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Nailers vs. Railers Game Day Snap Shot

Wednesday, March 21st
Nailers vs. Railers Game Day Snap Shot

WHEELING NAILERS(31-25-7-1, 70 PTS, 4th North, 6th East)222 GF, 221 GAPP: 19.8% (50-for-253), 3rdPK: 80.2% (203-for-253), 22nd

11-F-Cody Wydo (25 goals, 30 assists, 55 points in 50 games)8-F-Nick Sorkin (7 goals, 43 assists, 50 points in 61 games)24-F-Reid Gardiner (27 goals, 22 assists, 49 points in 50 games)23-F-Garrett Meurs (21 goals, 28 assists, 49 points in 53 games)21-F-Cam Brown (13 goals, 31 assists, 44 points in 47 games)5-D-Danny Fick (4 goals, 18 assists, 22 points in 62 games)29-G-Adam Morrison (14-12-2 record, 3.22 GAA, .903 Sv% in 30 games)

WORCESTER RAILERS(30-25-4-3, 67 PTS, 5th North, 8th East)172 GF, 179 GAPP: 13.0% (28-for-215), 26thPK: 82.9% (170-for-205), 14th

19-F-Barry Almeida (19 goals, 33 assists, 52 points in 60 games)21-F-Chris Langkow (18 goals, 27 assists, 45 points in 50 games)18-F-Nick Saracino (10 goals, 19 assists, 29 points in 51 games)16-F-Jeff Kubiak (14 goals, 14 assists, 28 points in 58 games)23-F-Woody Hudson (19 goals, 8 assists, 27 points in 57 games)6-D-Mike Cornell (2 goals, 18 assists, 20 points in 35 games)35-G-Mitch Gillam (17-13-1 record, 2.41 GAA, .914 Sv% in 33 games)

Head to HeadSeason/All-Time Series: Nailers 4, Railers 4Season/All-Time Series at WesBanco Arena: Nailers 2, Railers 1

We Made it to 70The Wheeling Nailers earned their 70th point of the season on Saturday afternoon, when they faced the Adirondack Thunder in the back half of a quick two-game road trip. Wheeling was the first team to turn on the red light in the early start, as Reid Gardiner snapped in a shot off of the rush for his 27th tally of the campaign, which leads the team. The Thunder registered the lone goal of the second period, when Brian Ward fished a loose puck out of a scrum at the top of the crease. Both sides scored in the final stanza of regulation, with Troy Josephs putting the Nailers ahead at the 3:31 mark, before a quick answer from Ward knotted things up for Adirondack 1:49 later. The 2-2 deadlock needed overtime to be settled, and the extra frame lasted for just 20 seconds, as Desmond Bergin netted the game winner for the Thunder. Drew Fielding made 31 saves in the win, while Adam Morrison stopped 27 of the 30 shots he faced in the overtime defeat.

Breaking Through in Crunch TimeThe Worcester Railers had a pair of games come down to the wire over the weekend, and they were able to come out on top in both of them, thanks to key goals during the third period. On Saturday night, the Railers and Fort Wayne Komets entered the final frame with a 2-2 tie on the scoreboard. However, that was quickly broken, as Matt Lane notched his second goal of the game, lifting Worcester to the eventual 3-2 win. On Sunday afternoon, the Railers fell behind the Utah Grizzlies twice, but battled back to forge a 2-2 deadlock, as the game headed to its second intermission. At the 9:12 mark of the third period, Jeff Kubiak broke the tie, and with less than four minutes remaining, Woody Hudson added a shorthanded strike for insurance, as Worcester was victorious, 4-2. Mitch Gillam won both contests in goal, and is currently riding a four-game winning streak.

Honing in on Home GamesWesBanco Arena has been a friendly place for the Nailers this season, and they are looking for their success to continue, as Wednesday begins a stretch in which five of the next six games are played on home ice - the final five home games of the regular season. Wheeling enters with an 18-11-2 mark in front of its 26-year fan base, and will attempt to earn its third victory in four visits by Wednesday's visitors, the Railers. Worcester will play just four of its final ten games at home, where the Railers won each of its last four tilts, defeating Adirondack, Wheeling, Fort Wayne, and Utah in an eight-day span. Worcester is 7-1 in its last eight games at DCU Center, but has gone 4-7-1 in its last 12 matches outside of Massachusetts. Three of the final five home games for the Nailers will be played against North Division opponents, as Brampton and Manchester will come to town, in addition to two trips in from Cincinnati out of the Central Division.

It's Like Looking in a MirrorFor most hockey teams, one of the goals set from the beginning of the season is to have a power play and a penalty kill that combines to equal 100%. It is somewhat rare to see the success rates mirror each other, making Wheeling's current numbers quite the unique feat. The Nailers are third in the ECHL on the power play at 19.8% and 22nd on the penalty kill at 80.2%, giving them that 100% right on the nose. However, it goes deeper than that. Wheeling has scored 50 times on 253 man advantages, and so has its opposition. Toledo and South Carolina have the best special teams in the ECHL, combining for a 106.2% success rate, while Jacksonville is at the bottom of the league at 92.6%. Worcester's 95.9% performance on special teams ranks 24th, as its power play has had its struggles, while its penalty kill is in the middle of the pack.

Game Nine for All the MarblesWednesday night marks the ninth and final head-to-head meeting between the Nailers and Railers this season, as well as the fourth battle at WesBanco Arena. The season series will be decided on Wednesday, as both sides have skated away victorious four times in the first eight matches. Both teams have had the upper hand at home, as Wheeling has gone 2-1 in the Friendly City, while Worcester posted a 3-2 mark at DCU Center. The two new division rivals (who will be in different conferences next year) have gotten acquainted with each other quite frequently as of late, as this will be the fifth game in 20 days, with the first four all going the way of the home squads. Nick Saracino of the Railers leads all players with nine points in the set, while the Nailers are led by Cody Wydo, who has eight points.

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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