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Nailers vs. Beast Game Day Snap Shot

Friday, March 31st
Nailers vs. Beast Game Day Snap Shot

WHEELING NAILERS(32-27-8-0, 72 PTS, 5th North, 10th East)226 GF, 219 GAPP: 19.8% (62-for-313), 8thPK: 75.6% (195-for-258), 27th

26-D-Kevin Schulze (12 goals, 44 assists, 56 points in 63 games)11-F-Cody Wydo (29 goals, 26 assists, 55 points in 66 games)8-F-Nick Sorkin (13 goals, 39 assists, 52 points in 54 games)23-F-Garrett Meurs (23 goals, 27 assists, 50 points in 66 games)14-F-Tyler Currier (18 goals, 27 assists, 45 points in 68 games)17-F-Jordan Kwas (20 goals, 24 assists, 44 points in 58 games)29-G-Sean Maguire (12-14-4 record, 3.16 GAA, .898 Sv% in 31 games)

BRAMPTON BEAST(37-22-3-5, 82 PTS, 2nd North, 3rd East)244 GF, 240 GAPP: 19.5% (48-for-246), 9thPK: 84.9% (247-for-291), 3rd

97-F-David Vallorani (30 goals, 49 assists, 79 points in 67 games)61-F-David Pacan (36 goals, 35 assists, 71 points in 62 games)13-F-Brandon Marino (20 goals, 45 assists, 65 points in 67 games)17-F-Brandon MacLean (22 goals, 32 assists, 54 points in 57 games)11-F-Luke Pither (16 goals, 26 assists, 42 points in 33 games)25-D-Jordan Henry (16 goals, 21 assists, 37 points in 64 games)30-G-Andrew D'Agostini (10-6-2 record, 3.33 GAA, .888 Sv% in 20 games)

Head to HeadSeason Series: Beast 5, Nailers 4Season Series at WesBanco Arena: Nailers 3, Beast 2All-Time Series: Nailers 14, Beast 8All-Time Series at WesBanco Arena: Nailers 6, Beast 4

How the West WonThe Wheeling Nailers dropped two of three games to the Idaho Steelheads last week at WesBanco Arena, with both Idaho victories getting decided late in the respective tilts. After a scoreless first period, Will Merchant put the visitors on the board first, drilling in a slap shot at the 32-second mark of the middle frame. The Nailers knotted the score at the 8:15 mark of the third period, when Gage Quinney powered his way around the back of the cage, stuffing in a wraparound. Wheeling was approximately six minutes away from earning at least one point, but Idaho had other ideas, finishing with a surge. Jefferson Dahl snapped the 1-1 deadlock with 5:56 left, and was followed by Brian Nugent and Anthony Luciani, who extended the lead to the eventual 4-1 final score. Landon Bow won all four of his starts against the Nailers, making 23 saves, while Doug Carr came up with 24 stops against the Steelheads.

Four Score and Never Look BackThe Brampton Beast came out flying in their game against the Cincinnati Cyclones on Wednesday night, riding what appeared to be an easy win into the standings. The first marker came just 50 seconds into the contest, when Jordan Henry set Brampton's single season record for goals by a defenseman. 1:03 later, Luc-Olivier Blain extended the lead to two. Cincinnati goaltender Michael Houser got chased less than three minutes after that, when Henry connected for his second of the period. It took the Beast a bit of time to solve Mark Visentin in relief, but David Vallorani did, pocketing his 30th goal of the campaign. Trailing 4-0 after one, the Cyclones attempted a comeback with two goals in the middle stanza, including one by former Nailer Christiaan Minella, but Brampton's strong start was too much, as it prevailed, 5-2. Andrew D'Agostini made 29 saves in the triumph.

Still in the RaceFive games remain in the 2016-17 regular season for the Nailers, and while times have been tough lately, the local club is still mathematically alive in the race for the Kelly Cup Playoffs. Wheeling enters the weekend seven points back of the Reading Royals and Manchester Monarchs, who are tied with 79 points each. Reading has played one fewer game, due to the postponement of a March match against the Norfolk Admirals. If the Nailers are able to continue to climb up the ladder, they are currently in decent position in terms of tiebreakers. Wheeling has won the only shootout it has appeared in all season, meaning it has 31 wins in regulation and overtime. Manchester has 33 wins in regulation and overtime, and Reading has 36 wins in regulation and overtime. The Nailers will face the Royals once, the Brampton Beast twice, and the Kalamazoo Wings twice to finish the campaign. The Monarchs play Elmira twice, Brampton twice, and Adirondack once. The Royals have four left with Norfolk, and one each with the Nailers and Beast. Wheeling needs one more victory to secure a ninth consecutive season with a winning record.

Make History Wait Another DayThis is the third season in the ECHL for the Beast, who have turned things around drastically from last year, going from a last place finish with 57 points to being on the verge of a playoff spot with 82 points, and still five games remaining. Brampton reached the playoffs during its inaugural season in the Central Hockey League, but bowed out in five games to the eventual champion Allen Americans. In order to secure their first ever slot in the Kelly Cup Playoffs, the Beast need only one more point. Nine of the 16 invites to the spring dance have been accounted for, with seven of the nine teams coming from the Western Conference. While Brampton looks for its first postseason berth, Idaho qualified for playoff hockey for the 20th time in its history, which has been split between the ECHL and WCHL. The longest playoff streak in the Eastern Conference belongs to the South Carolina Stingrays, who are trying to hang on to a tenth straight clincher. Somewhat new to the league, Indy, Norfolk, and Wichita are the three clubs without playoff experience in the ECHL, although the Admirals were champions when the team was known as "Hampton Roads." Atlanta and Elmira are both in the midst of four-year droughts.

Need One to Create a Rubber MatchFriday night marks the tenth of 11 head-to-head meetings between the Nailers and Beast this season, as well as the sixth and final battle at WesBanco Arena. In the second to last clash on February 17th, Brampton captured the third road win of the set, grabbing a 6-3 decision in West Virginia. The home dominance has come with plenty of goals, as the winning side has scored at least four times in nine of the 11 tilts. Wheeling needs to get the upper hand on Friday to secure a winning home record against the Beast, while putting itself in position to force a decisive 11th game on Wednesday, when the two sides meet in Ontario to complete the season series. Brampton's David Vallorani is the leading scorer in the nine games, accumulating six goals and 14 points. Kevin Schulze tops the Nailers with 12 points, while Cody Wydo has turned on the red light six times. Five different goalies have won games in the set, with three for Wheeling and two for Brampton. The Nailers won both of the first two series played between the two North Division rivals.

Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
Frosty Friday
Friday, February 23rd
Frosty Friday
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM EST
WesBanco Arena
Fort Wayne Komets
FW Fort Wayne Komets
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena
Country Night
Saturday, February 24th
Country Night
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM EST
WesBanco Arena
Kalamazoo Wings
KAL Kalamazoo Wings
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena
Screen Time Sunday & Post Game Skate
Sunday, February 25th
Screen Time Sunday & Post Game Skate
Puck Drops:
4:10 PM EST
WesBanco Arena
Kalamazoo Wings
KAL Kalamazoo Wings
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena

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