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Nailers vs. Walleye Game Day Snap Shot

Tuesday, January 10th
Nailers vs. Walleye Game Day Snap Shot

WHEELING NAILERS(15-12-2-0, 32 PTS, 5th North, T-9th East)95 GF, 91 GAPP: 16.0% (21-for-131), 18thPK: 75.8% (94-for-124), 27th

26-D-Kevin Schulze (6 goals, 20 assists, 26 points in 29 games)23-F-Garrett Meurs (10 goals, 11 assists, 21 points in 29 games)11-F-Cody Wydo (9 goals, 11 assists, 20 points in 28 games)8-F-Nick Sorkin (7 goals, 13 assists, 20 points in 24 games)17-F-Jordan Kwas (9 goals, 10 assists, 19 points in 29 games)16-F-Derek Army (12 goals, 5 assists, 17 points in 28 games)29-G-Sean Maguire (3-4-0 record, 3.42 GAA, .883 Sv% in 7 games)

TOLEDO WALLEYE(24-5-0-1, 49 PTS, 1st Central, 1st West)126 GF, 81 GAPP: 23.5% (31-for-132), 1stPK: 85.1% (86-for-101), T-9th

24-F-Tylor Spink (12 goals, 22 assists, 34 points in 30 games)27-F-AJ Jenks (13 goals, 20 assists, 33 points in 30 games)12-F-Tyson Spink (12 goals, 19 assists, 31 points in 30 games)10-F-Shane Berschbach (7 goals, 22 assists, 29 points in 29 games)16-F-Tyler Sikura (13 goals, 12 assists, 25 points in 28 games)11-D-Nolan Zajac (4 goals, 16 assists, 20 points in 30 games)35-G-Jake Paterson (14-4-1 record, 2.35 GAA, .918 Sv% in 19 games)

Head to HeadSeason Series: Walleye 2, Nailers 1Season Series at WesBanco Arena: Walleye 1, Nailers 0All-Time Series: Walleye 32, Nailers 28All-Time Series at WesBanco Arena: Nailers 20, Walleye 13

T-Birds Close Out the Year in StyleThe Wheeling Nailers finished off the 2016 calendar year exactly the same way they started it, by taking the ice in Thunderbirds jerseys and collecting a victory. Wheeling surrendered the game's opening goal on an Elmira Jackals power play with less than four minutes remaining in the first period, before turning the tilt around completely in the middle frame. Andrew Miller started the rally for the Nailers by tapping in his first career goal from the right side of the slot. Wheeling then took the lead, thanks to a one-time blast by Jordan Kwas from the right circle. ECHL All-Star Kevin Schulze was next to show off his skills, as he potted a Brett Stern rebound to make the score 3-1, before spinning away and roofing another goal 24 seconds after that. As the second period wound down, Elmira trimmed the gap to two, but in the third period, Derek Army added one more marker on the power play, capping off a 5-2 win for the home team. Sean Maguire was victorious in goal, as he blocked away 34 of the 36 shots he faced, including 21 of 22 in the middle stanza.

Kryptonite for the KometsThe Toledo Walleye and Fort Wayne Komets have developed a solid rivalry in the Central Division, as both teams have already eclipsed the 40-point mark in 2016-17. On Saturday night, the two teams met in Fort Wayne, and the script followed a similar path to the one it has taken recently, with Toledo earning the two points for the seventh time in the last eight clashes. Fort Wayne opened the scoring at the 7:12 mark of the first period on Kyle Thomas' 16th goal of the season. The Spink twins came to the rescue in the middle frame, when Tylor set up Tyson for the equalizer on the man advantage. Tyson got a goal of his own with 8:43 remaining in the third period, giving the Walleye their first lead of New Year's Eve. Shane Berschbach iced what turned out to be a 3-1 final score with an empty netter in the closing minute. Jake Paterson made 31 saves for the win in goal.

Representing on DefenseIn just under two weeks, stars around the league will take the ice in Glens Falls, New York for the ECHL All-Star Challenge. Wheeling and Toledo will both be represented by defensemen, as Kevin Schulze was selected from the Nailers, while Jacob MacDonald got the call for the Walleye. The two are currently tied for second place among defensemen with 26 points each, trailing Colorado's Matt Register (32 points). A second year blueliner, MacDonald leads Schulze in goals, 7-6, giving Wheeling's rookie the edge in assists. Both players also have extremely impressive numbers in the +/- department, as Schulze is +17, while MacDonald is +12. The Nailers will not have to deal with Toledo's all-star representative on Friday night, as MacDonald was loaned to the AHL's Albany Devils on Thursday. Rookie Nolan Zajac is the next most productive defenseman for the Walleye, as he has 20 points in 30 games, while Michael Webster (16 points) and Brett Stern (14 points) are the two other Wheeling defensemen who have reached double digits in points.

Two Teams in Comfortable PlacesHuntington Center has quickly earned the reputation as one of the more challenging arenas for road teams to earn victories, as the Walleye have posted a 9-2-1 record on home ice this year. While that is impressive, Toledo has possibly been even better on the road, going 15-3-0 in the first half of its games away from the shore of the Maumee River. The 15 road victories are the most in the ECHL, leading second place Allen by three. Strangely enough, 2016-17 began with a road loss for the Walleye, who were bested by the Atlanta Gladiators 4-1 at Infinite Energy Arena. The Nailers will play the second of four straight home games on Friday night, which has been good news for them as of late, as they went 6-1-0 at WesBanco Arena in December. Wheeling is one of six teams in the league to have earned double digit wins on home ice thus far this season. The Nailers will look for better fortunes on the road as the season continues, with their next trip taking place in exactly one week, when they make their way to T-Town.

Entering the Heat of the SeriesFriday night marks the fourth of ten head-to-head meetings between the Nailers and Walleye this season, as well as the second of five battles at WesBanco Arena. The two sides split their first two tilts, with both teams coming away with the two points on the road. Those two final scores had some separation as well, as Toledo prevailed 6-1 in Wheeling, while the Nailers were victorious 5-2 at Huntington Center. On December 27th, the season series continued in Northwest Ohio with a game that came down to the wire. While the winning goal was scored in the second period, the contest was decided by one goal, with a 4-3 result going the way of the Walleye. Three different players have accumulated four points in the three games, with Nick Sorkin leading the way for Wheeling and AJ Jenks and Shane Berschbach recording that total for Toledo. The Walleye will get their first look of the year at Sean Maguire on Friday, while the Nailers will likely see Jake Paterson for the third time this season. The two rivals will play a home-and-home series against each other next week, then another game after that in late January.

Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
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
Frosty Friday
Friday, March 22nd
Frosty Friday
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM EDT
WesBanco Arena
Kalamazoo Wings
KAL Kalamazoo Wings
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena

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