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Nailers at Walleye Game Day Snap Shot, Feb. 24

Friday, February 24th
Nailers at Walleye Game Day Snap Shot, Feb. 24

WHEELING NAILERS(27-19-5-0, 59 PTS, 5th North, 9th East)178 GF, 158 GAPP: 20.7% (50-for-242), 8thPK: 76.4% (162-for-212), 26th

26-D-Kevin Schulze (9 goals, 35 assists, 44 points in 47 games)8-F-Nick Sorkin (13 goals, 29 assists, 42 points in 39 games)17-F-Jordan Kwas (19 goals, 21 assists, 40 points in 47 games)23-F-Garrett Meurs (19 goals, 20 assists, 39 points in 50 games)11-F-Cody Wydo (21 goals, 16 assists, 37 points in 50 games)14-F-Tyler Currier (11 goals, 22 assists, 33 points in 52 games)29-G-Sean Maguire (10-8-3 record, 2.88 GAA, .906 Sv% in 22 games)

TOLEDO WALLEYE(36-12-2-1, 75 PTS, 1st Central, 2nd West)210 GF, 146 GAPP: 23.5% (51-for-217), 2ndPK: 85.3% (133-for-156), 2nd

12-F-Tyson Spink (26 goals, 32 assists, 58 points in 51 games)24-F-Tylor Spink (19 goals, 34 assists, 53 points in 47 games)10-F-Shane Berschbach (10 goals, 41 assists, 51 points in 50 games)86-F-Evan Rankin (23 goals, 19 assists, 42 points in 48 games)11-D-Nolan Zajac (9 goals, 32 assists, 41 points in 49 games)27-F-AJ Jenks (16 goals, 23 assists, 39 points in 42 games)35-G-Jake Paterson (25-9-2 record, 2.52 GAA, .909 Sv% in 36 games)

Head to HeadSeason Series: Nailers 4, Walleye 3Season Series at Huntington Center: Walleye 2, Nailers 1All-Time Series: Walleye 33, Nailers 31All-Time Series at Huntington Center: Walleye 20, Nailers 8

Brampton Takes the Rubber MatchThe Wheeling Nailers took on their division rival, the Brampton Beast, three times in a six-day span last week. The two clubs split a pair of contests at WesBanco Arena, with identical 6-3 final scores, leading to Monday's finale at Powerade Centre, which gave one side the upper hand. David Ling opened the scoring for the Beast, but the Nailers had an answer later in the first period, as Nick Sorkin flicked in a wrist shot from the top of the right circle, while his team was playing on the man advantage. Midway through period two, Wheeling went ahead. Cody Wydo had a centering pass blocked, but got the puck back, wheeled around the net, and wrapped in his team-leading 21st goal of the campaign. Unfortunately, a span of 56 seconds in the final frame proved to be the difference, as Jordan Henry netted the equalizer and Chris Auger slammed home the game winning goal, as Brampton was victorious, 3-2. Zachary Fucale made 26 saves in the win, while Sean Maguire blocked 38 shots in the setback.

Sweeping the Center of the CountryThe Toledo Walleye spent last weekend on the road, visiting a couple of rare destinations, as they played three games in three days against the Wichita Thunder and Missouri Mavericks. Toledo scored twice in the first five minutes of their trip in Wichita, and ultimately got goals from four different players in a 4-1 victory over the Thunder. Tyson Spink was one of the goal scorers, and he led the way with three points. Saturday night was a bit more dramatic, as Wichita and the Walleye played to a 2-2 tie in the early goings of the third period. Once again, Tyson rose to the occasion, as he snapped the deadlock with 12:55 left in regulation, lifting T-Town to a 3-2 triumph. Sunday's weekend finale was close for the majority of the tilt, but Toledo never trailed. Mathew Santos, Mike Borkowski, Dane Walters, and Tyson Spink lit the lamp in a 4-1 win over the Missouri Mavericks, which was backstopped by Jeff Lerg. Walters amassed three points.

The West Must Be How It's Won14 of the final 21 games in the 2016-17 regular season for the Nailers will be played against teams from the Western Conference, starting with Friday night's clash against Toledo at Huntington Center. This will be the first of nine straight games against Western Conference foes, all of whom reside in the Central Division, as Wheeling will meet up with the Walleye, Fort Wayne Komets, Indy Fuel, and Quad City Mallards, before finally returning to divisional play on March 15th in Elmira. While that schedule will limit the amount of four-point swing games, the Nailers have fared well against the opposite conference, going 17-9-0 against the Central and Mountain Divisions. On the other side of the ice, North Division squads have been a thorn in the side of the Walleye this season, especially in recent weeks. Toledo is 0-3-2 in its last five games against Wheeling, Brampton, and Reading, and has been dealt seven of its 12 regulation losses by those three teams. Despite those numbers, the Walleye are still over the .500 mark against the North Division, entering the weekend at 8-7-2.

Raising the Game Against a LeaderJake Paterson's second season of professional hockey has been a good one for the Walleye, as he finds himself among the best in the ECHL in multiple statistical categories. Paterson's 25 wins are tied with Florida's Anthony Peters for the most in the league. His 2,142 minutes played are second behind Peters, he has four shutouts, which are tied for number two in the league, and his 898 saves and 2.52 goals against average are both fifth. However, one team in particular has left Jake with some crooked numbers, and that team is Wheeling, who raises up to a new level, when facing a top notch netminder. The Nailers have beaten Paterson three times in five starts, and all three were strong offensive performances, as they turned on the red light four, five, and seven times respectively, saddling him with a 4.84 goals against average and an .846 save percentage in the season series. Sean Maguire has played well against Toledo, going 2-1, while allowing just six goals on 100 shots in the three starts. Maguire ranks 13th in the ECHL with a 2.88 goals against average.

A Rare Stay in Northwest OhioSaturday night marks the eighth of ten head-to-head meetings between the Nailers and Walleye this season, as well as the fourth of five battles at Huntington Center. Due to their close geographical proximity, Wheeling and Toledo typically play each other once, then continue on to a different city to challenge a different club. However, this weekend, the Nailers will spend Friday night in Toledo, with another game against the Walleye scheduled on the slate for Saturday. This will be the only overnight stay in Ohio for Wheeling during the 2016-17 campaign, while Toledo will have its lone overnight in West Virginia on March 11th, following a couple of road games in Kalamazoo. After the road teams won the first two match-ups this year, the home squads have stormed back with five consecutive triumphs, including three that have gone to the Nailers. The most recent one took place on January 25th, when Wheeling erased a late 6-5 deficit for a 7-6 overtime win. Nick Sorkin has been the most productive player with ten points in seven contests, while Tyson Spink leads the Walleye with eight points.

Upcoming Home Games

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Screen Time Sunday & Post Game Skate
Sunday, February 25th
Screen Time Sunday & Post Game Skate
Puck Drops:
4:10 PM EST
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Kalamazoo Wings
KAL Kalamazoo Wings
4
00:00 2nd
1
Wheeling Nailers
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Faith & Family Night
Sunday, March 3rd
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Puck Drops:
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Cincinnati Cyclones
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Education Day
Tuesday, March 19th
Education Day
Puck Drops:
10:45 AM EDT
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Indy Fuel
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Wheeling Nailers
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