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Nailers at Walleye Game Day Snap Shot

Thursday, December 29th
Nailers at Walleye Game Day Snap Shot

WHEELING NAILERS(14-10-2-0, 30 PTS, 5th North, 8th East)85 GF, 81 GAPP: 16.4% (19-for-116), T-14thPK: 76.1% (83-for-109), 26th

26-D-Kevin Schulze (4 goals, 19 assists, 23 points in 26 games)11-F-Cody Wydo (9 goals, 11 assists, 20 points in 26 games)22-F-Adam Krause (8 goals, 12 assists, 20 points in 18 games)23-F-Garrett Meurs (9 goals, 10 assists, 19 points in 26 games)8-F-Nick Sorkin (7 goals, 11 assists, 18 points in 21 games)17-F-Jordan Kwas (8 goals, 8 assists, 16 points in 26 games)31-G-Doug Carr (8-6-1 record, 3.27 GAA, .891 Sv% in 16 games)

TOLEDO WALLEYE(21-4-0-1, 43 PTS, 1st Central, 1st West)114 GF, 74 GAPP: 23.9% (27-for-113), 1stPK: 83.7% (72-for-86), 16th

24-F-Tylor Spink (10 goals, 19 assists, 29 points in 26 games)27-F-AJ Jenks (12 goals, 16 assists, 28 points in 26 games)12-F-Tyson Spink (10 goals, 17 assists, 27 points in 26 games)16-F-Tyler Sikura (13 goals, 12 assists, 25 points in 25 games)10-F-Shane Berschbach (5 goals, 20 assists, 25 points in 25 games)4-D-Jacob MacDonald (6 goals, 18 assists, 24 points in 26 games)35-G-Jake Paterson (11-3-1 record, 2.50 GAA, .912 Sv% in 15 games)

Head to HeadSeason Series: Nailers 1, Walleye 1Season Series at Huntington Center: Nailers 1, Walleye 0All-Time Series: Walleye 31, Nailers 28All-Time Series at Huntington Center: Walleye 18, Nailers 8

We Were Nice Going Into the HolidaysThe Wheeling Nailers won three of their last four games prior to the holiday break, closing out the stretch with back-to-back triumphs at WesBanco Arena. After coming back to beat the North Division leading Manchester Monarchs on Tuesday, Wheeling went to battle with the Cincinnati Cyclones on Thursday. The Nailers got on the scoreboard first, doing so at the 9:07 mark of the opening stanza. Christian Hilbrich tipped a Michael Webster shot on goal, where the rebound squirted out to Adam Krause, who potted his eighth goal of the season. Cincinnati drew even later in the frame, when the puck trickled over the line after a scramble in front. At the 3:56 mark of period two, Wheeling went ahead for good. Nick Sorkin fed Tyler Currier, who hesitated in the right circle, before setting up Derek Army for a redirection on the left side of the crease. The Nailers turned in a brilliant defensive performance, holding the Cyclones to just 17 shots, while killing off all three penalties. Sean Maguire made 16 saves, earning his second straight win in the 2-1 game.

K-Wings Left Coal BehindThe Toledo Walleye entered Friday night with just one setback all year on home ice - a 5-2 victory by the Wheeling Nailers on November 5th. The Kalamazoo Wings added one more blemish to that number, but needed extra time to do so. It took a while to produce a goal in regulation, before the two sides exchanged tallies during the final two minutes of the second period. Charlie Vasaturo struck first for Kalamazoo, before Dane Walters answered for Toledo. Tyler Sikura put the Walleye ahead with 7:57 remaining in the third period, but the Wings weren't about to go away empty-handed, as Justin Taylor picked up the equalizer with 2:41 remaining. Despite 71 combined shots on goal (37-34 Kalamazoo), three periods and overtime were unable to decide a winner, leading to a shootout. Only one of the six shooters were able to find the back of the net, and that was Taylor in round two for the Wings. Joel Martin made 32 saves to edge Jake Paterson, who came up with 34 stops in the collision of the keepers.

Little Details Make Big DifferencesIn a 60-minute hockey game, there are many different benchmarks that teams look to achieve, and on Thursday night, the Nailers executed a few that had plagued them in recent contests. The first benchmark was scoring the opening goal, which Wheeling did for just the third time in nine December games. The Nailers are now 9-3-0 when taking a 1-0 lead, compared to 5-7-2 when surrendering the first tally of the night. Next on the agenda was special teams. Wheeling netted the lone power play goal of the night, when Adam Krause pocketed his team-leading fifth marker on the man advantage at the 9:07 mark of the first period. The Nailers turned in a perfect performance on the penalty kill for the first time since November 26th, while winning the special teams battle for the first time since November 15th. Wheeling is 11-3-0 when scoring at least one power play goal. Finally, the shots on goal department went the way of the Nailers, who set a season-low, by limiting Cincinnati to 17 attempts. Wheeling is 10-6-0 when outshooting the opposition.

True Top Six in T-TownA quick look at the leading scorers on Toledo's roster will tell fans that the Walleye once again possess one of the most lethal offenses in the ECHL. In fact, Toledo currently occupies the top spot in the league, as it is the only club averaging over four goals per game, entering Tuesday with a 4.38 average, having dented the twine 114 times in 26 contests. One reason for that success is the top power play unit in the ECHL, as the Walleye have scored on 23.9% of their chances with an opponent in the sin bin. Five players have already reached double digits in goals, led by Tyler Sikura, who has 13. Twin brothers Tylor and Tyson Spink rank first and third among rookie scorers, as Tylor has 29 points, while Tyson has 27. Shane Berschbach is the only player among the top six forward scorers who has yet to reach the ten-goal mark, but has 20 assists to make up for it, as well as 13 power play points to lead the group. Jacob MacDonald has compiled six goals and 24 points to lead the way from the blueline.

Road Teams Took the First SetTuesday night marks the third of ten head-to-head meetings between the Nailers and Walleye this season, as well as the second of five battles at Huntington Center. Wheeling and Toledo clashed in a home-and-home series at the start of November, with the road team prevailing in both contests. The Walleye upended the Nailers 6-1 in the opener, backed by six different goal scorers. Wheeling bounced back with a 5-2 triumph the following night, despite falling into an early 2-0 deficit. Jordan Kwas of the Nailers and AJ Jenks and Tylor Spink of Toledo have both scored twice in the two games. Doug Carr was the goaltender of record in both games for Wheeling, beating Jake Paterson and losing to Cal Heeter. In the eight seasons since Toledo has returned to the ECHL, road wins have been somewhat rare in the all-time series, as home teams have come out on top in 38 of 59 games. The rivals will see a lot of each other in the coming weeks, as there are four January clashes on the docket, including the first one on the sixth at WesBanco Arena.

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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