BRAMPTON, ON- The Wheeling Nailers and Brampton Beast put on a show on Friday night at Powerade Centre, and in the end, it was Wheeling's powerful offense which came out on top. Kenny Ryan scored two goals and added an assist, while Jake Bolton and Jeremy Beirnes both recorded their first goals with the Nailers in a key 6-5 divisional victory. Wheeling has earned at least one point in five straight games, starting the season 4-0-1.
The first period was filled with offense, as the two teams combined for five goals and 31 shots. The Nailers got the scoring party started at the 9:47 mark. Dalton Reum broke his stick on a shot, but still moved the puck to Cam Brown along the right wall. Brown set up Garrett Meurs, who snapped home a shot from the right circle. Brampton tied the contest 1:16 later, when Luc-Olivier Blain pounced on a loose puck on the left side of the crease. Wheeling responded to take the lead 1:42 after that. Brown, Derek Army, and Jake Bolton moved the puck around the top of the zone, with Brown ultimately setting up Bolton for a one-timer, which he drove into the right side of the cage. The Nailers slammed another puck into the back of the net in a matter of 28 seconds, as Jeremy Beirnes collected his first ECHL goal, drilling in a pass from Riley Bourbonnais. The Beast closed the gap to one in the final minute of the stanza, thanks to a power play goal by Chris Leveille in the low slot.
Wheeling added some padding to its lead with three goals in the middle frame. First up was a power play goal at the 13:25 mark. Nick Sorkin slipped a pass through the slot to Kenny Ryan, who wound up and clobbered in a slap shot from the top of the left circle. 4:10 later, Ryan potted his second tally of the period, taking a centering feed from Hunter Fejes, and patiently outwaited Marcus Hogberg, as he slid a shot inside of the left post. Reid Gardiner snagged a point for the fifth game in a row, as he finished off a Sorkin pass with a drive to the net in the final minute of the stanza.
Those three markers turned out to be vital for the Nailers, as Brampton put together a rally in the third period. Kevin Dufour capitalized on a turnover for a breakaway goal to trim the margin to three, and 2:11 later, Brandon Marino tapped in a centering pass by Leveille. Wheeling limited the Beast to one more goal, as Matt Petgrave drove through the slot, punctuating his own rebound, making for a 6-5 final score in favor of the Nailers.
Sean Maguire got the win in goal for Wheeling, making 39 saves on 44 shots. Marcus Hogberg was the losing goaltender for Brampton, as he allowed six goals on 31 shots, before being replaced by Michael McNiven, who stopped all three shots he faced in relief.
The Nailers and Beast will meet up again on Sunday at 2:00 in Brampton. The next home game at WesBanco Arena takes place on November 3rd, which is a Frosty Friday against Cincinnati at 7:05. The next big promotional game is Marvel Super Hero Night on November 10th against Toledo at 7:05. To purchase tickets, or to get more information on season tickets, flex plans, group tickets, and more, call (304) 234-GOAL.