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Nailers at Railers Game Day Snap Shot

Saturday, January 20th
Nailers at Railers Game Day Snap Shot

WHEELING NAILERS(21-16-3-0, 45 PTS, 3rd North, 5th East)143 GF, 129 GAPP: 21.3% (35-for-164), 1stPK: 81.5% (132-for-162), 18th

21-F-Cam Brown (12 goals, 27 assists, 39 points in 40 games)11-F-Cody Wydo (14 goals, 19 assists, 33 points in 29 games)24-F-Reid Gardiner (17 goals, 15 assists, 32 points in 35 games)8-F-Nick Sorkin (4 goals, 26 assists, 30 points in 38 games)19-F-J.C. Campagna (8 goals, 17 assists, 25 points in 30 games)26-D-Kevin Schulze (4 goals, 14 assists, 18 points in 27 games)29-G-Adam Morrison (5-7-0 record, 3.03 GAA, .907 Sv% in 12 games)

WORCESTER RAILERS(15-17-3-2, 35 PTS, T-5th North, T-10th East)93 GF, 111 GAPP: 10.5% (13-for-124), 26thPK: 81.0% (111-for-137), 20th

19-F-Barry Almeida (11 goals, 16 assists, 27 points in 35 games)88-F-Ashton Rome (6 goals, 10 assists, 16 points in 30 games)23-F-Woody Hudson (13 goals, 1 assist, 14 points in 32 games)17-F-Frankie DiChiara (4 goals, 8 assists, 12 points in 29 games)14-F-T.J. Syner (3 goals, 9 assists, 12 points in 30 games)3-D-Ben Masella (1 goal, 5 assists, 6 points in 36 games)29-G-Alex Sakellaropoulos (0-0-0 record, 2.41 GAA, .917 Sv% in 2 games)

Head to HeadSeason Series: Nailers 1, Railers 1Season Series at DCU Center: First MeetingAll-Time Series: Nailers 1, Railers 1All-Time Series at DCU Center: First Meeting

Doherty Decides it LateThe Wheeling Nailers played their first game in Manchester in almost two years on Friday night, in what turned out to be a tight match between two of the top three teams in the North Division. The host Monarchs built a 2-0 lead on a first period goal by Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman, then Zac Lynch's power play tally in the middle frame. Despite Lynch's goal, the Nailers had a spectacular second period, outshooting Manchester 21-6, while tying the score. Cam Brown put Wheeling on the board, slipping in a pass from Troy Josephs. Then, with less than 30 seconds remaining until intermission, Reid Gardiner got the equalizer on the man advantage, slamming home the rebound of Nick Sorkin's attempt. The deadlock remained until the 13:40 mark of the third period, when Michael Doherty got behind the defense, and roofed a backhander for the 3-2 Monarchs win. Branden Komm made 38 saves in the victory, while Will King stopped 22 shots in the defeat.

New Teams CollideThe Worcester Railers and Jacksonville IceMen met in a battle of brand new ECHL teams on Friday night at DCU Center. Worcester played from behind for most of the net, having to come back from three separate deficits to draw even with the IceMen. The first tying goal was scored by Woody Hudson at 13:47 of the first period , but Jacksonville grabbed the lead back less than two minutes later. After scoring 13 goals to start the year, Hudson finally got his first assist of the campaign, setting up Barry Almeida at the 59-second mark of the middle frame. The two sides exchanged two more strikes in the opening six minutes of period two, with the Railers getting their goal from Matt Lane. That was all of the scoring for Worcester, but Jacksonville wasn't finished, potting two more in the second period for a 5-3 advantage, which the visitors took into the win column. Austin Lotz made 22 saves to win the game for the IceMen, while Mitch Gillam was pulled after giving up five goals on 27 shots for the Railers.

Under the Century MarkGoals have been difficult to come by during the inaugural season for the Railers, who enter play on Saturday as one of just two teams in the ECHL who have yet to score 100 goals. Worcester has lit the lamp 93 times in its first 37 contests for a 2.51 goals per game average. Making matters more challenging for the Railers, four of their top six scorers aren't on the active roster, as Chris Langkow, Kellen Jones, and Mike Cornell are all in the AHL, while Patrick McNally left for Europe. With goaltender Eamon McAdam also in the AHL, Mitch Gillam is shouldering the workload in net for Worcester, whose team defense ranks tied for tenth in the ECHL, with 3.00 goals against per contest. The Nailers rank sixth in the league with 3.58 goals per game, while continuing to own the best power play in the ECHL. The Railers are 26th on the man advantage.

Chance to Widen the GapFor the first time in what seems like the entire the season, separation is starting to develop in the North Division, and the Nailers could help to create some more distance between teams over the next couple of days. The top four clubs in the division (Manchester, Adirondack, Wheeling, and Reading) have all posted records of .500 or better in their last ten games, while the two teams on the outside of the playoff picture (Brampton and Worcester) have each won just three of their last ten matches. The Beast and Railers are tied with 35 points each, trailing the Royals by nine points, although Brampton (four) and Worcester (three) both have games in hand on each of the top four teams. The Nailers trail Adirondack by two points for second place, with two games in hand, which will both be played this weekend, as the Thunder are off until Wednesday.

Bay State DebutSaturday night marks the third of nine head-to-head meetings between the Nailers and Railers this season, as well as the first of five battles at DCU Center. Wheeling gets to check another state off of its historical list, as the team will play a game in Massachusetts for the first time ever. Between the Nailers and Thunderbirds, the club will have visited 22 states and one province in 26 years. Wheeling and Worcester played two games against each other at WesBanco Arena in November, with both sides skating away with 4-3 victories. Garrett Meurs and Nick Saracino were the leading scorers for the respective squads, as each player recorded two goals and three points. The two mini-sets in November and January will get the teams acquainted with each other for March, when the rivalry will heat up with five games over a span of 20 days.

Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
Faith & Family Night
Sunday, March 3rd
Faith & Family Night
Puck Drops:
4:10 PM EST
WesBanco Arena
Cincinnati Cyclones
CIN Cincinnati Cyclones
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena
Education Day
Tuesday, March 19th
Education Day
Puck Drops:
10:45 AM EDT
WesBanco Arena
Indy Fuel
IND Indy Fuel
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena
Frosty Friday
Friday, March 22nd
Frosty Friday
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM EDT
WesBanco Arena
Kalamazoo Wings
KAL Kalamazoo Wings
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena

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