WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers erased a multiple goal deficit for the second time in as many nights, but a late second period surge turned out to be the difference on Saturday night at WesBanco Arena. Shane Berschbach broke a 3-3 tie with under a minute to go in the middle frame, and Mike Borkowski scored what turned out to be the game winner for the Toledo Walleye, who prevailed, 5-4. Troy Josephs and Hunter Fejes both had a goal and an assist for Wheeling.
The Walleye got both goals in the first period, despite a 12-6 shots advantage for the Nailers. The first tally came at the 3:29 mark, when Erik Bradford turned a pass to Ryan Obuchowski in the high slot. Obuchowski stepped up with a wrist shot, which he lifted into the top-left corner of the cage. With 1:50 to go, Toledo added to its lead. Obuchowski handed the puck to Mike Borkowski, whose wrist shot popped the water bottle off of the top of the net.
The middle frame featured some emotional swings. The Walleye got the first goal of the period at the 16-second mark, when Erik Bradford tipped in Obuchowski's left point shot. Wheeling stormed back with the next three markers to pull even. First up was Troy Josephs, who slid in the rebound of Kevin Schulze's attempt from the right side. 56 seconds later, Danny Fick fired a rocket off of the post, allowing Hunter Fejes to deposit a second chance shot. Riley Bourbonnais tied the game with 3:02 remaining, banking a shot off of Pat Nagle's leg and in over the line. However, with less than one minute to go, Toledo regained its advantage, scoring twice. Shane Berschbach squeezed in a wrister at 19:11, and Borkowski shelved his second of the night with less than 12 seconds on the clock.
The Nailers closed to within a goal at the 12:36 mark of the third period. Jaynen Rissling carried the puck into the slot, eventually setting up Cam Brown, who found the top part of the net from the bottom of the left circle. Unfortunately, Wheeling was unable to pull even for a second time, falling 5-4.
Pat Nagle was the winning netminder for the Walleye, blocking away 37 of the 41 shots he faced. Will King suffered the defeat for the Nailers, making 19 saves on 24 shots.
The Nailers will be right back in action on Sunday for a 6:05 game against the Indy Fuel. All tickets will be $10, as the team looks to pack the house on New Year's Eve. The next big promotional game is Bricks & Kids Night on January 13th, when the first 2,500 fans receive an OYO Sports Figurine. To purchase tickets, or to get more information about season tickets, flex plans, group tickets, holiday packs, and more, call (304) 234-GOAL.