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Nailers at Steelheads Game Day Snap Shot

Wednesday, February 8th
Nailers at Steelheads Game Day Snap Shot

WHEELING NAILERS(24-15-5-0, 53 PTS, T-4th North, T-6th East)157 GF, 133 GAPP: 21.1% (43-for-204), 7thPK: 75.5% (139-for-184), 26th

8-F-Nick Sorkin (11 goals, 26 assists, 37 points in 36 games)26-D-Kevin Schulze (7 goals, 30 assists, 37 points in 40 games)17-F-Jordan Kwas (17 goals, 18 assists, 35 points in 44 games)11-F-Cody Wydo (16 goals, 16 assists, 32 points in 43 games)9-F-Christian Hilbrich (13 goals, 18 assists, 31 points in 44 games)23-F-Garrett Meurs (15 goals, 15 assists, 30 points in 43 games)29-G-Sean Maguire (9-5-3 record, 2.68 GAA, .906 Sv% in 18 games)

IDAHO STEELHEADS(24-16-5-2, 55 PTS, 3rd Mountain, 5th West)159 GF, 157 GAPP: 22.9% (40-for-175), 6thPK: 83.0% (156-for-188), 14th

11-F-Anthony Luciani (18 goals, 26 assists, 44 points in 46 games)21-F-Jefferson Dahl (14 goals, 29 assists, 43 points in 45 games)28-F-Will Merchant (15 goals, 19 assists, 34 points in 46 games)17-F-Joe Basaraba (14 goals, 19 assists, 33 points in 47 games)26-F-Rob Linsmayer (9 goals, 23 assists, 32 points in 42 games)6-D-Joe Faust (12 goals, 18 assists, 30 points in 45 games)35-G-Landon Bow (8-3-2 record, 2.77 GAA, .916 Sv% in 13 games)

Head to HeadAll-Time Series: First MeetingAll-Time Series at CenturyLink Arena: First Meeting

Keep the Points ComingThe Wheeling Nailers earned at least one point in all three of their games last week, going 1-0-2 to run their record to 7-1-2 in their last ten contests. Wheeling's first two contests were played on the road, where it suffered a 4-3 overtime defeat in Cincinnati, before rebounding to knock off Kalamazoo, 3-2. On Saturday night, the Nailers got off to a terrific start at home against the Reading Royals. Darryl Lloyd needed just 28 seconds to bring the WesBanco Arena crowd to its feet, and less than four minutes later, the lead was extended, courtesy of Jordan Kwas' strike on the power play. Reading stormed back with a pair of markers on the man advantage later in the opening stanza, tying the score, 2-2. Danny Fick put Wheeling back on top in the second period, but in the third frame, Matt Willows completed his hat trick to draw the Royals even. The North Division showdown went to overtime, where it was decided in Reading's favor on Jesper Pettersson's wrist shot from the right side of the slot. Martin Ouellette defeated Sean Maguire in net.

The Losing End of a Bear FightThe Idaho Steelheads had a rough go of it a week ago, as they were swept in a three-game series by the Utah Grizzlies at CenturyLink Arena. The games got closer as the week went along, as Utah started with a 6-4 triumph on Wednesday in a seesaw affair. On Friday night, the Grizzlies stormed out to a 3-0 lead, before Idaho was able to rally back from that and a 4-3 deficit to square the contest, 4-4. With 3:07 left in regulation, Kenton Helgesen gave Utah its final lead of the evening in what turned out to be a 5-4 victory for the visiting squad. On Saturday night, it was the Steelheads who took a 2-0 lead on a pair of goals in the second period. However, the Grizzlies battled back with two goals during the opening three minutes of the third period, then completed the comeback with Ralph Cuddemi's winning tally at 1:13 of overtime. Kyle Jean was Idaho's top performer, accumulating four points in the series. Branden Komm played the first two games between the pipes, before Landon Bow got the finale.

Long Trip Starts Long Stretch AwayThe longest road trip of the season in terms of distance is about to begin, as the Nailers traveled 2,139 miles (most of them by plane) to Boise, Idaho to begin their three-game series against the Steelheads. Wheeling enters play this week having played 24 home games and 20 road games, meaning that there will be a heavy dose of matches played away from WesBanco Arena in the coming weeks. Later in the month, the Nailers will take the ice for seven consecutive road contests, when they visit Brampton, Toledo, Fort Wayne, and Indy. There will also be a four-game trip to New York in the middle of March, when Wheeling will play its lone away contests against Elmira and Adirondack. Wednesday night will begin a stretch which will ultimately see the Nailers play 14 of their next 20 games in enemy territory, with a pair of three-game homestands mixed in from February 15-18 and March 10-12. Wheeling has compiled a 9-10-1 mark away from home thus far this season, and that number has improved since the turn of the calendar year, as the Nailers are 4-1-1 in opposition buildings since January 15th.

Pointing Out the Names We KnowThere will be plenty of unfamiliarity when the puck drops on Wednesday night, as Wheeling and Idaho take the ice for the first time. However, each roster has names that the opposing fan base will recognize. The Steelheads are led in scoring by Anthony Luciani, who was a royal pest for the Nailers during his three seasons with the Cincinnati Cyclones from 2011-14. Joe Basaraba, Brian Nugent, and Andre Bouvet-Morrissette also suited up with the Cyclones during their careers. Another name that will make hair stand on the backs of necks is Kyle Jean, who was a member of the Greenville Road Warriors during the 2014 Kelly Cup Playoffs. Despite missing three games in the series due to a suspension, Jean still mustered two goals and two assists. Other players who have opponsed the Nailers are Joe Faust (Adirondack), Corbin Baldwin & Zach Bell (Orlando), Charlie Dodero (Greenville), and Branden Komm (Evansville). Tyler Currier, Jordan Kwas, Tim Boyle, Darryl Lloyd, and Doug Carr are the five Wheeling players who have suited up against Idaho in their careers.

All Eyes in IdahoWednesday night marks the first of six head-to-head meetings between the Nailers and Steelheads this season, as well as the first of three battles at CenturyLink Arena. Despite the fact that Idaho has been a member of the ECHL since 2003, this will be the first time ever that it will match up with Wheeling for a game. Both sides have gotten a taste of the opposite conference this season, and has fared very well. The Nailers swept a two-game home series from the Utah Grizzlies at the start of December, giving them a 2-0-0 record against the Mountain Division. Wheeling also receives a heavy dose of games against Central Division squads, and has gone 13-7-0 in the first 20 clashes against Fort Wayne, Indy, Kalamazoo, Quad City, and Toledo. The Nailers will be the third North Division team to visit Boise this season, following Reading and Adirondack, who both dropped two of three games to the Steelheads. Idaho also made a trip east to Norfolk, where it went 2-0-1 in a week against the Admirals. Idaho will visit Wheeling for a three-game set in late March.

Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
Bloomington Bison
Wheeling Nailers
Saturday, November 2nd
Bloomington Bison @ Wheeling Nailers
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM EDT
WesBanco Arena
Bloomington Bison
BLM Bloomington Bison
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena
Trois-Rivières Lions
Wheeling Nailers
Friday, November 8th
Trois-Rivières Lions @ Wheeling Nailers
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM EST
WesBanco Arena
Trois-Rivières Lions
TR Trois-Rivières Lions
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena
Trois-Rivières Lions
Wheeling Nailers
Saturday, November 9th
Trois-Rivières Lions @ Wheeling Nailers
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM EST
WesBanco Arena
Trois-Rivières Lions
TR Trois-Rivières Lions
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena

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