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Nailers vs. Monarchs Game Day Snap Shot

Saturday, January 27th
Nailers vs. Monarchs Game Day Snap Shot

WHEELING NAILERS(24-16-4-0, 52 PTS, T-1st North, T-3rd East)159 GF, 137 GAPP: 21.8% (39-for-179), 1stPK: 81.1% (142-for-175), 20th

24-F-Reid Gardiner (24 goals, 15 assists, 39 points in 39 games)11-F-Cody Wydo (16 goals, 23 assists, 39 points in 33 games)21-F-Cam Brown (12 goals, 27 assists, 39 points in 40 games)23-F-Garrett Meurs (15 goals, 21 assists, 36 points in 37 games)8-F-Nick Sorkin (5 goals, 29 assists, 34 points in 42 games)26-D-Kevin Schulze (4 goals, 17 assists, 21 points in 31 games)1-G-Will King (6-4-1 record, 2.92 GAA, .912 Sv% in 12 games)

MANCHESTER MONARCHS(24-14-3-1, 52 PTS, T-1st North, T-3rd East)157 GF, 124 GAPP: 18.5% (36-for-195), 10thPK: 84.7% (150-for-177), 9th

10-F-Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman (20 goals, 19 assists, 39 points in 41 games)16-F-Zac Lynch (19 goals, 16 assists, 35 points in 41 games)23-D-Colton Saucerman (3 goals, 29 assists, 32 points in 41 games)28-F-Joel Lowry (14 goals, 17 assists, 31 points in 26 games)17-F-Matt Leitner (6 goals, 23 assists, 29 points in 31 games)24-F-Michael Doherty (10 goals, 14 assists, 24 points in 38 games)1-G-Charles Williams (13-6-3 record, 2.54 GAA, .918 Sv% in 24 games)

Head to HeadSeason Series: Nailers 1, Monarchs 1Season Series at WesBanco Arena: Nailers 1, Monarchs 0All-Time Series: Nailers 3, Monarchs 2All-Time Series at WesBanco Arena: Nailers 3, Monarchs 0

The Point Streak ContinuesThe Wheeling Nailers extended their home point streak to seven games on Friday night, as they were involved in a goaltending duel with the Reading Royals at WesBanco Arena. Surprisingly, the first goal of the night came in very quick fashion, as the Royals went ahead at the 1:20 mark of the opening stanza. Adam Schmidt tossed in a wrist shot from the left point, through all sorts of traffic around the crease. With 6:57 remaining in the second period, Wheeling drew even. Cody Wydo drove his way to the front of the net, allowing Reid Gardiner to whip in his 24th goal of the season from the right circle. The tilt stayed tied through regulation, but a deciding goal was scored just 28 seconds into overtime. Michael Huntebrinker took a drop pass from Matt Willows, lifting Reading to the 2-1 decision. John Muse made 36 saves in the victory, while Adam Morrison turned aside 27 of 29 shots for the Nailers.

Double Digits Melted the IceMenThe Manchester Monarchs had an offensive outburst for the ages in their last game, as they blew out the Jacksonville IceMen, 10-4 at SNHU Arena on Sunday. Oddly enough, it was Jacksonville who scored the first goal, as well as the last two, meaning the Monarchs had a run in which they collected ten of 11 markers. Spencer Watson and Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman were responsible for the first period tallies, as the score was 2-1 at the first intermission. Manchester then blew things wide open in the middle frame, turning on the red light six times for an 8-3 advantage. Justin Agosta was the only player with multiple goals in period two, as Colton Phinney got chased from the IceMen net. Matt Schmalz notched his second of the day in the third period, joining Agosta with multiple goals. Branden Komm was the beneficiary of the offense, as he grabbed the win with 27 saves.

Winner Takes the Top SpotFirst place in the North Division is on the line in the next two games, as the Nailers and Monarchs begin a quick weekend set in the Friendly City. The two clubs are currently locked up in a tie for the top spot in the grouping, as each side has collected 52 points. Both teams have recorded 23 victories in regulation or overtime, but Manchester has a one-goal lead over Wheeling in goal differential, giving Saturday's visitors the tiebreaker for the moment. The top four teams in the North Division have been bunched together for the majority of the 2017-18 season, and are currently separated by just two points, as Adirondack (who hosts Florida on Saturday) has 51 points, and Reading (who visits Brampton on Sunday) has 50 points. The Nailers own the best points percentage against North Division opponents, entering Saturday at 11-7-2 (.600).

Gardiner Grabbing the HeadlinesRookie forward Reid Gardiner continued his lethal stretch on Friday night, as he fired home his team-leading 24th goal of the season, helping the Nailers earn a point against the Royals. Since returning from the AHL on January 10th, Gardiner has amassed ten goals, one assist, and 11 points in eight games. He has scored at least one goal in five consecutive contests, marking the second time that he has achieved that accomplishment this year, after posting a seven-game goal streak from October 21st-November 10th. Reid's recent run has lifted him ahead of Cincinnati's Justin Danforth for the ECHL's lead in goals by a rookie. Gardiner and Cam Brown are tied for second place among first year players with 39 points. Four of the top 20 rookie scorers play for the Wheeling. Manchester's top rookie scorers are Michael Doherty with 24 points and Matt Schmalz with 13 goals.

Intensifying the Divisional MatchSaturday night marks the third of six head-to-head meetings between the Nailers and Monarchs this season, as well as the second of four battles at WesBanco Arena. Wheeling and Manchester only played against each other three times in the Monarchs' first two seasons in the ECHL, but with first place on the line this weekend, the contests have quickly adopted significantly more meaning. All five historical clashes have been won by the home squads, as the Nailers have earned three victories in West Virginia, while Manchester has come out on top twice at SNHU Arena. This year's season series has been split thus far, with each team picking up one win. Justin Agosta leads the Monarchs in scoring with five points (all assists), while Riley Bourbonnais and Chris Francis have both registered four points for the Nailers. After the weekend, there will be one game left in each venue.

Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
Screen Time Sunday & Post Game Skate
Sunday, February 25th
Screen Time Sunday & Post Game Skate
Puck Drops:
4:10 PM EST
WesBanco Arena
Kalamazoo Wings
KAL Kalamazoo Wings
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena
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

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