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Nailers vs. Beast Game Day Snap Shot

Saturday, December 23rd
Nailers vs. Beast Game Day Snap Shot

WHEELING NAILERS(15-11-2-0, 32 PTS, T-2nd North, T-4th East)98 GF, 90 GAPP: 21.7% (26-for-120), 1stPK: 80.3% (94-for-117), 24th

23-F-Garrett Meurs (13 goals, 13 assists, 26 points in 25 games)24-F-Reid Gardiner (12 goals, 13 assists, 25 points in 28 games)21-F-Cam Brown (4 goals, 21 assists, 25 points in 28 games)18-F-Hunter Fejes (13 goals, 7 assists, 20 points in 28 games)8-F-Nick Sorkin (3 goals, 17 assists, 20 points in 26 games)26-D-Kevin Schulze (2 goals, 7 assists, 9 points in 15 games)1-G-Will King (3-1-1 record, 3.12 GAA, .916 Sv% in 5 games)

BRAMPTON BEAST(13-10-1-2, 29 PTS, 5th North, 8th East)78 GF, 88 GAPP: 14.3% (16-for-112), 22ndPK: 85.6% (113-for-132), 7th

13-F-Brandon Marino (9 goals, 17 assists, 26 points in 26 games)48-F-Chris Leveille (7 goals, 17 assists, 24 points in 26 games)17-F-Brandon MacLean (7 goals, 8 assists, 15 points in 21 games)27-F-Alex Foster (5 goals, 10 assists, 15 points in 20 games)3-D-Matt Petgrave (5 goals, 10 assists, 15 points in 22 games)12-D-Reggie Traccitto (7 goals, 6 assists, 13 points in 26 games)34-G-Zachary Fucale (1-1-0 record, 2.51 GAA, .924 Sv% in 2 games)

Head to HeadSeason Series: Beast 2, Nailers 1Season Series at WesBanco Arena: Beast 1, Nailers 0All-Time Series: Nailers 16, Beast 11All-Time Series at WesBanco Arena: Nailers 7, Beast 5

Round One Goes the Other WayThe Wheeling Nailers got off to an exciting start in Friday night's game, as they brought the home fans to their feet with the opening goal just 1:45 into the contest. Ross McMullan poked the puck deep in the offensive zone, where Cam Brown turned a pass out of the trapezoid and into the slot for teammate Garrett Meurs, who slammed a shot into the right side of the net. Meurs' 13th tally of the campaign tied Hunter Fejes and Cody Wydo for the team lead, with the quickest goal to start a game for the Nailers this season. Unfortunately, that was the lone celebration for the home team, despite a 45-shot effort. Adam Morrison suffered the defeat in goal, making 17 saves. Wheeling is now 7-4-1 at home and 15-11-2 overall, which is tied for second place in the North Division.

Ugly Sweaters WinThe Brampton Beast continued their strong play of late, as they have earned points in 15 of their last 20 games at a clip of 13-5-2. After falling behind in the opening minutes of the contest, Brampton had a quick answer, as the deficit lasted for a mere 29 seconds. Brandon MacLean squeezed a pass to the top of the crease, where it was redirected into the top-right corner by Nathan Todd. Later in the first period, the Beast took the lead. Brandon Marino methodically skated from the right wall into the slot, and deposited a backhander into the left side of the cage. Todd added a key insurance goal in the middle frame, scoring on a 2-on-1 shorthanded rush. The visitors killed off a two-man advantage later in the second, and kept the Nailers at bay, thanks to a 44-save performance by Marcus Hogberg.

The Opening ActFor the second time this season, the moment the puck hit the ice to start a game, a pair of gloves quickly followed. On Friday night, the two heavyweights had a tussle, as Wheeling's Jeremy Beirnes and Brampton's Stefan Fournier did their best to get everyone in the building fired up. Fighting off of the opening face-off wasn't unusual for either combatant. On November 25th, Beirnes and Worcester's Yanick Turcotte threw down the mitts off of the first draw, while Fournier and Patrick McGrath put on a show in the Nailers 2015-16 home opener. Beirnes leads Wheeling with five fighting majors this season, while Fournier leads the Beast with three. Jack Nevins of Greenville (Beirnes' first opponent) leads the ECHL with ten, while Colorado is the team leader with 34. Friday's skirmish took Brampton out of a tie in the basement with Quad City and Reading.

Less is MoreDespite only tossing 20 shots on goal in Friday's game, the Beast were able to skate away with the victory, as three of the attempts resulted in the red light being turned on. On the other end of the ice, the Nailers recorded 45 shots, but were only able to solve Marcus Hogberg once. Strong goaltending has been a theme during the month of December in games involving Wheeling, as three of the club's four victories have seen the starting goaltender make at least 35 saves, while the opposing netminder has made at least 40 saves in four of six triumphs. The 20 shots surrendered were the fewest in a game involving the Nailers this season, and oddly enough, Wheeling's lowest shot total for also occurred in a game against Brampton, when it took 24 attempts on October 29th. 75% of games (21 of 28) involving the Nailers this season have been won by the team with the lower shot total.

Half Way Through the SetSaturday night marks the fourth of six head-to-head meetings between the Nailers and Beast this season, as well as the second of three battles at WesBanco Arena. After Wheeling took the opening match 6-5 on October 27th, Brampton has responded, winning 5-4 on October 29th and 3-1 on Friday. The Beast have collected five wins in the Friendly City in three seasons, but Friday was just the third of those victories that has been earned in regulation, as Brampton won one overtime game each in 2014-15 and 2015-16. The two North Division rivals met up on 11 occasions last season, which was the most for any Nailers opponent, while this year's season series is already half way through, with just two games remaining after Saturday. Those tilts will take place during the final three weeks of the campaign.

Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
Bloomington Bison
Wheeling Nailers
Saturday, November 2nd
Bloomington Bison @ Wheeling Nailers
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM EDT
WesBanco Arena
Bloomington Bison
BLM Bloomington Bison
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena
Trois-Rivières Lions
Wheeling Nailers
Friday, November 8th
Trois-Rivières Lions @ Wheeling Nailers
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM EST
WesBanco Arena
Trois-Rivières Lions
TR Trois-Rivières Lions
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena
Trois-Rivières Lions
Wheeling Nailers
Saturday, November 9th
Trois-Rivières Lions @ Wheeling Nailers
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM EST
WesBanco Arena
Trois-Rivières Lions
TR Trois-Rivières Lions
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena

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