KALAMAZOO, MI- The Wheeling Nailers faced the challenge of playing a game and then traveling, while taking on a rested Kalamazoo Wings squad on Friday night at Wings Event Center. With less than two minutes to play in the second period and the score tied 1-1, the Nailers potted two big goals. The first came from former K-Wing Darryl Lloyd, and 29 seconds later, Gage Quinney turned on the red light. Doug Carr made the win hold up for his team, as he made 26 saves in the 3-2 Wheeling triumph.
The two sides played to a 1-1 tie in the first period, with the Nailers jumping out to the early lead, before Kalamazoo pulled even in the latter stages. The Wheeling marker came at the 3:24 mark. Tyler Currier moved the puck through neutral ice to Garrett Meurs on the left side. Meurs nearly got a step on his defender, but opted to hold onto the puck, before dropping a pass into the left circle. Jordan Kwas walked onto the feed, cut to the middle of the ice, and slid a shot around Joel Martin's left pad. The Wings got their goal as a result of a forward going to the middle as well. Justin Taylor broke in on the right side of the zone, then busted his way to the middle, opening up the leg pads, where he stashed his attempt.
The score stayed deadlocked until the closing minutes of the middle frame, when Wheeling scored two big goals to pull ahead by a pair. Shortly after a power play had expired, Jarrett Burton let a wrist shot go from the middle of the blueline, which was kept out by Martin. However, the rebound dropped free for Darryl Lloyd, who banged away at the loose puck, tucking in a goal against his former team. 29 seconds after that, the Nailers extended their advantage. Gage Quinney took the puck out from behind the net, before twisting around at the bottom of the left circle, and roofing a shot into the top-left corner of the cage.
Former Nailer Kyle Bushee cut the final margin to one, as he scored with less than five seconds remaining in the third period, in the 3-2 setback for the Wings.
Doug Carr got the win in goal for Wheeling, turning aside 26 of the 28 shots he faced. Joel Martin took the loss for Kalamazoo, despite making 39 saves on 42 shots.
The Nailers will wrap up the weekend on Saturday night, when they play host to the Reading Royals at 8:05. The promotion is Princesses & Pirates Night. Kids are encouraged to dress up like their favorite princess or pirate, while getting a chance to meet characters from popular movies and television shows. Later in the month, on February 18th, it's a Valley Divided - Steelers vs. Browns Night. Fans are invited to wear their favorite football team's attire, while being able 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.