INDIANAPOLIS, IN- The Wheeling Nailers dominated Friday night's game against the Indy Fuel, but the opposing goaltender's sparkling performance resulted in an unfavorable decision. Matt Tomkins made 48 saves for the Fuel, and Michael Neal snapped a 2-2 tie with 3:04 remaining in the third period for a 3-2 win at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. Riley Bourbonnais netted both goals for the Nailers.
The first period featured tons of chances both ways, as the Nailers outshot the Fuel, 18-15. However, there was only one goal in the stanza, and it went to Indy. Reed Seckel tossed a shot on goal from the left wing wall, which was batted away with the glove by Adam Morrison. The rebound ended up sitting in the crease, where Nathan Noel crashed in, found the loose puck, and tapped it into the cage.
The opportunities continued in the middle frame, as Wheeling set a season-high with 26 shots on goal. Two of those pucks found the back of the net. Troy Josephs helped to create the first marker, as he drilled a shot off of the left post. The rebound bounced down, and was smacked into the cage by Riley Bourbonnais. A similar play occurred on the second goal. Bourbonnais fed Josephs, who rang the iron, before Bourbonnais potted his second of the period on the rebound. Indy knotted things up 2:22 later, with a rebound goal of its own. Tommy Olczyk followed up his initial shot, sifting a shot in from the slot.
The score stayed tied until the 16:56 mark of the third period, when the Fuel broke the deadlock. Indy dumped the puck into the offensive zone, and went on the attack. Seckel ended up sliding a pass through the slot to Michael Neal, who buried a one-timer from the bottom of the right circle. The Nailers made one final push to draw even, but fell short, as the Fuel prevailed, 3-2.
Matt Tomkins stood on his head in goal for Indy, turning aside 48 of the 50 shots he faced for the win. Adam Morrison suffered the defeat for Wheeling, despite making 28 saves on 31 shots.
The Nailers will finish their brief three-game road trip on Saturday at 7:15, when they visit the Toledo Walleye. Wheeling's next home game takes place on December 12th against Indy at 7:05. The next big promotional game is Brick & Kids Night on January 13th. To purchase tickets, or to get more information about season tickets, flex plans, group tickets, and more, call (304) 234-GOAL.