Last WeekWednesday, November 21st: Reading Royals 5 @ WHEELING NAILERS 1After sweeping a three-game road trip against South Division opponents, the Wheeling Nailers had a difficult game on Wednesday night, as they returned to WesBanco Arena to face the Reading Royals. Reading scored twice in the opening five minutes of play, before Kevin Spinozzi collected the lone goal of the night for the Nailers. The Royals ended up striking three more times, including twice on the power play, as they snapped a six-game winless skid with a 5-1 victory on the road. Three of Reading's five goals came via redirections.
Saturday, November 24th: Toledo Walleye 4 @ WHEELING NAILERS 3The Toledo Walleye have the best record in the Central Division, but the Nailers have taken them right down to the wire in both clashes this season. On Saturday night, Toledo stormed out to a 3-0 lead, before Wheeling started a rally in the closing minutes of the second period. Cedric Lacroix scored off a face-off and Dan Fick stepped up from the blueline to make the score 3-2 after 40 minutes. A power play goal by the Walleye in the third period ended up being the difference in a 4-3 decision, as Troy Josephs broke away for a shorthanded goal moments later.
Sunday, November 25th: Cincinnati Cyclones 2 @ WHEELING NAILERS 3The Nailers earned their first divisional triumph of the season on Sunday afternoon, doing so in comeback fashion against the Cincinnati Cyclones. Cincinnati jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period, before Alex Rauter got the comeback started with 8:17 left in the middle frame. Nick Saracino notched the tying goal at the 1:10 mark of the third period, setting the stage for Winston Day Chief to be the hero against his former team, as he deflected a point shot by Dan Fick past reigning ECHL Goaltender of the Week Jonas Johansson. Matt O'Connor made 20 saves for Wheeling to earn his second win of the year.
This WeekTuesday, November 27th: WHEELING NAILERS @ Kalamazoo Wings, 7:30 p.m.The 1-1-0 record against Toledo and Cincinnati began an eight-game stretch for the Nailers against Central Division teams, which will continue on Tuesday, when Wheeling faces the Kalamazoo Wings for the first time this season. Dating back to the 2016-17 campaign, the Nailers are 8-3-1 against Kalamazoo, including a 3-2-1 mark at Wings Event Center. The Wings have fallen on hard times as of late, winning just one of their last 11 games to fall to 4-10-1 and into the basement of the Central Division. Kalamazoo allowed 16 goals in its three losses last week, as it came up short against Cincinnati, Fort Wayne, and Indy.
Friday, November 30th: Indy Fuel @ WHEELING NAILERS, 7:05 p.m.On Friday night, the Nailers will get a chance to avenge their loss in the 2018 home opener, when the Indy Fuel return to WesBanco Arena for the second of nine visits this season. After falling behind 2-0 in the closing minutes of the first period, Indy rattled off five straight goals to start the middle stanza, en route to a 5-3 win. The Fuel have alternated wins and losses in 12 straight games, with Wheeling looking to make it 13 in a row by dealing them a defeat. Third place Indy got its wins last week against Toledo and Kalamazoo, while the loss came against Cincinnati.
Saturday, December 1st: Kalamazoo Wings @ WHEELING NAILERS, 7:05 p.m.Four days after meeting in Michigan, the Nailers and Wings will clash at WesBanco Arena on Saturday night as part of Nailers Fight Cancer. Wheeling won its lone home contest against Kalamazoo, lighting the lamp six times against goaltender Joel Martin, who retired during the offseason to become Nick Bootland's assistant coach in Kalamazoo. A popular former Nailer will make his annual return to Nail City as a member of the Wings, as Kyle Bushee (played in Wheeling from 2009-12) skated in his 600th ECHL match earlier this season.
Notes- Sunday's win was the first of the year for the Nailers when trailing after two periods.- Wheeling has come from behind to win three times this season, erasing two-goal deficits in two of the three.- Neither team scored a special teams goal on Sunday, ending a ten-game run with at least one power play goal or shorthanded goal for either side.- The Nailers have allowed 25 shots on goal or fewer in seven of 15 games this season.- Since joining the team on October 27th, Troy Josephs has registered a point on 18 of 36 goals.- Josh Couturier notched his first professional point with an assist on Sunday afternoon.
Central Division Standings1. Toledo Walleye 13-2-1-0, 27 pts.2. Cincinnati Cyclones 12-5-2-0, 26 pts.3. Indy Fuel 9-8-0-0, 18 pts.4. Fort Wayne Komets 8-8-0-0, 16 pts.5. WHEELING NAILERS 6-8-1-0, 13 pts.6. Kalamazoo Wings 4-10-0-1, 9 pts.
Team LeadersGoals: Troy Josephs- 12Assists: Nick Saracino- 8Points: Troy Josephs- 18Penalty Minutes: Cedric Lacroix- 54Plus/Minus: Troy Josephs- +6Wins: John Muse- 4Goals Against Average: Matt O'Connor- 2.80Save Percentage: John Muse- .892
Next Big Promotional NightsSaturday, December 15th- NailerMania - Wrestling Legend Mick Foley, Teddy Bear Toss, Wear Your Ugly SweaterFamily Four Packs are available for Marvel Super Hero Night and NailerMania. Fans can get four tickets, four hats, and four McDonald's meal vouchers for $60.
Next Five Home GamesFriday, November 30th vs. Indy Fuel, 7:05 p.m.Saturday, December 1st vs. Kalamazoo Wings, 7:05 p.m.Friday, December 7th vs. Fort Wayne Komets, 7:05 p.m.Sunday, December 9th vs. Indy Fuel, 3:05 p.m.Wednesday, December 12th vs. Allen Americans, 7:05 p.m.