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2016-17 Top Ten Moments - #10

Thursday, July 6th
2016-17 Top Ten Moments - #10

There are less than 100 days until the puck drops on the 26th season of hockey in Wheeling. However, before we can look ahead to another exciting year in our future, we look back at the 2016-17 campaign one more time. Each Friday over the course of the next ten weeks, we will count down the top ten moments from our milestone 25th season.

The countdown starts at number ten, which takes us to late March, when a late season addition made his mark in the ECHL.

When the Nailers took the ice at WesBanco Arena against the Brampton Beast on March 31st, they were hoping to accomplish two things - keep their playoff hopes alive, and prevent Brampton from clinching its first ever postseason appearance. In order to succeed, Wheeling needed a victory, and that's exactly what it got.

The home team was hungry for the win early, as the scoring began 3:27 into the contest. Ross McMullan launched a pass ahead to Cody Wydo, who broke past the defense, and smoked his 30th goal of the season over Andrew D'Agostini's glove. The tally by Wydo was a sign of things to come on what turned out to be a standout night for former Robert Morris University Colonials. A little more than four minutes after the opening marker, Wydo set up his past and present teammate, Daniel Leavens, who punched a shot into the left side of the cage, while the Nailers were playing on the man advantage. One more goal went Wheeling's way in the opening stanza, as Tyler Currier converted Kale Kerbashian's feed with a one-timer, which turned on the red light from the right circle.

After the explosive first period, the game had more of a defensive feel in the middle frame, as only one goal was scored. Connor Crisp put the Beast on the scoreboard, getting a pass from David Pacan, which came off of the rebound of Reggie Traccitto's initial shot.

Wheeling regained its three-goal advantage at the 2:08 mark of the third period. For the second time that evening, it was Leavens getting the tally, as he burst down the right side of the ice, before cutting to the middle, and shoveling a backhander into the left side of the twine. Three goals seemed like a comfortable lead at the time, but as it turned out, that specific marker was vital for a Nailers victory. That's because a pair of Brampton blueliners trimmed the margin to one. Matt Petgrave slipped in his first career goal at 4:44, then Jordan Henry tossed a shot in through traffic for a 4-3 score with 6:39 remaining.

Thanks to a 32-save performance by Sean Maguire and a dazzling block from Michael Webster, the 4-3 result was preserved, and the Nailers earned their 20th home triumph of the season. Wheeling has collected at least 20 wins on home ice in 16 of its 25 seasons.

In sticking with the theme of Robert Morris University, Leavens was chosen as the second star of the game, while Wydo earned first star honors.

Here are the highlights from moment number ten on our countdown of the Top Ten Moments of 2016-17. <LINK>. Next week, we unveil moment number nine, which saw two players make immediate offensive contributions during their first week with the team.

The Wheeling Nailers will begin the 2017-18 season with two road games against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits on October 13th and 14th. The home opener at WesBanco Arena takes place on October 21st at 7:05, when the Nailers do battle with the Cincinnati Cyclones. Be on the lookout for the promotional schedule and mini plan information in the near future. The Nailers will also be assisting the American Red Cross with a blood drive on July 10th, and holding a Free Agent Tryout Camp in Wilkes-Barre on July 22nd and 23rd. To purchase season or group tickets, or to get more information on tickets and events, call (304) 234-GOAL.

Upcoming Home Games

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Friday, February 23rd
Frosty Friday
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Fort Wayne Komets
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Saturday, February 24th
Country Night
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Screen Time Sunday & Post Game Skate
Puck Drops:
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WesBanco Arena
Kalamazoo Wings
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Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena

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