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Nailers vs. Wings Game Day Snap Shot

Saturday, February 18th
Nailers vs. Wings Game Day Snap Shot

WHEELING NAILERS(26-18-5-0, 57 PTS, 5th North, 9th East)171 GF, 151 GAPP: 19.8% (46-for-232), 9thPK: 76.0% (155-for-204), 26th

26-D-Kevin Schulze (8 goals, 33 assists, 41 points in 45 games)8-F-Nick Sorkin (11 goals, 27 assists, 38 points in 37 games)17-F-Jordan Kwas (19 goals, 18 assists, 37 points in 45 games)11-F-Cody Wydo (19 goals, 16 assists, 35 points in 48 games)23-F-Garrett Meurs (18 goals, 17 assists, 35 points in 48 games)14-F-Tyler Currier (11 goals, 21 assists, 32 points in 50 games)31-G-Doug Carr (12-10-1 record, 3.40 GAA, .887 Sv% in 24 games)

KALAMAZOO WINGS(24-22-1-3, 52 PTS, 5th Central, 11th West)138 GF, 162 GAPP: 11.8% (26-for-220), 26thPK: 81.9% (154-for-188), 16th

93-F-Justin Taylor (22 goals, 22 assists, 44 points in 48 games)21-F-Lane Scheidl (18 goals, 15 assists, 33 points in 50 games)24-D-Blake Kessel (10 goals, 22 assists, 32 points in 34 games)9-F-Tanner Sorenson (12 goals, 19 assists, 31 points in 50 games)15-D-Eric Kattelus (6 goals, 20 assists, 26 points in 41 games)3-F-Peter Schneider (6 goals, 16 assists, 22 points in 39 games)49-G-Joel Martin (14-13-3 record, 3.13 GAA, .906 Sv% in 31 games)

Head to HeadSeason Series: Nailers 5, Wings 2Season Series at WesBanco Arena: Nailers 2, Wings 1All-Time Series: Nailers 24, Wings 23All-Time Series at WesBanco Arena: Nailers 12, Wings 12

Roles Got ReversedThe Wheeling Nailers put the boots to the Brampton Beast, 6-3 on Wednesday night, but on Friday night, Brampton turned the tables on its competition. Things were looking good early for the Nailers, who jumped out to a 2-0 lead before the game was seven minutes old. Jordan Kwas stashed a Garrett Meurs pass into the right side of the net at the 4:11 mark, then tipped in a long wrist shot by Meurs 2:34 later. The score ended up being tied at the first intermission, as Tim Billingsley hammered in a 4-on-4 goal for the Beast, and David Pacan created the deadlock with 5.1 seconds left. Brampton carried that momentum into the middle frame, opening up an advantage. David Vallorani gave the visitors their first lead of the night on the power play at the 1:52 mark. Pacan followed with his second of the contest, and Mike Folkes added insurance for a 5-2 score after two. Meurs brought Wheeling back within two, but Brandon Marino provided the final dagger into an empty net. Andrew D'Agostini made 22 saves in the win, dealing Sean Maguire his first regulation loss in his last ten home starts, as he came up with 28 stops.

Sometimes It's Good to be the Only OneThe Kalamazoo Wings were involved in a game in which defense and goaltending took the spotlight on Friday night, as they visited their divisional opponent, the Fort Wayne Komets. The two sides combined for just 46 shots on goal in the affair, with Fort Wayne holding a 25-21 edge. While their work loads weren't very heavy, Pat Nagle of the Komets and Nick Riopel of the Wings both turned in excellent performances, as only one of the 46 pucks found the back of the net. The lone goal occurred at the 19:34 mark of the first period, when Mike Embach tipped in Cody Sol's wrist shot from the blueline. The other helper on the tally went to Brett Perlini. Kalamazoo's best chances to pull even took place during the third period, when it outshot Fort Wayne, 10-4, but Nagle was perfect, pitching the shutout.

Almost Two Years Since a GordieDespite the loss, Garrett Meurs had himself quite the game on Friday, as he scored a goal, dished out two assists, and dropped the gloves, becoming the first Wheeling player to record a Gordie Howe Hat Trick during the 2016-17 season. The first of the three statistics to appear on the scoresheet was the assist, as Garrett collected both of his helpers in the opening stanza, setting up both goals by Jordan Kwas. Next up was the fight, as he tussled with Lucas Venuto at the 15:13 mark of the first period. The goal took a little while longer to come by, but at the 6:01 mark of the third period, he turned on the red light, finishing off a play by Kevin Schulze in the offensive zone. The Nailers had gone 143 games without having a player record a Gordie Howe Hat Trick. The last one took place on February 22, 2015, when Zack Torquato completed the feat on the road against the Kalamazoo Wings. Pittsburgh Penguins forward Josh Archibald had a regular hat trick that day as well. Torquato's order was the same as Meurs' - assist, fight, goal.

Different Conference, but Lots of ImportanceEight of the final 23 games in the regular season will be played within the North Division for the Nailers, who suffered their first regulation loss at home against a divisional foe since October 20th, with Brampton's 6-3 win on Friday. Two of those eight tilts are against the Elmira Jackals, who are all but eliminated from the Kelly Cup Playoffs. While the divisional slate down the stretch might be somewhat light, Wheeling and some of its opponents are in the thick of very tight playoff races, meaning there will be plenty of meaningful contests for both teams involved. The Nailers and Kalamazoo Wings are both on the outside looking in at the moment, but both are knocking on the door of the teams in front of them, as Wheeling trails three teams by four points each in the North Division, while Kalamazoo sits one point back of Tulsa for fourth place in the Central Division. 20 of the 23 games remaining for the Nailers will be played against teams either in a playoff position or within reasonable distance of one.

One More Can Clinch itSaturday night marks the eighth of ten head-to-head meetings between the Nailers and Wings, as well as the fourth of five battles at WesBanco Arena. Wheeling has already guaranteed at least a tie in the season series, having won five of the first seven clashes, with a 3-1 record on the road and a 2-1 mark at home. The start of the set was the key for the Nailers, who knocked off Kalamazoo three times during an eight-day span in October and November, before splitting the next four, which were played over the course of four weeks. Three of the seven tilts have been decided by one goal, including each of the last two at Wings Event Center, where the Wings prevailed 5-4, before Wheeling exacted some revenge 3-2 the following week. The leading scorer in head-to-head games is Gage Quinney, who has collected seven points, despite missing one game due to injury. Kalamazoo is topped by Lane Scheidl and Justin Taylor, who both have five points. After Saturday, the last two games have the potential to be thrillers, as it will be a home-and-home series to conclude the regular season.

Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
Faith & Family Night
Sunday, March 3rd
Faith & Family Night
Puck Drops:
4:10 PM EST
WesBanco Arena
Cincinnati Cyclones
CIN Cincinnati Cyclones
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena
Education Day
Tuesday, March 19th
Education Day
Puck Drops:
10:45 AM EDT
WesBanco Arena
Indy Fuel
IND Indy Fuel
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena
Frosty Friday
Friday, March 22nd
Frosty Friday
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM EDT
WesBanco Arena
Kalamazoo Wings
KAL Kalamazoo Wings
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena

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