WHEELING, WV- For the second time in two weeks, the Wheeling Nailers took the Toledo Walleye right down to the wire. Unfortunately, Wheeling came away empty-handed in the points department. The Walleye built a 3-0 lead, before fending off a pair of surges by the Nailers to hold on for a 4-3 victory. Cedric Lacroix, Dan Fick, and Troy Josephs were the goal scorers for Wheeling.
Toledo got a fair amount of pressure during the first period, and ended up turning it into a goal with 2:53 remaining. TJ Hensick drove a shot from the middle of the blueline that was stopped by Matt O'Connor. However, the rebound wiggled out to Shane Berschbach, who slid in the second opportunity.
The Walleye added to their lead with a pair of quick strikes in the opening minutes of the second period. Hensick helped to create this goal as well, feeding Greg Wolfe, who had his shot from the slot denied, but Bryan Moore put back the rebound. 1:05 later, Matt Register stretched out to keep the puck in the offensive zone, before tossing the puck low, where it was tipped in by Charlie O'Connor. The Nailers had a strong surge at the end of the frame to close back within one. Cedric Lacroix won a face-off with Alex Rauter's assistance, then proceeded to roof a wrist shot into the top-right corner. With under a minute to play, Wheeling capitalized when a Toledo player was without a stick. Troy Josephs and Nick Saracino led the pressure in front of the net, leading Dan Fick to lunge and tap the loose puck in from the left side.
With 5:57 to go, the Walleye scored what turned out to be a huge insurance goal, which extended their lead at the time. Hensick and Berschbach worked quickly to set up Moore for a perfect tip-in at the top of the crease. The Nailers were able to respond on a shorthanded breakaway by Troy Josephs, but were unable to overcome the last deficit, as Toledo prevailed, 4-3.
Pat Nagle was the winning netminder for the Walleye, as he made 28 saves on 31 shots. Matt O'Connor suffered the defeat for Wheeling, despite stopping 26 of the 30 shots he faced.
The Nailers will close out their three-game homestand on Sunday afternoon, when they play host to the Cincinnati Cyclones at 3:05. After the game, fans can skate with the entire team. The next big promotional game is NailerMania on December 15th, starring WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley. Teddy Bear Toss and Ugly Sweater Night will also be part of that fun-filled night. Family Four Packs are available for NailerMania, thanks to WTRF - for $60, fans get four tickets, four hats, and four McDonald's Meal Vouchers. 2018 Holiday Packages are now available as well. The Wheeling Nailers, considered one of the top things to do in Wheeling, West Virginia, provide affordable family entertainment for fans throughout the Ohio Valley. For information on season tickets, group tickets, flex plans, and more, call (304) 234-GOAL.