WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have received two players from the American Hockey League's Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, in preparation for Saturday night's home game against the Quad City Mallards. Forward Christian Hilbrich has been loaned to Wheeling from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, while defenseman Brett Stern has been released from his PTO with the Penguins, allowing him to rejoin the Nailers.
Hilbrich, 24, has been recalled to the AHL twice in the last month, and has appeared in five games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Christian suited up in three games for the Nailers last weekend, picking up an assist in Friday's 3-2 overtime win against the Indy Fuel. The rookie forward has had a strong start to his career in the organization, as he has recorded 13 goals, 22 assists, and 35 points in 51 games with Wheeling, while leading the squad with a +20 rating.
Stern, 25, has played in six games for the AHL Penguins this season, earning that opportunity under a professional tryout, as his season contract is with the Nailers. Brett is one of three players to serve as the team captain for Wheeling in 2016-17, after an excellent rookie season, in which he helped the Nailers reach the Kelly Cup Final. The Lino Lakes, Minnesota native has appeared in 42 games with Wheeling this season, accumulating six goals, 15 assists, and 21 points.
In a counter move, the Nailers suspended forward Kale Kerbashian, who was acquired in a trade with the Allen Americans on Thursday. Additionally, forward Adam Krause was recalled prior to Friday's game, which saw him pick up an assist and a +3 rating in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton's 8-1 thrashing of the Hartford Wolf Pack.
Hilbrich and Stern are expected to be in the lineup on Saturday night, as the Nailers continue their weekend at home against the Quad City Mallards at 7:05. Duck Dynasty Night is the promotion, meaning John Godwin and Justin Martin will be on hand from the show, and the first 2,500 fans will get a free camouflage hat. Additionally, fans can get their heads shaved in support of the St. Baldrick's Foundation. Wheeling will also be at home on Sunday at 5:05 against Toledo for a Family Funday, featuring $6 kids tickets and a post game skate with the team. To purchase tickets, or to get more information about season tickets, group tickets, and more, call (304) 234-GOAL.