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Nailers at Admirals Game Day Snap Shot, Oct. 13

Saturday, October 13th
Nailers at Admirals Game Day Snap Shot, Oct. 13

WHEELING NAILERS2017-18:(35-28-8-1, 79 PTS, 5th North, 8th East)248 GF, 245 GAPP: 19.2% (56-for-291), 3rdPK: 80.7% (230-for-285), 21st

NHL Affiliate: Pittsburgh PenguinsAHL Affiliate: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

21-F-Cam Brown (17 goals, 36 assists, 53 points in 55 games)27-F-Zac Lynch (22 goals, 24 assists, 46 points in 58 games)13-F-Nick Saracino (12 goals, 25 assists, 37 points in 61 games)11-F-Christian Isackson (10 goals, 16 assists, 26 points in 42 games)5-D-Dan Fick (4 goals, 19 assists, 23 points in 70 games)22-D-Kevin Spinozzi (2 goals, 3 assists, 5 points in 12 games)31-G-Evan Cowley (9-9-1 record, 3.15 GAA, .902 Sv% in 19 games)

NORFOLK ADMIRALS2017-18:(26-39-6-1, 59 PTS, T-5th South, T-11th East)211 GF, 269 GAPP: 16.9% (51-for-302), 16thPK: 85.7% (240-for-280), 6th

NHL Affiliate: Arizona CoyotesAHL Affiliate: Tucson Roadrunners

14-F-Darik Angeli (24 goals, 25 assists, 49 points in 67 games)27-D-T.J. Melancon (15 goals, 28 assists, 43 points in 58 games)22-F-Patrick D'Amico (12 goals, 24 assists, 36 points in 65 games)23-F-Taylor Cammarata (12 goals, 19 assists, 31 points in 49 games)7-F-Chris Crane (12 goals, 13 assists, 25 points in 32 games)21-D-Daniel Maggio (8 goals, 16 assists, 24 points in 46 games)33-G-Ty Reichenbach (19-22-3 record, 3.37 GAA, .911 Sv% in 45 games)

Head-to-Head2017-18 Season Series: Nailers 4, Admirals 22017-18 Season Series at Norfolk Scope Arena: Admirals 2, Nailers 1All-Time Series: Nailers 7, Admirals 5All-Time Series at Norfolk Scope Arena: Admirals 4, Nailers 3

A New Chapter is Ready to BeginHockey season has arrived, and the Wheeling Nailers are set to embark on their 27th season, which begins on Saturday night, when they clash with the Norfolk Admirals at Norfolk Scope Arena. Wheeling is looking to return to the postseason dance, after missing out on the playoffs each of the last two years. Despite that, the Nailers have posted a winning record in ten consecutive seasons, finishing the 2017-18 campaign with a 35-28-9 mark, giving them 79 points. After hitting multiple milestones a year ago, Wheeling will eclipse another mark on Saturday, as over 800 different players will have played for the club during its history. The Nailers enter 2018-19 with an all-time record of 924-754-54-114, which calculates to 2,016 standings points. Wheeling is 5-0-2 in its last seven season openers and 13-11-2 all time on Opening Night.

Admirals' Watchmen Still in Search of PlayoffsThe Norfolk Admirals returned to the ECHL at the start of the 2015-16 season, and are still in search of their first playoff appearance since the AHL team reached the second round in 2014. The 2017-18 Admirals posted a 26-39-7 record, good for 59 points, which was a one-point improvement over the previous campaign. However, it still left the Admirals ten points out of the final playoff spot in the South Division, which was collected by the Atlanta Gladiators, despite having a losing record. Robbie Ftorek returns for his second full season and third overall as Norfolk's head coach, as he took over the squad in the midst of the 2016-17 season. The Admirals have lost all three of their season openers since returning to the ECHL, with two of those taking place at Norfolk Scope Arena.

Even Steven in PreseasonLast weekend, the Nailers and Cincinnati Cyclones split their two-game preseason series, with both sides winning on the road. Cincinnati picked up a 2-1 win in the opener on Friday night, with Nick Saracino tallying the lone goal for Wheeling. On Saturday, Josh Couturier gave the Nailers a 1-0 lead, before the Cyclones drew even 34 seconds after that. Cincinnati went ahead in the second period, but Mark Petaccio had an answer, knotting things up, and ultimately forcing extra hockey. Overtime wasn't able to solve anything, and the shootout needed five rounds, which was when Mike Fazio put Wheeling into the win column. Matt O'Connor was the goaltender of record in both tilts, with his 24-save effort on Saturday leading the way. Danny Tirone made 16 saves in the start on Friday, while Evan Cowley turned aside 17 shots in the start on Saturday. The Admirals did not play any preseason games.

Lots of DebutsMike Bavis begins his tenure as the new head coach of the Nailers on Saturday night, as he was named to that position on August 8th. New assistant coach Dylan Clarke will be by his side, in addition to a lot of new players, who will wear a Wheeling uniform for the first time in their careers. Only five of the 25 players on the opening roster have played for the Nailers before, while six players are eagerly awaiting their professional debuts in North America. On the other side of the ice, the Admirals have nine returning players from their team last season, meaning they also have plenty of new faces. One of those new faces is forward Ben Duffy, who racked up four goals and six points in six games with the Nailers during the 2013-14 season. One other new item for Norfolk is the team's third NHL affiliate during its ECHL tenure, as the Admirals are now affiliated with the NHL's Arizona Coyotes and the AHL's Tucson Roadrunners.

History is on Our SideSaturday night marks the first of five head-to-head meetings between the Nailers and Admirals this season, as well as the first of four battles at Norfolk Scope Arena. Wheeling got the upper hand in last year's season series, which was heavily controlled by the home teams. The Nailers won all three of their games at WesBanco Arena, while coming away with one victory on the road. Wheeling has opened the season in Norfolk once before, and that was the start of an extremely memorable journey, as the 2015-16 squad reached the Kelly Cup Final. In that opening game, the Nailers received two goals from Ty Loney, one tally from Jarrett Burton, and 23 saves by Franky Palazzese to blank the Admirals, 3-0. Outside of the five games against Norfolk, Wheeling will only play five games against the other teams from the South Division - three against Greenville, and one each against Jacksonville and South Carolina, with all ten games overall taking place before the turn of the calendar year.

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