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Nailers vs. Wings Game Day Snap Shot

Wednesday, January 24th
Nailers vs. Wings Game Day Snap Shot

WHEELING NAILERS(23-16-3-0, 49 PTS, 2nd North, 4th East)152 GF, 133 GAPP: 22.7% (39-for-172), 1stPK: 81.2% (138-for-170), T-19th

21-F-Cam Brown (12 goals, 27 assists, 39 points in 40 games)11-F-Cody Wydo (15 goals, 22 assists, 37 points in 31 games)24-F-Reid Gardiner (21 goals, 15 assists, 36 points in 37 games)8-F-Nick Sorkin (4 goals, 27 assists, 31 points in 40 games)19-F-J.C. Campagna (8 goals, 18 assists, 26 points in 32 games)26-D-Kevin Schulze (4 goals, 17 assists, 21 points in 29 games)29-G-Adam Morrison (7-7-0 record, 2.88 GAA, .911 Sv% in 14 games)

KALAMAZOO WINGS(21-13-2-2, 46 PTS, 4th Central, 7th West)141 GF, 124 GAPP: 19.4% (31-for-160), 7thPK: 82.1% (110-for-134), 16th

93-F-Justin Taylor (23 goals, 16 assists, 39 points in 38 games)20-F-Brendan Bradley (9 goals, 19 assists, 28 points in 38 games)19-F-Josh Pitt (14 goals, 13 assists, 27 points in 30 games)7-D-Kyle Bushee (7 goals, 20 assists, 27 points in 35 games)44-D-Aaron Irving (5 goals, 21 assists, 26 points in 35 games)26-F-Tyler Biggs (12 goals, 13 assists, 25 points in 33 games)49-G-Joel Martin (14-8-4 record, 2.93 GAA, .907 Sv% in 27 games)

Head to Head2016-17 Season Series: Nailers 7, Wings 32016-17 Season Series at WesBanco Arena: Nailers 4, Wings 1All-Time Series: Nailers 26, Wings 24All-Time Series at WesBanco Arena: Nailers 14, Wings 12

Swept Them off of the RailsThe Wheeling Nailers won two of three games on their road trip through New England last weekend, picking up four key points to jump into second place in the North Division. Both victories came against the Worcester Railers, with final scores of 5-2 and 4-2. On Sunday afternoon, Troy Josephs opened the scoring for Wheeling, swatting in a loose puck from the bottom of the right circle. The Railers pulled even just nine seconds into the middle frame, before the Nailers took the lead back later on. Reid Gardiner netted his fifth goal of the weekend, and Jeff Taylor scored his third goal against Worcester, opening up a 3-1 advantage. The margin temporarily became one, but Cody Wydo iced the triumph with an empty netter. Adam Morrison had identical 28-save efforts over the weekend, as he evened his record at 7-7-0.

Hot Wings on the MenuThe Kalamazoo Wings come to town on a five-game point streak, having gone 4-0-1 during that stretch. After blowing a 4-1 lead against the Quad City Mallards, Kalamazoo took its frustration out on the Indy Fuel on Sunday afternoon. The Wings stormed out to an early 3-0 lead, thanks to goals by Tyler Biggs, Kyle Blaney, and J.T. Stenglein. Indy got on the scoreboard late in the opening stanza, then closed the gap to one in the early stages of period two, but the Wings were not going to be thrown off course. Josh Pitt netted both markers in the middle frame for the home squad, and Jimmy Mullin tacked on one more goal in the third period, as Kalamazoo rolled to the 6-2 win. Joel Martin earned his 14th victory of the year with 30 saves, while Justin Taylor chipped in with three assists, and former Nailer Kyle Bushee had two helpers.

Making the Most of Man AdvantagesBoth teams had lethal power plays in their last outings, as the Nailers posted a 3-for-6 performance against Worcester, while the Wings converted on three of their seven opportunities against Indy. Wheeling's second man advantage marker on Sunday was scored by Reid Gardiner, who took over the team lead with six power play goals. Josh Pitt netted two of his club's three power play goals on Sunday, giving him seven on the year, which puts him into a tie with Justin Taylor for the top spot in Kalamazoo. The Nailers have boasted the top power play in the ECHL for the majority of the 2017-18 season, and enter this week with a 22.7% success rate, lighting the lamp 39 times. The Wings rank seventh in the league, clicking on 19.4% of their opportunities. Wheeling leads Indy, the next closest team, by 2.2% - the largest gap between two successive squads.

Settling in for Two WeeksIt's time to unpack the luggage for the Nailers, who won't go on the road again until February 8th, when they board a plane for a three-game series against the Orlando Solar Bears on the 9th, 11th, and 12th. Wheeling begins its longest homestand of the season on Wednesday, as it will play seven games against six different opponents over the course of the next 14 days. The Nailers will play three divisional games against Reading and Manchester over the weekend, while mixing in matches with Kalamazoo, Indy, Fort Wayne, and Toledo from the Central Division. Home ice has been a big advantage for Wheeling thus far this season, as the team has gone 13-6-1 in front of its hometown fans, including a 5-0-0 mark in January. The 13 home victories are tied for the second most in the Eastern Conference. The visiting Wings are one of ten teams in the Western Conference with a winning record on the road, having gone 10-9-1 in their first 20 tilts away from Southwest Michigan.

Hey, Old RivalsWednesday night marks the first of two head-to-head meetings between the Nailers and Wings this season, and the lone battle at WesBanco Arena. Kalamazoo is the opponent which featured the biggest drop of games against for Wheeling from last year to this year, as the two former division rivals clashed on ten different occasions in 2016-17. Despite their playoff statuses, it was the Nailers who got the upper hand in the season series, winning seven of the ten games. The season set has changed hands in each of the last six seasons - a trend which Wheeling hopes to end this year. Former Nailer Kyle Bushee was Kalamazoo's representative at last week's ECHL All-Star Classic, and he was also named the captain of the Central Division squad. Wings forwards Tyler Biggs and Colin Murray also spent time in Wheeling during their careers. The Nailers will make their lone visit to Wings Event Center on February 21st.

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