WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers took advantage of their two preseason games, winning both by identical 5-4 scores against the Cincinnati Cyclones. On Sunday afternoon, Cody Wydo scored two goals, including the game winner, while Cam Brown chipped in with three points, in support of Will King, who earned his first win as a Nailer. Hunter Fejes and Alexandre Carrier also found the back of the net for Wheeling.
For the second straight game, the Nailers came out and put two pucks into the back of the net. The first marker came at the 3:43 mark. Mitch Vandergunst won a battle for possession behind the cage, working the puck along to Cam Brown in the trapezoid. Brown immediately centered a pass to Hunter Fejes, who blasted a one-timer past Jonas Johansson. 1:51 later, Wheeling added to the lead. Cody Wydo took the puck into the slot, where it was temporarily poked away. However, Alex Carrier was there to pounce on the loose biscuit, chipping a shot into the top-left corner of the goal. Cincinnati tallied once with 8:06 remaining, when Mike Barrett rang a shot around the insides of the posts, making the score 2-1 Nailers after one.
The Cyclones drew even at the 11:20 mark of the second period, utilizing a "Banco Bounce" off of the left corner boards. Nick Neville's center ice dump deflected off of the boards and into the left side of the slot, where it was snagged and buried by Stephen Pietrobon. Wheeling wasn't about to get rattled, as it quickly bounced back with a power play marker. Jake Bolton dished a pass to Cam Brown in the right circle. Brown lunged forward with what he thought would be a pass, but turned out to be a bank off of a Cincinnati defender and a goal, as it slid into the net.
The Nailers added to their advantage at the 3:31 mark of the final frame. Vandergunst led Wydo into the offensive zone, where he skated into the slot, and snapped a shot into the right side of the cage. Cincinnati pulled back within one, when Austin Block stole the puck in the trapezoid, before feeding Jordan Henderson. Wydo struck again with 4:51 to go, banking a shot off of a Cyclones defender for a power play goal. Andrew Radjenovic closed the gap to one with 1:43 left, but that was as close as the score got, as Wheeling was victorious, 5-4.
Both starting goaltenders received no-decisions, as Colin Stevens made 16 saves on 18 shots for the Nailers, while Jonas Johansson turned away 23 of 26 attempts for the Cyclones. Will King got the win with seven saves for Wheeling, defeating Jason Kasdorf, who made nine stops for Cincinnati.
The Nailers will open the regular 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. To purchase season, flex, or group tickets, or to get more information on tickets and events, call (304) 234-GOAL.