WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers earned at least one point in each of their first six home games of the season, but unfortunately on Saturday night, that streak came to an end. The Worcester Railers scored two goals in a span of 2:04 during the third period, erasing a 3-2 deficit to prevail 4-3 at WesBanco Arena. Garrett Meurs scored the annual Teddy Bear Toss Goal, and was joined in the goal column by Hunter Fejes and Dan Milan.
The two teams came out of the gates with tons of spirit, as Jeremy Beirnes and Yanick Turcotte threw down the gloves off of the opening face-off, squaring off for nearly two minutes. Later in the period, Dylan Zink and Kyle McKenzie were involved in an altercation, which earned matching fighting majors. The lone goal was scored by the Nailers during a two-man advantage at the 13:52 mark. Reid Gardiner slid a pass to Garrett Meurs, who launched in a one-timer from the top of the left circle. Nick Sorkin also collected an assist for his 100th professional point in North America.
Worcester drew even during the opening minute of the second period. Barry Almeida banked a shot on goal from the left corner, which was sticked away, but the rebound was backhanded in by Jeff Kubiak. The visitors then went ahead at the 10:45 mark. Yanick Turcotte led an odd-man rush on the left side of the ice, before dishing a pass to the middle for Nick Saracino, who drove to the goal, lifting a shot in on the left side. With 32 seconds remaining, Wheeling lit the lamp to take a tie into the intermission. Danny Fick stepped up with a shot from the left point, which got tipped into the air and swatted home by Hunter Fejes.
The Nailers went back on top at the 2:57 mark of the third period. Reid Gardiner stole the puck and fed Cody Wydo, who tried to wait out Eamon McAdam, who made a save. However, the play resulted in a goal, as Dan Milan wired in a slap shot from the top of the left circle. Unfortunately, the lead didn't last, and the Railers came back to get the win. Woody Hudson tipped in a shot from the left wall by Mike Cornell for the equalizer at 9:53, and then 2:04 later, Saracino netted his second of the evening drilling in a one-time pass by Ashton Rome for a 4-3 result.
Eamon McAdam got the victory in goal for Worcester, turning away 34 of the 37 shots he faced. Adam Morrison suffered the defeat in his first game with Wheeling, making 20 saves on 24 shots.
The Nailers will finish the weekend on Sunday in Reading at 4:00. Next weekend, Wheeling is home for three games. The week will begin with Frosty Friday at 7:05 against the Reading Royals. Then, Saturday is Star Wars Night, also against Reading at 7:05. The first 2,500 fans will receive a free light saber, and the Nailers will wear special jerseys. Finally, Sunday at 3:05 against the Fort Wayne Komets is a Family Funday, featuring a post game skate with the team (even-numbered players), in addition to Pups & Pucks, in which fans can bring their dogs to the game. To purchase tickets, or to get more information about season tickets, flex plans, group tickets, and more, call (304) 234-GOAL.