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Nailers Rally Past Walleye, 7-6 in Overtime

Tuesday, January 31st
Nailers Rally Past Walleye, 7-6 in Overtime

WHEELING, WV- The 2016-17 Wheeling Nailers can score goals, and they can score them in big bunches. On Wednesday night, Wheeling trailed the Toledo Walleye by two goals on two separate occasions, but came back both times. Kevin Schulze tied the contest for the Nailers with 18 seconds left in the third period, then Christian Hilbrich's second goal of the night was the game winner with 56 seconds remaining in overtime, as the Nailers rallied to stun the Walleye, 7-6 at WesBanco Arena. Gage Quinney had four points for the second time in three outings.

Three goals were scored in a span of less than four minutes during the first period. The first two strikes went to Toledo, starting with a play that was generated by a Zach Nastasiuk steal behind the Wheeling cage. Nastasiuk fed Alden Hirschfeld, who roofed a wrist shot from the inner edge of the left circle. The second Walleye goal came off of the rush. Tyson Spink broke in his twin brother Tylor, who faked to his backhand, lifting a shot up under the crossbar. The Nailers responded less than two minutes later to pull back within one. Danny Fick launched a pass off of the left glass from his own end, and a friendly bounce gave Christian Hilbrich a breakaway. Hilbrich flipped his shot over Jake Paterson's left shoulder.

The second period was a busy one offensively, as seven pucks found their way to the back of the net. Wheeling tied the game at the 16-second mark, when Gage Quinney snapped a left circle shot into the top-right corner. The Walleye regained the lead 5:33 later. Mathew Santos floated a pass into the slot for Tyson Spink, who quickly turned to his backhand, and shoveled an attempt into the goal. Two goals in 57 seconds gave the Nailers their first advantage of the night. Jordan Kwas tipped in a Kevin Schulze point shot for his team-leading 15th tally of the year, before Kwas forced a turnover, and set up Tyler Currier, who zipped in a shot from the right side of the slot. Less than two minutes after that, Toledo pulled even. A bang-bang passing play resulted in Shane Berschbach feeding Hirschfeld for his second of the evening from the right circle. A late five-minute major penalty on Wheeling resulted in a long power play for the Walleye, who converted twice to go back on top by two. Nathan Moon scored both of the goals, finishing a Hirschfeld pass on the first one, then pounding home his own rebound on the second one.

The Nailers faced a bit of a hill to climb in the third period, but they succeeded in reaching the summit. First, Wheeling pulled within a goal at the 5:22 mark. Quinney dished a pass to Cody Wydo, who banked a shot off of Paterson's left leg and in over the goal line. The tying tally took a little longer, coming with under 20 seconds to go in regulation. Kevin Schulze drove a wrist shot through traffic from the right circle, making the score 6-6 and forcing overtime.

Prior to Wednesday, Wheeling had been winless during the sudden death period, while Toledo was undefeated. That changed with 56 seconds left on the clock. Quinney centered a puck to the top of the crease, where it was punched in by Hilbrich for his second goal of the night - the deciding strike in a 7-6 triumph for the Nailers.

The goaltenders had their work cut out for them on this night. Doug Carr got the win for Wheeling, making 20 saves on 26 shots. Jake Paterson took the overtime loss for Toledo, giving up seven goals on 35 shots.

The Nailers will continue their homestand on Friday night at 7:35 against the Quad City Mallards. That will be a Flat Screen Friday and a Frosty Friday. Then, on Saturday, it's Pittsburgh Penguins Night Starring Pascal Dupuis, as Wheeling hosts Brampton at 7:05. To purchase tickets, or to get more information about season tickets, mini plans, group tickets, and more, call (304) 234-GOAL.

Upcoming Home Games

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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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