WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers faced the top team in the ECHL on Friday night at WesBanco Arena, but the final score indicated that they were the best team on the ice in that particular contest. Sean Maguire was perfect on 25 Toledo Walleye shots for his first career shutout, and he received plenty of support from his teammates. Nick Sorkin and Garrett Meurs both had two-goal games, while Ryan Segalla and Jordan Kwas each chipped in with a marker, as the Nailers throttled the Walleye, 6-0.
The Nailers had a magnificent first period, as they busted out to a 3-0 lead. The first goal came at the 5:06 mark. Andrew Miller broke up a play in his own end, springing Nick Sorkin in the other direction. Sorkin stickhandled in on the left side, moving the puck to his forehand before roofing a shot over Jake Paterson's blocker. 2:54 later, Wheeling extended its lead. Gage Quinney chased down a long pass from Christian Hilbrich, then proceeded to wind his way around the net. Ryan Segalla stepped up to the right face-off dot, giving Quinney a passing target, which he hit, and Segalla proceeded to ripple the mesh with his second goal of the year. With 7:54 to go, the power play announced its presence, when Garrett Meurs lifted in a wrist shot from the bottom of the right circle.
The offensive explosion continued in the second period, as Wheeling upped its advantage to 5-0. Goal number four on the evening came at the 9:13 mark, when an odd-man rush developed. Tyler Currier carried the puck into the zone on a 3-on-2, which became a 4-on-2, with a drop pass to Brett Stern. Stern let a one-timer go from the left point, which was redirected in by Jordan Kwas, who set a career high with his tenth tally of the campaign. Fans could barely blink before the next strike took place. Sorkin carried the ensuing face-off ahead, and flipped a wrist shot over Paterson's right arm, chasing him from the net after allowing five goals on 16 shots. Nine seconds separated the two goals.
One more goal got tacked on in the third period, and it came with 7:44 left. Hilbrich set up Meurs in the left circle, where he slid a shot through Steve Racine, finishing off the 6-0 triumph for the Nailers.
Sean Maguire earned his first professional shutout, turning away all 25 shots he faced for Wheeling. Jake Paterson was pulled for the first time this season, giving up five goals on 16 shots for Toledo, before being replaced by Steve Racine, who went 11-of-12 in relief.
The Nailers will take the ice again on Sunday at home against the Cincinnati Cyclones, with face-off scheduled for 5:05. McDonald's presents $6 kids tickets, and there will be a skate with the team following the game (odd-numbered players). Next Saturday, Wheeling will play host to Kalamazoo on Star Wars Night. The Nailers will wear Jedi jerseys, and the Star Wars characters will be at the game. Another upcoming promotion is Pittsburgh Penguins Night on January 28th, starring Pascal Dupuis. To purchase tickets or to get more information about season tickets, mini plans, group tickets, and more, call (304) 234-GOAL.