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Nailers vs. Cyclones Game Day Snap Shot

Saturday, October 21st
Nailers vs. Cyclones Game Day Snap Shot

WHEELING NAILERS(2-0-0-0, 4 PTS, T-2nd North, T-3rd East)12 GF, 10 GAPP: 46.2% (6-for-13), 1stPK: 60.0% (6-for-10), 26th

23-F-Garrett Meurs (4 goals, 2 assists, 6 points in 2 games)18-F-Hunter Fejes (4 goals, 4 points in 2 games)8-F-Nick Sorkin (2 goals, 2 assists, 4 points in 2 games)24-F-Reid Gardiner (1 goal, 3 assists, 4 points in 2 games)26-D-Kevin Schulze (4 assists, 4 points in 2 games)11-F-Cody Wydo (1 goal, 2 assists, 3 points in 2 games)30-G-Colin Stevens (1-0-0 record, 5.76 GAA, .867 Sv% in 1 game)

CINCINNATI CYCLONES(0-0-1-0, 1 PT, T-6th Central, T-12th West)2 GF, 3 GAPP: 20.0% (1-for-5), 8thPK: 100.0% (4-for-4), T-1st

12-F-Jesse Schultz (2 assists, 2 points in 1 game)27-D-Brycen Martin (1 goal, 1 point in 1 game)15-F-Justin Vaive (1 goal, 1 point in 1 game)5-D-Eric Knodel (1 assist, 1 point in 1 game)85-F-Daniel Muzito-Bagenda (1 assist, 1 point in 1 game)30-G-Anthony Peters (0-0-1 record, 2.81 GAA, .917 Sv% in 1 game)

Head to Head2016-17 Season Series: Cyclones 3, Nailers 12016-17 Season Series at WesBanco Arena: Nailers 1, Cyclones 1All-Time Series: Nailers 60, Cyclones 59All-Time Series at WesBanco Arena: Nailers 32, Cyclones 26

Coming Home with Two WinsThe Wheeling Nailers will begin their home season on Saturday night, and there is plenty to be excited about, as the team collected two victories on the road against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits last weekend. The theme of the weekend set was offense, and that was never more evident than on Saturday, as the clubs combined for 13 goals and 98 shots. Greenville jumped out to a 2-0 lead in less than three minutes, but the Nailers took a 3-2 advantage into the intermission, as Hunter Fejes scored twice, and Garrett Meurs potted his third tally of the weekend. The Swamp Rabbits pulled even a couple of times in the second period, before regaining the lead, 5-4 in third. Nick Sorkin had Wheeling's lone strike in the middle frame. Fejes' magical night continued in the third period, when he finished off his hat trick, before adding a fourth goal, forcing overtime in a 6-6 deadlock. The tie was broken by Meurs at the 2:31 mark of the extra session, as the Nailers celebrated a 7-6 win.

They Also Played Extra HockeyThe Cincinnati Cyclones played one game last weekend, and their fans at US Bank Arena also got treated to some extra action, as the game against the Kalamazoo Wings also couldn't be decided in regulation. Kalamazoo got off to the strong start, as Eric Kattelus and Kyle Blaney built a 2-0 lead for the visitors. Cincinnati's Justin Vaive cut the deficit to one during the opening stanza, before Brycen Martin tied the tilt with 4:40 remaining in the middle frame. Neither side scored in the third period, leading the contest to overtime, and with exactly one minute remaining, Jon Jutzi gave the Wings the 3-2 triumph. Veteran goaltender Joel Martin got the win with 28 saves, getting the better of Anthony Peters, who stopped 33 shots in his Cyclones debut.

We Like Our Home CookingWesBanco Arena has been a venue in which the Nailers have had lots of success in throughout the years, and they are hoping that the 2017-18 campaign will produce more stellar memories for the home crowds. Wheeling has posted a winning home record in nine straight seasons, earning at least 20 home victories in seven of the nine. All of those wins have added up quickly, as the Nailers enter this season with a 495-288-26-57 mark at WesBanco Arena, putting them five regular season wins away from their 500th all-time in Wheeling. Home openers have proven to be fun nights as well, as the Nailers hope to extend two streaks on Saturday. Wheeling has earned at least one point in six straight home openers (5-0-1), while selling out each of the last two opening games in the Ohio Valley. Historically, the Nailers are 17-5-3 in their home openers, which includes a 2-1-0 mark against Cincinnati.

Praising Individual PerformancesWith 12 goals in two games, there are lots of players who deserve praise, but two in particular got a little extra recognition. Garrett Meurs was chosen as Sher-Wood Hockey ECHL Player of the Week, after collecting four goals, two assists, and six points, including the game winning goal in overtime on Saturday. Meurs became the first Nailer since Riley Brace in 2014-15 to win Player of the Week honors for the opening week of the season. Hunter Fejes did all of his damage in one game, scoring four goals in Saturday's 7-6 thriller. That was the 13th time in Wheeling history that a player scored four goals in a single game, and the first time since Nick Petersen performed the feat in Cincinnati on October 30, 2010. Nick Sorkin, Reid Gardiner, and Kevin Schulze also recorded four points during the weekend set in Greenville.

This Time, it's the Real ThingSaturday night marks the first of six head-to-head meetings between the Nailers and Cyclones this season, as well as the first of four battles at WesBanco Arena. Wheeling clashed with Cincinnati twice in the preseason, coming out victorious 5-4 on both occasions. One-goal games are something that these two geographical rivals are extremely familiar with, as ten of their last 12 regular season games have been decided by one goal, dating back to the start of the 2014-15 season series. Both sides have earned six wins during that time. Last season, the Cyclones got the upper hand in the yearly set, taking three of the four decisions, including both that went to overtime. However, the Nailers are still holding onto the overall edge, 60-59. The six contests scheduled in 2017-18 are the most for the two teams since 2013-14, when they locked up a whopping 12 times (also 6-6). Cincinnati will be Wheeling's next home opponent on November 3rd, while the Nailers will make their first visit to the Queen City on November 24th.

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