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Thunderbirds vs. Jackals Game Day Snap Shot

Thursday, January 5th
Thunderbirds vs. Jackals Game Day Snap Shot

WHEELING THUNDERBIRDS(14-12-2-0, 30 PTS, 5th North, 9th East)90 GF, 89 GAPP: 16.0% (20-for-125), 16thPK: 75.6% (90-for-119), 27th

26-D-Kevin Schulze (4 goals, 20 assists, 24 points in 28 games)22-F-Adam Krause (8 goals, 13 assists, 21 points in 20 games)23-F-Garrett Meurs (10 goals, 10 assists, 20 points in 28 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 23 games)17-F-Jordan Kwas (8 goals, 9 assists, 17 points in 28 games)29-G-Sean Maguire (2-4-0 record, 3.66 GAA, .870 Sv% in 6 games)

ELMIRA JACKALS(7-16-5-0, 19 PTS, 6th North, 12th East)69 GF, 101 GAPP: 15.9% (14-for-88), 17thPK: 85.4% (82-for-96), 9th

10-F-Sebastien Sylvestre (6 goals, 11 assists, 17 points in 23 games)20-F-Kenton Miller (9 goals, 5 assists, 14 points in 27 games)21-F-Kyle Rankin (5 goals, 9 assists, 14 points in 24 games)55-D-Davis Vandane (2 goals, 10 assists, 12 points in 25 games)44-F-Casey Thrush (1 goal, 9 assists, 10 points in 18 games)13-F-Tyson Fawcett (1 goal, 9 assists, 10 points in 27 games)31-G-Jason Kasdorf (2-4-0 record, 4.01 GAA, .879 Sv% in 6 games)

Head to Head2015-16 Season Series: Jackals 4, Nailers 22015-16 Season Series at WesBanco Arena: Jackals 3, Nailers 0All-Time Series: Jackals 46, Nailers 45All-Time Series at WesBanco Arena: Nailers 26, Jackals 18

Getting Off of the RoadThe Wheeling Nailers have had their struggles when hopping onto the bus and playing away from WesBanco Arena during the last month, and on Friday night, they came up short against the Reading Royals at Santander Arena. Despite holding a 12-6 shots advantage, the Nailers fell behind in the first period, when Justin Crandall scored off of a rush which was started by Olivier Labelle. Wheeling battled back to even the score around the midway mark of the second period, when Derek Army roofed a wrist shot, giving him goals in three straight contests. Nick Sorkin's assist extended his point streak to six, while Keevin Cutting dished out his first pro helper. The teams exchanged strikes once more, with Robbie Czarnik lighting the lamp for Reading and Michael Webster denting the twine for the Nailers. With 8:19 to go, the deadlock was snapped for good, as Chris McCarthy tipped in Labelle's shot, putting the Royals on top. Crandall's second of the evening added insurance in the final minute for a 4-2 end result. Austin Lotz made his debut for the Royals, turning aside 26 shots in the win, while Sean Maguire made 24 saves for Wheeling.

Hopefully They Scored Themselves OutThe Elmira Jackals have had a Jekyll & Hyde type of week, as their offense was invisible in a 5-0 loss at Reading on Wednesday, before showing up in a big way, as they powered their way past the Norfolk Admirals, 7-4 at First Arena on Friday. Elmira charged out to an early 3-0 lead on Friday, thanks to a pair of goals by Benjamin Dieude-Fauvel and one by Justin Kea, but found themselves in a game at the first intermission, as Norfolk trimmed the lead to 3-2. In the second period, the Jackals put together their second three-goal attack, with Kea's second of the contest capping off the run which was started by Kyle Rankin and Mark Bennett. Once again, the Admirals attempted a comeback in the third period, as they found the back of the net twice, but that was far from enough, as Bennett finished his two-goal game with Elmira's seventh strike of the night. Andy Iles was the beneficiary of the offense, making 24 saves in the win, while Brandon Anderson got shelled with all seven goals on 40 shots.

Finishing 2016 How We Started ItIn the first game of the 2016 calendar year, the Nailers took the ice wearing Wheeling Thunderbirds jerseys, and got some terrific vibes from the historical uniforms, as they pummeled the Brampton Beast, 5-1 at WesBanco Arena. Wheeling will look for similar magic on Saturday night, when it pays homage to its history again, but this time, a different set of jerseys will be worn, as the home team will take the ice dressed in black. This will be the third specialty jersey worn by the Nailers this season, who were victorious on Military Appreciation Night and Pittsburgh Pirates Night, scoring four goals on each occasion. Wheeling has also picked up a win in its lone home game with its brand new alternate jersey, which has season a 1-1 mark thus far. 2016 has been a memorable year of hockey in the Ohio Valley, as the Nailers captured their first Eastern Conference Championship in the spring. Wheeling enters the final tilt of the calendar year with a 37-26-7 record during the regular season and a 14-12 mark in the playoffs for a total of 51 victories.

First One to Three in a RowWith the team's opening goal on Friday night, Derek Army lit the lamp for the 11th time this season, giving him the lead in that category. It also gave Army a goal in three consecutive contests, as he became the first Nailer to do that during the 2016-17 season. Prior to Derek, Wheeling had 12 different occasions during the season in which players had goals in back-to-back games, but never three in a row. Nick Sorkin assisted on Army's tally, as he matched his previous season high with points in six straight games. Unfortunately, Christian Hilbrich saw his six-game point streak end on Friday night. The Jackals have a familiar name leading their club in goals, as Kenton Miller has turned on the red light eight times for Elmira, after scoring once in eight games with the Nailers. Sebastien Sylvestre has the most points for the Jackals, as he has accumulated 17 in 23 games.

They Waited Until the End of the YearSaturday night marks the first of three head-to-head meetings between the Nailers and Jackals this season, as well as the lone battle at WesBanco Arena. Wheeling and Elmira developed quite the rivalry when the two teams became divisional opponents at the start of the 2011-12 campaign, as they met 14 times that season, ten times in 2012-13, and then an all-time high of 15 times in 2013-14. However, the amount of games has drastically dropped off since then, as the Jackals prevailed 4-2 in a six-game set last season, leading up to this year's three-game tussle. The Nailers will be looking to end a three-game skid on home ice against Elmira, as the road team won five of the six tilts in 2015-16. This will be the second time that the Jackals are the opponent on New Year's Eve, as Elmira escaped with a 3-2 decision on that date in 2012. Wheeling is looking for its first New Year's Eve victory since 2010, when it won at Gwinnett, 4-1. The two teams will lock up twice more this season, when the Nailers make a four-game trip to New York in March, which features two contests with the Jackals and two with the Adirondack Thunder.

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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