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Nailers at Railers Game Day Snap Shot

Sunday, January 21st
Nailers at Railers Game Day Snap Shot

WHEELING NAILERS(22-16-3-0, 47 PTS, T-2nd North, T-4th East)148 GF, 131 GAPP: 21.7% (36-for-166), 1stPK: 81.2% (134-for-165), 19th

21-F-Cam Brown (12 goals, 27 assists, 39 points in 40 games)24-F-Reid Gardiner (20 goals, 15 assists, 35 points in 36 games)11-F-Cody Wydo (14 goals, 21 assists, 35 points in 30 games)8-F-Nick Sorkin (4 goals, 26 assists, 30 points in 39 games)19-F-J.C. Campagna (8 goals, 18 assists, 26 points in 31 games)26-D-Kevin Schulze (4 goals, 16 assists, 20 points in 28 games)29-G-Adam Morrison (6-7-0 record, 2.95 GAA, .909 Sv% in 13 games)

WORCESTER RAILERS(15-18-3-2, 35 PTS, 6th North, 11th East)95 GF, 116 GAPP: 11.0% (14-for-127), 26thPK: 80.6% (112-for-139), 21st

19-F-Barry Almeida (11 goals, 16 assists, 27 points in 36 games)88-F-Ashton Rome (6 goals, 10 assists, 16 points in 30 games)6-D-Mike Cornell (2 goals, 14 assists, 16 points in 30 games)23-F-Woody Hudson (13 goals, 1 assist, 14 points in 33 games)17-F-Frankie DiChiara (4 goals, 9 assists, 13 points in 30 games)8-F-Matthew Gaudreau (5 goals, 7 assists, 12 points in 17 games)39-G-Eamon McAdam (8-8-5 record, 2.85 GAA, .912 Sv% in 21 games)

Head to HeadSeason Series: Nailers 2, Railers 1Season Series at DCU Center: Nailers 1, Railers 0All-Time Series: Nailers 2, Railers 1All-Time Series at DCU Center: Nailers 1, Railers 0

Starting with a StatementThe Wheeling Nailers played the first of two games in Worcester this weekend on Saturday night, and they certainly made an impression in their DCU Center debut. Riley Bourbonnais put Wheeling on the scoreboard just 1:52 into the contest, roofing a shot from the right side of the slot. The Railers evened things up with a power play goal a few minutes later, but the Nailers answered with a man advantage marker of their own, courtesy of Jeff Taylor from the left circle. Reid Gardiner extended the lead for the visitors in the middle frame, as his one-timer trickled in over the goal line. In the opening minute of period three, Gardiner struck again, beating a defender on the right side, before ripping a shot past the goaltender. Worcester trimmed the margin to one before Gardiner put the icing on the cake, tapping in an empty netter for the 5-2 Wheeling win. Adam Morrison made 28 saves to earn his fourth straight triumph between the pipes.

Struggling to Make them CheerThe Worcester Railers have had nice support in their inaugural season, as they welcomed a crowd of 5,611 into DCU Center on Saturday night, putting them 12th in the ECHL in average attendance. However, those fans haven't had a lot to cheer about in home games, as the Railers are 6-9-1 in their home building. Wheeling added to that frustration on Saturday night. After falling behind 1-0, Worcester briefly pulled even, when Matthew Gaudreau converted on a power play, banging in the rebound of Nick Saracino's initial shot. The only other marker for the home team came from a local player, as Massachusetts native Brian Bowen smacked in a one-timer from the right circle at the 4:44 mark of the third period in the 5-2 defeat. After making his Railers debut one night earlier, Alex Sakellaropoulos made his first ECHL start on Saturday, and came away with 28 saves on 32 shots.

Gardiner Grows a Hat TrickReid Gardiner grabbed sole possession of third place in the ECHL's rookie scoring race on Saturday night, as his 35 points trail Justin Danforth of Cincinnati (41) and teammate Cam Brown (39). Danforth hears Gardiner knocking on the door in another category, as Reid's 20 goals trail the Cincinnati sniper by only one. The Humboldt, Saskatchewan native turned in an outstanding performance against the Railers, becoming the third Nailer this season to score a hat trick. In addition to the three goals, Gardiner led Wheeling with nine shots on goal, and was tied with Nick Sorkin and Dylan Zink in posting a +3 rating. Reid has scored multiple goals in a game on four different occasions this season - the highest total on the Nailers. With Riley Bourbonnais netting a hat trick on January 5th, Wheeling has recorded two hat tricks during the same month in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1992-93 and 1993-94.

It's All About the TimingDifferent players succeed in different situations during games, and for the 2017-18 Nailers, four players in particular have found the times when they are able to thrive. Riley Bourbonnais started the scoring in Saturday's game, giving him three game-opening goals this season - all of which have been scored less than two minutes after the opening face-off. He and Garrett Meurs have been two key players to getting the offense started, as the two have combined to light the lamp 12 times during the first period. When the game is on the line in the third period or overtime, Cam Brown and Reid Gardiner have rose to the occasion. Gardiner netted his team-leading sixth game winning goal in Worcester. Ten of his 20 goals have been scored in the third period or overtime, while Brown has collected six of his 12 goals during the final stanza.

Setting the Stage for MarchSunday afternoon marks the fourth of nine head-to-head meetings between the Nailers and Railers this season, as well as the second of five battles at DCU Center. After splitting the first two matches in Wheeling, the Nailers took a 2-1 series lead, thanks to Saturday's 5-2 triumph in Massachusetts. Reid Gardiner has collected multiple points in two of the three contests, totaling five points to lead all players. Worcester's top performer in the set has been Nick Saracino, who has two goals, two assists, and four points. Saturday's game brought Wheeling to the midway point of its slate against North Division opponents, and the Nailers have gone 10-7-1 through 18 of 36 tilts. After Sunday, Wheeling and Worcester will play five games against each other over a 20-day span in March to close out their first ever year as opponents.

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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