WORCESTER, MA- The Wheeling Nailers will look ahead to Saturday night, when they will attempt to post a .500 record on their six-game road trip, facing the Worcester Railers for the second game in a row. Friday night's game went Worcester's way, as the home squad started with three goals in the first period, then tacked on two more along the way, while Mitch Gillam turned in a 30-save shutout in a 5-0 final score at DCU Center.
The first period was a difficult one for the Nailers, as Worcester stormed out to a 3-0 advantage. The first goal came at the 1:24 mark, when Nick Saracino floated a pass low on the left side to Chris Langkow, who set up Barry Almeida for the tally on his way down the right side of the slot. Less than five minutes later, Langkow potted a shorthanded marker, fighting off a Wheeling defender, then stretching a forehand shot around Matt O'Connor's left leg pad. With 8:35 to go, Langkow stole the puck out of the right corner, before feeding Almeida, who was denied. However, Saracino swatted the rebound out of the air and into the net.
One goal was scored in the middle frame, as the Railers extended their lead. A shot from the blueline was tipped, but O'Connor stopped that, in addition to a rebound chance. However, the third attempt turned on the red light, as TJ Syner stepped in and converted from the right side. Ryan MacKinnon's shot from the left wall was the final tally of the night, giving Worcester the 5-0 win.
Mitch Gillam was perfect on 30 shots, earning the shutout victory for the Railers. Matt O'Connor made 30 saves on 35 shots in his debut for Wheeling.
The Nailers will complete their six-game road trip on Saturday, when they face the Railers again at 7:05. Wheeling and Worcester will then travel to WesBanco Arena for Education Day Game #2 on Wednesday at 10:45 a.m. The Nailers will also host the Reading Royals for two games next Friday and Saturday, both starting at 7:05. Friday will be Ladies Night, featuring a pregame wine tasting event. Saturday is Pittsburgh Penguins Night. Fans will be able to see the Stanley Cup, the first 2,500 fans will receive a Carter Rowney Bobblehead, and Wheeling will wear special jerseys. To purchase tickets, or to get more information about season tickets, flex plans, group tickets, and more, call (304) 234-GOAL.