BOISE, ID- The Wheeling Nailers played the first of three straight games at CenturyLink Arena on Wednesday night, and unfortunately, they will have to wait a couple of days to pick up their first ever win against the Idaho Steelheads. Brian Nugent scored a shorthanded goal during the final minute of the first period to give the Steelheads their second lead of the night. Idaho added two more insurance markers in the middle frame, and went on to the 4-1 triumph on home ice.
The first period saw goals in both the first and last minutes by the Steelheads, as well as one sandwiched in between from the Nailers. The first goal came at the 47-second mark, when Corbin Baldwin launched a pass to Joe Basaraba on the right side. Basaraba sped past his defender, as he blazed to the goal, shifting the puck to his backhand to slide in the tally. Wheeling's marker occurred with 3:37 to go in the stanza. Gage Quinney gloved down a loose puck in the right circle, before shoveling a pass into the slot. Tyler Currier was the recipient of the pass, which he drilled into the back of the cage. With 59.8 seconds on the clock, Idaho regained the lead with a shorthanded marker. Basaraba gained the zone on the right side, before dropping a pass to Brian Nugent. Nugent crossed into the slot, squeezing his attempt through Sean Maguire's legs.
The Steelheads added to their lead with two more tallies during the second half of the middle frame. At the 13:04 mark, Jefferson Dahl battled the puck out of the left corner, before setting up Rob Linsmayer for a dart from the slot. Maguire made the save, but the rebound went to Will Merchant, who dribbled it into the twine. With 1:18 to go and a two-man advantage, Anthony Luciani made the score 4-1, ripping home a wrist shot from the top of the left circle.
The Nailers had a 12-9 advantage in shots on goal in the third period, but no pucks found their way into the net, and the final score went into the books 4-1 in favor of the Steelheads.
Landon Bow was the winning goaltender for Idaho, making 25 saves on 26 shots. Sean Maguire suffered the loss for Wheeling, despite finishing his evening by stopping 36 of the 40 shots he faced.
The Nailers and Steelheads will continue their three-game series at CenturyLink Arena on Friday and Saturday, with both games starting at 9:10. Wheeling will then play three home games next week. On February 15th, it's a WesBanco Winning Wednesday against Brampton at 7:05. On the 17th, Flat Screen Friday and Frosty Friday are the two promotions for a 7:35 game against Brampton. Finally, on Saturday the 18th, A Valley Divided - Steelers vs. Browns Night at 7:05 against Kalamazoo. Fans are invited to wear their favorite football team's jerseys, while having the chance to meet Merril Hoge and Earnest Byner. To purchase tickets, or to get more information about season tickets, mini plans, group tickets, and more, call (304) 234-GOAL.