pither's initial shot, as their team was playing with the man advantage. Later in the middle stanza, Chris Auger put Brampton ahead, when he batted Luc-Olivier Blain's centering pass out of the air and into the back of the cage. Auger has been a thorn in Wheeling's side, as his second of the night and eighth in the last two season series gave the Beast the lead for good at the 10:14 mark of the third period. The goal was the result of a nifty redirection in the right side of the slot, which was set up by Pither, who has seven points in four games against his former club. David Pacan iced the contest with an empty netter, and Zachary Fucale was huge in goal, turning away 34 of the 36 shots he faced.

Special Teams Make the DifferenceThe visiting Nailers did a lot of things well on Friday night, as they outscored Brampton 2-1 at even strength, while outshooting the opposition, 36-25. Unfortunately, one particular area haunted them, and that was special teams. The Beast scored two of their four goals on the power play, including Chris Auger's winner with 9:46 remaining in the third period. Brampton then added a shorthanded goal into an empty net to seal the deal. Power play goals have tended to lead to victories in the early part of the season, as Wheeling owns a 9-2-0 record when converting on at least one man advantage in a game, compared to a 2-5-2 record when coming up empty. Opposing teams are 6-7-0 when netting at least one power play goal. There has been at least one marker on the man advantage in 17 of 20 games involving the Nailers this season, with both teams striking in seven of those 17. The shorthanded goal was the first allowed by Wheeling this year, while the Nailers have recorded two of their own.

One Goes Up, Another Steps UpPrior to Friday's game, the Nailers learned that they would be without the services of their third leading scorer, as Nick Sorkin was loaned to the American Hockey League's San Diego Gulls. Sorkin had been centering a unit with Josh Shalla and Derek Army, meaning that another player would be forced to step up into that position. That player turned out to be rookie forward Milos Bubela, who took full advantage of his new opportunity, scoring his first professional goal at the 17-second mark of the third period. Bubela became the 19th different Wheeling player to put the puck in the net this season, as well as the eighth Nailer to score his first goal as a pro. In fact, Wheeling has had a player collect tally number one in three consecutive contests, as Kyle Flemington and Ross McMullan both achieved that feat during the two-game weekend set against Utah.

A Tight Race in the NorthSunday afternoon marks the fifth of 11 head-to-head meetings between the Nailers and Beast this season, as well as the third of five battles at Powerade Centre. The first four games have seen both clubs record one victory in each building, with Wheeling winning 6-5 at home and 5-2 on the road, and Brampton taking a 4-2 decision at home and a 3-2 overtime triumph on the road. Friday's defeat for the Nailers was just their second ever in Ontario, and their first since January of 2015, ending a streak of six straight victories on the Beast's home ice. One player from each side has tallied seven points in the first four matches of 2016-17, with Kevin Schulze serving as that person for Wheeling and Luke Pither for Brampton. After Sunday, four of the remaining six clashes will take place in West Virginia, including the next contest on January 28th.

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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