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Nailers vs. Komets Game Day Snap Shot

Thursday, December 29th
Nailers vs. Komets Game Day Snap Shot

WHEELING NAILERS(11-9-2-0, 24 PTS, 5th North, T-8th East)70 GF, 68 GAPP: 16.5% (16-for-97), 16thPK: 77.7% (73-for-94), 25th

26-D-Kevin Schulze (4 goals, 15 assists, 19 points in 22 games)11-F-Cody Wydo (8 goals, 10 assists, 18 points in 22 games)25-F-Josh Shalla (10 goals, 7 assists, 17 points in 22 games)23-F-Garrett Meurs (7 goals, 8 assists, 15 points in 22 games)17-F-Jordan Kwas (7 goals, 7 assists, 14 points in 22 games)16-F-Derek Army (8 goals, 5 assists, 13 points in 21 games)31-G-Doug Carr (7-6-1 record, 3.15 GAA, .896 Sv% in 15 games)

FORT WAYNE KOMETS(13-6-3-0, 29 PTS, 3rd Central, T-5th West)81 GF, 62 GAPP: 16.0% (13-for-81), 17thPK: 85.0% (91-for-107), 10th

19-F-Shawn Szydlowski (13 goals, 16 assists, 29 points in 21 games)24-F-Kyle Thomas (10 goals, 14 assists, 24 points in 22 games)48-F-Garrett Thompson (9 goals, 10 assists, 19 points in 22 games)13-F-Mike Cazzola (6 goals, 12 assists, 18 points in 22 games)22-F-Jamie Schaafsma (5 goals, 12 assists, 17 points in 17 games)4-D-Jason Binkley (2 goals, 10 assists, 12 points in 18 games)60-G-Garrett Bartus (2-0-1 record, 2.41 GAA, .905 Sv% in 4 games)

Head to Head2015-16 Season Series: Komets 1, Nailers 02015-16 Season Series at WesBanco Arena: Did Not PlayAll-Time Series: Nailers 7, Komets 4All-Time Series at WesBanco Arena: Nailers 3, Komets 2

The Bears Enjoyed the ColdThe Wheeling Nailers ran into an Orlando Solar Bears team on Wednesday night, whose recent play has matched the temperatures in Florida - steadily hot. Orlando came to Wheeling having won nine of 12 games, and looked to continue that run early with a power play goal by Eric Faille. The Nailers limited the deficit to one, before tying the score at the 47-second mark of the second period, when Cody Wydo punched home the rebound of Adam Krause's initial shot. A second man advantage marker put the Solar Bears back on top, and they went on to score each of the game's next four goals, opening up a 5-1 lead. The fourth and fifth tallies were both netted by Brett Findlay, with Denver Manderson drawing both of the primary assists. Christian Hilbrich popped in a late goal for Wheeling, who fell 5-2, despite posting 41 shots on goal. Ryan Massa made 39 saves, defeating Sean Maguire, who stopped 25 shots in his home debut.

A Split of K's & K-WingsThe Fort Wayne Komets got the opportunity to relax a bit this week, after playing five games in seven days last week, posting a 3-1-1 record. The last two of those tilts made for a home-and-home series between the Komets and the nearby Kalamazoo Wings. Fort Wayne made its mark first in the weekend opener, skating away with a 4-2 victory at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. The two sides played to a 1-1 tie, before Kyle Follmer, Mike Cazzola, and Shawn Szydlowski opened up a three-goal cushion for the home team. Garrett Bartus backstopped the triumph with 25 saves. The Komets looked to replicate their success the following night at Wings Event Center, as Devin Mantha started the scoring in the opening stanza. Kalamazoo drew even in the early stages of period two, then went ahead with 13:51 remaining in third period. Mantha was the only Fort Wayne player able to solve Nick Riopel, who edged Eric Hartzell, 2-1 in the defensive battle.

Throw Away That Broken RecordThe past three games have followed similar scripts for the Nailers, as they have played their opposition to a 5-5 tie at even strength, while being outscored 8-1 in the two special teams departments. On Wednesday night, Orlando scored twice on the power play and once shorthanded, making for the difference in the 5-2 decision. Wheeling has surrendered two power play goals in each of its last three contests, with the lone power play goal for coming in Sunday's weekend finale in Brampton. The Nailers have fared well when tallying at least once on the man advantage, posting a 9-3-0 record. That mark gets even better when Wheeling scores on the power play and the opposition doesn't, as the Nailers have won all six games when that scenario is presented. Wheeling is 7-8-0 when allowing at least one power play goal, and that number drops to 2-6-0 when the opposition wins the special teams battle. While power play goals typically get most of the recognition, Fort Wayne has some large numbers in the other direction, having scored seven shorthanded goals and allowing six.

Two Names We Know WellAfter Denver Manderson was in the building on Wednesday, two more former Nailers will enter their former home arena on Friday night. One of the two players has already made his return, while the other will step foot into the visiting locker room for the first time. Defenseman Bobby Shea was a member of the South Carolina Stingrays, who lost to Wheeling last spring in the classic seven-game Eastern Conference Final Series. Shea collected one goal, one assist, and two penalties in the series, after playing his lone campaign with the Nailers in 2014-15, when he had ten points and 93 penalty minutes in 36 games. Goaltender Eric Hartzell called Wheeling home for parts of two seasons from 2013-15. Hartzell earned his first professional win as a Nailer with a home shutout against the Elmira Jackals, before going on to a 25-19-2 mark during his overall tenure. Eric spent the majority of the 2015-16 season in Europe, but also saw time with the Idaho Steelheads and Stockton Heat. He is 7-6-2 in 16 appearances this season, while Shea has eight points in 12 contests.

Come Back Sooner Next TimeFriday night marks the first of five head-to-head meetings between the Nailers and Komets this season, as well as the first and only battle at WesBanco Arena. This will be Fort Wayne's first visit to West Virginia since March 27, 2015, when Cody Wydo picked up a goal and an assist in his professional debut - a 2-1 victory for Wheeling. Last year featured just one game between the two clubs, as the Komets eked out a 1-0 overtime decision at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. After JP Anderson denied his penalty shot during the late stages of the third period, Shawn Szydlowski was the overtime hero, giving Pat Nagle the one goal of support he needed. Eight of the 11 games played all-time took place during a two-year span from 2013-15. This weekend will feature the only two clashes of the first half, as the Nailers will visit Fort Wayne on Saturday, then return for back-to-back weekends in late February and early March.

Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
Screen Time Sunday & Post Game Skate
Sunday, February 25th
Screen Time Sunday & Post Game Skate
Puck Drops:
4:10 PM EST
WesBanco Arena
Kalamazoo Wings
KAL Kalamazoo Wings
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena
Faith & Family Night
Sunday, March 3rd
Faith & Family Night
Puck Drops:
4:10 PM EST
WesBanco Arena
Cincinnati Cyclones
CIN Cincinnati Cyclones
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena
Education Day
Tuesday, March 19th
Education Day
Puck Drops:
10:45 AM EDT
WesBanco Arena
Indy Fuel
IND Indy Fuel
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena

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