TOLEDO, OH- The Wheeling Nailers will have a little less than 24 hours to dust themselves off and hope for a better result. On Friday night, the Toledo Walleye defeated the Nailers, 7-0 at Huntington Center, getting a hat trick from AJ Jenks, two goals by Tyson Spink, and 17 saves out of goaltender Jake Paterson. The shutout loss was Wheeling's first in 2016-17.
One goal was scored in the first period, and it went the way of the Walleye. Wheeling gave the puck away on the far side of its defensive zone. A steal was made by Nolan Zajac, who jumped up into the left circle, and bombed a slap shot into the back of the cage. Toledo outshot the Nailers, 8-5.
The middle frame was all Walleye, who upped their lead with three more strikes. The first one came at the 10:21 mark. Tylor Spink dribbled the puck to his twin brother Tyson, who teed up a rocket from high in the zone, finding the bottom-left corner of the goal. Next up was a power play marker off of an extremely quick passing play. Shane Berschbach floated a feed into the slot for Alden Hirschfeld, who immediately connected with AJ Jenks for a one-timer from the right side of the crease. 2:40 later, Jenks turned on the red light for a second time, when he intercepted a pass, waltzed in to his forehand, and tucked it into the net.
Toledo continued to drive forward in the third period, salting away the end result. A second power play tally came at the 4:35 mark, when Simon Denis gave the puck to Jenks, before getting it back, and swiping in a backhander. Less than four minutes later, Jenks completed his hat trick, powering his way down the right side, and putting a backhander into the cage. Tyson Spink finished off the scoring in the 7-0 decision, deking from forehand to backhand with 2:07 left on the clock.
Jake Paterson picked up the shutout win with 17 saves for Toledo. Sean Maguire suffered the loss for Wheeling, giving up seven goals on 28 shots.
The Nailers and Walleye will clash again at Huntington Center on Saturday at 7:30, as Wheeling continues its seven-game road trip. 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.