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Nailers vs. Beast Game Day Snap Shot

Friday, March 23rd
Nailers vs. Beast Game Day Snap Shot

WHEELING NAILERS(32-25-7-1, 72 PTS, 4th North, 6th East)223 GF, 221 GAPP: 19.5% (50-for-256), 3rdPK: 80.5% (206-for-256), 23rd

11-F-Cody Wydo (25 goals, 30 assists, 55 points in 51 games)8-F-Nick Sorkin (7 goals, 43 assists, 50 points in 62 games)24-F-Reid Gardiner (27 goals, 22 assists, 49 points in 51 games)23-F-Garrett Meurs (21 goals, 28 assists, 49 points in 54 games)21-F-Cam Brown (13 goals, 31 assists, 44 points in 48 games)26-D-Kevin Schulze (8 goals, 20 assists, 28 points in 40 games)29-G-Adam Morrison (15-12-2 record, 3.10 GAA, .906 Sv% in 31 games)

BRAMPTON BEAST(24-30-6-4, 58 PTS, 6th North, 10th East)187 GF, 217 GAPP: 14.5% (33-for-228), 23rdPK: 86.5% (257-for-297), 4th

13-F-Brandon Marino (17 goals, 37 assists, 54 points in 64 games)48-F-Chris Leveille (18 goals, 30 assists, 48 points in 59 games)22-F-Erik Bradford (15 goals, 33 assists, 48 points in 57 games)17-F-Brandon MacLean (17 goals, 24 assists, 41 points in 58 games)27-F-Alex Foster (11 goals, 20 assists, 31 points in 58 games)12-D-Reggie Traccitto (13 goals, 17 assists, 30 points in 61 games)34-G-Chris Driedger (6-3-1 record, 2.10 GAA, .929 Sv% in 10 games)

Head to HeadSeason Series: Nailers 2, Beast 2Season Series at WesBanco Arena: Nailers 1, Beast 1All-Time Series: Nailers 17, Beast 11All-Time Series at WesBanco Arena: Nailers 8, Beast 5

Last Shot WinsThe Wheeling Nailers and Worcester Railers played an incredibly intense game on Wednesday night, as they continue to battle for the fourth and final playoff spot in the North Division. The defense and goaltending in the contest was spectacular, as Wheeling's Adam Morrison and Worcester's Mitch Gillam matched each other save for save. The Nailers controlled the play for the first two periods, outshooting the Railers 25-12, before Worcester responded with a 12-4 advantage in the third. However, neither side was able to find the back of the net during regulation or overtime, leading the 0-0 tilt into a shootout. The netminders shined in the first three rounds, as Matt Lane, Reid Gardiner, Frankie DiChiara, Cam Brown, Jake Randolph, and Cody Wydo all came up empty. Morrison denied T.J. Syner in round four, and then Chris Francis snapped the deadlock for the only goal of the night and a 1-0 Wheeling victory. Morrison's 28-save shutout was his first of the season.

Thunder Struck in BramptonThe Brampton Beast suffered back-to-back losses against North Division opponents last weekend, as they were blown out 5-1 by the Reading Royals on Saturday, before a closer contest on Sunday at home against the Adirondack Thunder. Brandon Marino opened the scoring for the Beast, but their lead lasted for just 11 seconds, before Austin Orszulak tallied the equalizer for Adirondack. Kenton Miller gave the Thunder the lead with 5:04 to go in the opening stanza, and the score stayed 2-1 for nearly two full periods. With 9:08 remaining in regulation, Desmond Bergin tacked on what appeared to be an insurance marker, but because of Brandon MacLean's goal later, turned out to be the game winner in a 3-2 Adirondack decision. Bergin's winning goal was his second in as many games. Olivier Mantha made 32 saves in the victory for the Thunder, beating Marcus Hogberg, who stopped 23 of 26 shots for Brampton.

A Rare ResultOne of the beauties of sports is that fans have no idea what they are going to see on any given night, and on occasion, a rare event ends up taking place. On Wednesday night, Wheeling and Worcester played to a scoreless tie through regulation and overtime. The Nailers eventually prevailed on the final shot of the shootout, marking just the third time in 26 seasons that the team earned a 1-0 shootout win. Prior to that, the last occurrence was over 15 years ago, when Wheeling defeated the Johnstown Chiefs on December 27, 2002. The last 1-0 win for the Nailers in a non-shootout game was November 25, 2015, when Zack Torquato scored the lone goal, and Franky Palazzese blanked the Reading Royals. The shutout win was the first of the season for Wheeling, who has kept the opposition off of the scoreboard at least once in all but one of its 26 seasons. Idaho, Reading, and Toledo have each shutout the opposition six times, while six teams have yet to turn in a perfect night in net.

A Chance to Apply the DaggerFive teams have punched their tickets to the 2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs, while two clubs know that their season will come to an end in early April. Colorado, Florida, Fort Wayne, South Carolina, and Toledo have clinched, while Quad City and Rapid City will not get to enjoy the excitement of postseason hockey. That leaves 20 teams battling for the remaining 11 spots, although those numbers could drop as early as Friday night. Brampton's tragic number for playoff elimination is four points, meaning a regulation win by the Nailers will decide the fate for the Beast. Greenville can also be eliminated on Friday, while Manchester, Orlando, and Idaho can all solidify their spots in the dance. With Wednesday night's victory, Wheeling trimmed its magic number down to 14 points to lock up a playoff spot. While the Nailers look to enjoy the comforts of home, Worcester continues its road trip with two games in Reading.

One Win in Each CityFriday night marks the fifth of six head-to-head meetings between the Nailers and Beast this season, as well as the third and final battle at WesBanco Arena. After facing off 11 times last year, the games have been few and far between for these two North Division rivals, who take the ice against each other for the first time since December 23rd. Both teams have won once at home and once on the road, and with the exception of one contest, offense has been a big part of the series. The most recent triumph went Wheeling's way 6-2 in West Virginia, as the home team earned a chance to celebrate its way into the holiday break. Cam Brown has been the most productive player in the first four games, accumulating six points (all assists), while Luc-Olivier Blain leads Brampton with five points. The Nailers will travel to Canada on April 6th for their second to last game of the regular season - their first trip onto international soil since late October.

Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
Frosty Friday
Friday, February 23rd
Frosty Friday
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM EST
WesBanco Arena
Fort Wayne Komets
FW Fort Wayne Komets
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena
Country Night
Saturday, February 24th
Country Night
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM EST
WesBanco Arena
Kalamazoo Wings
KAL Kalamazoo Wings
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena
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

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