WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers turned a double play in their weekend series against the Utah Grizzlies at WesBanco Arena, which concluded with a 4-1 victory Saturday on Pittsburgh Pirates Night. Three of Wheeling's four goals were scored by defensemen, including the first professional tally for Ross McMullan. Doug Carr made the performance stand up with 27 saves.
The Nailers got off to a wonderful start, bursting out to a 2-0 lead before the game was four minutes old. The first tally was Wheeling's fastest of the season, as it came at the 42-second mark of the opening stanza. Brett Stern carried the puck over the offensive blueline, then proceeded to step into a slap shot, driving it into the top-right corner of the cage. The next goal came 2:34 later, courtesy of another defenseman. Josh Shalla drove the puck to the front of the net, where it bounced free. Kevin Schulze grabbed the rebound, which he floated in with his backhand.
The home team continued its offensive output in period two, chasing Utah goaltender Ryan Faragher at the 38-second mark with the third goal of the evening. Jordan Kwas and Garrett Meurs drew a face-off win back to Ross McMullan, who sent a wrist shot home from the right point for his first professional goal. McMullan's first career point came earlier in the tilt on Schulze's tally. The Nailers also picked up a goal against Ryan McKay in the middle frame. Milos Bubela teed up a one-timer for Nick Sorkin, who found the back of the net from high in the offensive zone. The marker was recorded during a 4-on-3 power play, and additionally saw an assist go to Doug Carr for his first point of the campaign.
The Grizzlies foiled the attempt at a shutout with a power play goal at the 3:54 mark of the third period, when Tim Daly connected on a wrist shot from the right circle. That ended up being the last goal of the night, the Nailers skated away with the 4-1 victory.
Doug Carr played a strong game in goal for Wheeling, turning aside 27 of the 28 shots he faced for his second win of the weekend and seventh of the season. Ryan Faragher gave up three goals on ten shots for Utah, before being yanked in favor of Ryan McKay, who made 14 saves on 15 shots in relief.
The Nailers will play their next two games on the road in Brampton on December 9th and 11th. Wheeling's next home contest takes place on December 14th against Orlando, which features $6 kids tickets. Another big promotion in the near future is Throwback Night on New Year's Eve, when all tickets are $10, and the Nailers will wear Thunderbirds jerseys. Holiday packs are available now through the Nailers office. To purchase tickets, or to get more information about season tickets, mini plans, group tickets, packages, and more, call (304) 234-GOAL.