WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers and Kalamazoo Wings played a game where the last team to score won on Saturday night at WesBanco Arena. Wheeling never trailed in the contest, taking five different leads. The fifth lead turned out to be the game winning goal, as Danny Fick snapped the final deadlock, lifting the Nailers to a 5-4 victory. Nick Sorkin, Garrett Meurs, and Jordan Kwas all had three point nights.
Both teams picked up a goal in the first period, and the markers came during the early stages. For the fifth straight game and eighth time in the last nine contests, it was the Nailers who struck first. While playing on the man advantage, Cody Wydo teed up Nick Sorkin, who backed up into the high slot, before firing a wrist shot into the right side of the net. Darryl Lloyd also picked up a helper on Sorkin's 12th of the campaign. 4:32 later, Kalamazoo pulled even. A strange bounce landed on Kyle Bushee's tape on the right side. Bushee sent a shot towards the net, which hit off of Doug Carr and the post, before deflecting out to Lane Scheidl, who deposited the rebound from the bottom of the left circle.
Scoring increased a tad in the middle frame, but when the buzzer decided, there still wasn't a difference, as the game was deadlocked at three. For the second period in a row, Wheeling scored first on the power play. Jordan Kwas took the puck on the left side of the goal line, before feeding a perfect pass to Nick Sorkin, who roofed in a wrist shot from the right circle. The Wings tied the score less than two minutes later. Josh Pitt powered his way from right to left through the slot, then lifted a shot in from the left circle. The Nailers took their third lead of the night at the 10:20 mark of the stanza. Tyler Currier settled down a puck on the right side, and proceeded to drop a pass to Garrett Meurs, who drove a one-timer into the back of the goal. With 2:59 to go, the score was tied. Blake Hietala came off of the left wing wall, giving the puck to Tyler Biggs, who shoveled a shot into the left side of the net.
At the 5:36 mark of the third period, Wheeling regained the lead once again. Johnny Daniels patiently held onto the puck in the trapezoid, allowing Kevin Schulze to step up into the right circle as a passing target. Daniels put the puck on Schulze's tape for his first ECHL point, as Schulze found the top-left corner. Kalamazoo had another answer, which came on the power play. Joel Martin launched a pass to the offensive blueline for Scheidl, who buried a wrist shot from the right circle. With 3:12 left in regulation, the Nailers took their fifth lead of the night, and that one was carried into the win column. Currier drove the puck to the front of the net, setting off a mad scramble. Danny Fick got the final whack on the loose biscuit, slipping it into the cage for the deciding goal in a 5-4 triumph.
Doug Carr got the win for Wheeling, making 36 saves on 40 shots. Joel Martin took the loss for Kalamazoo, giving up five goals on 42 shots.
The Nailers will begin a seven-game road trip on Monday in Brampton at 2:00. Wheeling's next homestand will take place on March 10th, 11th, and 12th. The 10th is a Flat Screen Friday and Frosty Friday at 7:35 against Quad City. The Mallards are the opponent on the 11th at 7:05, which is Duck Dynasty Night, starring John Godwin and Justin Martin. Finally, the weekend wraps up on the 12th, which is Youth Hockey Day at 5:05 against Toledo. To purchase tickets, or to get more information about season tickets, mini plans, group tickets, and more, call (304) 234-GOAL.