TOLEDO, OH- The Wheeling Nailers took one point out of Huntington Center on Saturday night, but fell just short in their attempt to secure a second one. With under ten seconds remaining in overtime, Beau Schmitz got himself open in the low slot, where he delivered the deciding goal in a 4-3 victory for the Toledo Walleye. Johnny Daniels was one of three Wheeling players to light the lamp, as he collected his first career ECHL goal.
The first period featured three goals, with the Walleye sandwiching a pair around Wheeling's first strike of the weekend. The first marker came on the power play at the 2:53 mark. Shane Berschbach spun a pass into the slot for Alden Hirschfeld. Hirschfeld drove a shot on net with traffic in front, that ultimately slipped through and turned on the red light. The Nailers responded at the 14-minute mark. Gage Quinney slithered down the left side of the ice, before centering a pass through the crease to Adam Krause, who pounded in a one-timer from the right side. With under one minute remaining, Toledo regained its advantage. Tyson Spink intercepted a Wheeling pass, dished a feed to his twin brother Tylor, who returned the favor, allowing Tyson to drill in a one-timer from the slot.
Wheeling rallied back in the second period, which concluded with an even score on the board. At the 9:18 mark, Nick Sorkin shoveled a shot on goal, which was blocked away by Heeter. Cody Wydo banged away at the rebound, and got it to slide into the cage from the left side of the crease. 3:38 after that, the Nailers took their first lead of the night. Goaltender Cal Heeter gave the puck away to Adam Krause, who immediately tossed a shot toward the pile. Andrew Miller took a whack at the bouncing biscuit, which landed on Johnny Daniels' tape for a tap-in on the right side of the net. Toledo got an equalizer with 4:22 left, while playing on the man advantage. Shane Berschbach sifted a wrist shot along the ice and into the goal from the right face-off dot.
The offenses slowed down in the third period, as neither team was able to score on 12 combined shots. The Nailers thought they skated away with an overtime victory, when Wydo's right circle wrist shot sailed into the left side of the net. However, incidental contact was ruled, and the goal was wiped off of the board. Instead, it was the Walleye, who got it to go their way. Beau Schmitz got behind the defense, and dribbled a shot through Doug Carr's legs for the 4-3 win.
Cal Heeter made 25 saves on 28 shots in the win for Toledo, while Doug Carr came up with 24 stops on 28 shots in the overtime defeat for Wheeling.
The Nailers will play the fourth game in their seven-game road trip on Sunday at Fort Wayne, with face-off scheduled for 5:00. The next homestand at WesBanco Arena 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.