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Nailers at Komets Game Day Snap Shot

Sunday, March 5th
Nailers at Komets Game Day Snap Shot

WHEELING NAILERS(28-22-6-0, 62 PTS, 5th North, 10th East)190 GF, 179 GAPP: 20.5% (54-for-264), 8thPK: 75.0% (171-for-228), 27th

26-D-Kevin Schulze (9 goals, 39 assists, 48 points in 52 games)8-F-Nick Sorkin (13 goals, 31 assists, 44 points in 44 games)11-F-Cody Wydo (25 goals, 17 assists, 42 points in 55 games)23-F-Garrett Meurs (21 goals, 21 assists, 42 points in 55 games)17-F-Jordan Kwas (19 goals, 22 assists, 41 points in 52 games)9-F-Christian Hilbrich (13 goals, 22 assists, 35 points in 50 games)29-G-Sean Maguire (10-10-3 record, 3.17 GAA, .896 Sv% in 24 games)

FORT WAYNE KOMETS(34-15-5-2, 75 PTS, 2nd Central, 4th West)209 GF, 168 GAPP: 22.3% (46-for-206), 6thPK: 82.6% (214-for-259), 14th

13-F-Mike Cazzola (20 goals, 38 assists, 58 points in 51 games)19-F-Shawn Szydlowski (22 goals, 34 assists, 56 points in 36 games)25-F-Travis Ewanyk (18 goals, 24 assists, 42 points in 58 games)15-F-Mike Embach (15 goals, 25 assists, 40 points in 48 games)48-F-Garrett Thompson (16 goals, 22 assists, 38 points in 49 games)4-D-Jason Binkley (7 goals, 26 assists, 33 points in 52 games)31-G-Pat Nagle (7-0-3 record, 2.43 GAA, .911 Sv% in 12 games)

Head to HeadSeason Series: Komets 3, Nailers 1Season Series at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum: Komets 3, Nailers 0All-Time Series: Nailers 8, Komets 7All-Time Series at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum: Komets 5, Nailers 4

It Was Good Through the SecondThe Wheeling Nailers appeared to have the Fort Wayne Komets exactly where they wanted them on Saturday night, as they held a 3-1 lead at the end of two periods of play at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. The Nailers surrendered the game's opening goal, but responded to draw even in the first period, thanks to former Komet Garrett Meurs, who finished off a rush by roofing in a pass from Tyler Currier. Meurs has scored in all three trips back to his former home building. In the middle frame, Wheeling's power play rose up, cashing in on back-to-back opportunities. The two goals were both generated off of shots from the blueline by Kevin Schulze, which produced rebounds off of the goaltender. The first tally was spanked in by Cody Wydo, who brought his team-leading goal total up to 25. Then, Gage Quinney put a shot off of the post, before lifting a backhander underneath the crossbar.

But the Third Took a Different TurnThe Fort Wayne Komets have made a habit of coming from behind to earn victories, and they did so for the second consecutive weekend against Wheeling. Fort Wayne's first goal of the night was scored by Travis Ewanyk, prior to Wheeling's three-goal rally. Trailing 3-1, the comeback began at the 6:58 mark of the third period, when Mike Cazzola centered a pass to Mike Embach, who drilled in a one-timer from the right side of the slot. The equalizer required a bit of puck luck, and with their home crowd behind them, the Komets got it, as Colin Mulvey's feed tipped off of Mason Baptista and into the cage. The Nailers were hoping to gain at least a point in the tied contest with under five minutes to go, but a Fort Wayne power play squashed that idea. Trevor Cheek tipped in a one-timer by Shawn Szydlowski at 18:38 for the 4-3 final score in favor of the Komets.

Stealing Our RoleThe 2015-16 version of the Nailers made their mark by coming up with some of the most improbable comebacks, as they stormed up the Eastern Conference Standings, and ultimately landed themselves in the Kelly Cup Final. While a playoff appearance is all but a guarantee for the Komets, they have put together their own dramatics this season, helping themselves to a second place position in the Central Division. Fort Wayne has earned back-to-back comeback wins against Wheeling over the course of the last seven days, erasing 2-0 and 3-2 deficits on Sunday and a 3-1 score on Saturday. Sunday's triumph was the sixth of the year for the Komets when trailing after one period, and Saturday's was the sixth of the campaign when trailing after two periods. The Nailers failed to accumulate at least one point for the third time this season when leading after two periods, as their record is 18-3-2 in that department. Fort Wayne's lone setback when trailing after two came at WesBanco Arena on December 16th.

Not Over Until it's OverRegardless of which side goes ahead, leads have tended to not be safe in games involving the Nailers this season, and that note has rung true in each of the last four games. Last Saturday, Wheeling and Toledo both had leads, before the Walleye prevailed, 4-3 in overtime on a late goal by Beau Schmitz. On Sunday in Fort Wayne, the Nailers led twice, before a second period surge by the Komets resulted in a 4-3 score. On Friday in Indy, Wheeling and Indy exchanged advantages, and Cody Wydo eventually put the Nailers into the win column with an overtime strike. Finally, on Saturday, leads were swapped, with Fort Wayne pulling ahead in the dying minutes, courtesy of Trevor Cheek. The Nailers have recorded ten comeback wins this season, while the opposition has collected 16, accounting for 26 of the 56 tilts (46.4%) played in 2016-17. Two-goal leads have been erased for wins 11 times.

Last Chance for the Road TeamSunday afternoon marks the fifth and final head-to-head meeting between the Nailers and Komets this season, as well as the fourth and final battle at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. Fort Wayne locked up the fourth straight victory by a home team this season and sixth in a row dating back to 2014-15, as it defeated Wheeling, 4-3 on home ice. Each of those six contests have been decided by one goal, as the Nailers have been victorious 2-1 and 6-5 on home ice, while prior to this season, the Komets snared a 1-0 win. Interestingly enough, all three games played in Indiana between the two non-conference squads have resulted in 4-3 final scores in favor of the Komets. Shawn Szydlowski assisted on Saturday's game winning goal to raise his series-leading point total to seven, while Garrett Meurs and Adam Krause both have six points for the Nailers. Fort Wayne has clinched the season series against Wheeling for the second straight year.

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