WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce that Christian Hilbrich has been selected as Sher-Wood Hockey ECHL Player of the Week for the week of January 9-15.
Hilbrich, 24, capitalized on a busy week for the Nailers, as he found his way onto the scoresheet in all four games, collecting five goals, four assists, and nine points, while the team posted a 2-2-0 record. On Wednesday, Wheeling defeated Toledo, 5-2, and Christian was involved in a pair of timely goals in the third period. His assist helped set up Tyler Currier to put the home team on top, 2-1, while his goal added insurance for a 4-2 score with 4:12 remaining. On Friday, the Nailers fell 4-3 to the Walleye, but Hilbrich was on the ice for all three tallies by his team, picking up one himself, while assisting on another. In Saturday's defeat against Kalamazoo, the Port Credit, Ontario native didn't go home empty-handed, as he assisted on the lone marker by Brett Stern. Finally, Hilbrich saved the best for last, as he had a career game at Wings Event Center on Sunday. The 6-foot-7 forward was involved in all three goals in the first period, scoring twice and adding an assist. Then, in the middle frame, Christian put the finishing touches on his first career hat trick, as Wheeling blitzed Kalamazoo, 5-2.
The rookie forward out of Cornell University has climbed up the leader board as the season has progressed, and is currently tied for fourth on the club with 24 points in 35 games. Ten of those points have come on the power play, which leads the Nailers in that department. Hilbrich's nine goals rank tied for fifth, and his +14 is second behind Kevin Schulze. Christian has 11 points thus far in January, and has only been held without a point in one contest, helping Wheeling to a 3-2-1 record.
Christian Hilbrich becomes the first Nailer to earn Sher-Wood Hockey ECHL Player of the Week in 2016-17, and the second member of the squad to earn league recognition, following Doug Carr's CCM ECHL Goaltender of the Week honor in late October. Two Wheeling players won ECHL Player of the Week in 2015-16 - Derek Army and Cody Wydo.
On behalf of Hilbrich, a case of pucks will be donated to the Wheeling Amateur Hockey Association (WAHA) by Sher-Wood Hockey, the exclusive puck supplier of the ECHL. Since beginning its sponsorship of the award in 2000-01, Sher-Wood Hockey has donated more than 35,000 pucks to youth hockey organizations in ECHL cities.
The Wheeling Nailers will return to action with two road games over the weekend - first in Norfolk on Friday at 7:30, then in Reading on Saturday at 7:00. The next home games will take place next week. The homestand will begin with a WesBanco Winning Wednesday on January 25th against Toledo at 7:05. The middle contest is a Flat Screen Friday and Frosty Friday against Quad City on January 27th. Finally, the highlight promotion of the week takes place on January 28th, when fans will get to meet two-time Stanley Cup Champion Pascal Dupuis on Pittsburgh Penguins Night, which features a 7:05 face-off against Brampton. To purchase tickets, or to get more information about season tickets, mini plans, group tickets, and more, call (304) 234-GOAL.