NORFOLK, VA- The Wheeling Nailers attempted the challenging task of defeating the same team three times in the same week, as they tussled with the Norfolk Admirals at Norfolk Scope Arena. After picking up wins on Sunday and Friday, the Nailers came up short on Saturday night. Norfolk scored a pair of power play goals in the first period, and carried that success into the win column, with a 4-1 final score. Garrett Meurs netted the lone goal for the Nailers, who remain tied for first place in the North Division.
The Nailers had their defense put to the test during the first period, as they went to the penalty kill seven times. Wheeling was successful in thwarting five of the attempts, but the Admirals scored on two to take a 2-0 lead. The first goal came at the 11:44 mark, when Joonas Lyytinen teed up a slap shot from the middle of the blueline, blowing it through traffic and into the back of the net. With 3:43 left in the stanza, Brodie Dupont utilized a screen from teammate Kenton Helgesen, wristing in a shot from the top of the right circle.
The second period shots on goal favored Wheeling, 15-8, but the lone goal in the frame was an early one for Norfolk, who upped its advantage. Brodie Dupont whipped a pass across the offensive zone from left to right. TJ Melancon played the bounce, and immediately swung a pass to the front of the net, where Kenton Helgesen tipped in a shot on the left side of the crease.
The Nailers tried to battle back in the third period, breaking through with their first goal at the seven-minute mark. Zach Tolkinen led the puck ahead for Garrett Meurs, who breezed his way down the middle of the ice, burying a shot in the right side of the cage. However, Norfolk added one more insurance marker, as Lyytinen's second of the contest put the finishing touches on a 4-1 result for the home team.
Ty Reichenbach bounced back to get the win in goal for the Admirals, stopping 34 of the 35 shots he faced. Will King suffered the defeat for the Nailers, despite making 30 saves on 34 shots.
The Nailers will return home on Wednesday for Animal House Night at 7:05 against the Worcester Railers. The first 1,500 adults will receive a glass beer stein. Then, on Saturday, November 25th, it's Teddy Bear Toss at 7:05 against Worcester. Bring a new or gently used stuffed animal, and throw it on the ice when the Nailers score their first goal. The next big promotional game is Star Wars Night on December 2nd against the Reading Royals at 7:05. The first 2,500 fans will receive a light saber. To purchase tickets, or to get more information about season tickets, flex plans, group tickets, and more, call (304) 234-GOAL.