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Nailers at Admirals Game Day Snap Shot, Dec. 21

Friday, December 21st
Nailers at Admirals Game Day Snap Shot, Dec. 21

WHEELING NAILERS(13-11-2-0, 28 PTS, 3rd Central, 9th West)89 GF, 81 GAPP: 19.4% (21-for-108), 6thPK: 84.5% (98-for-116), 14th

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

13-F-Nick Saracino (13 goals, 19 assists, 32 points in 25 games)21-F-Cam Brown (7 goals, 21 assists, 28 points in 26 games)22-D-Kevin Spinozzi (8 goals, 14 assists, 22 points in 24 games)27-F-Zac Lynch (8 goals, 12 assists, 20 points in 26 games)17-F-Winston Day Chief (7 goals, 9 assists, 16 points in 24 games)23-F-Michael Phillips (6 goals, 8 assists, 14 points in 26 games)30-G-Matt O'Connor (5-2-1 record, 2.74 GAA, .906 Sv% in 9 games)

NORFOLK ADMIRALS(12-13-1-2, 27 PTS, 5th South, T-11th East)84 GF, 109 GAPP: 16.8% (18-for-107), 15thPK: 85.3% (87-for-102), 10th

NHL Affiliate: Arizona CoyotesAHL Affiliate: Tucson Roadrunners

23-F-Taylor Cammarata (10 goals, 13 assists, 23 points in 28 games)12-F-Ben Duffy (6 goals, 16 assists, 22 points in 26 games)5-D-Jalen Smereck (2 goals, 16 assists, 18 points in 27 games)18-F-Luke Nogard (9 goals, 7 assists, 16 points in 21 games)22-F-Patrick D'Amico (6 goals, 9 assists, 15 points in 24 games)52-D-TJ Melancon (5 goals, 10 assists, 15 points in 28 games)33-G-Ty Reichenbach (9-10-2 record, 4.16 GAA, .887 Sv% in 21 games)

Head-to-HeadSeason Series: Nailers 2, Admirals 1Season Series at Norfolk Scope Arena: Nailers 1, Admirals 1All-Time Series: Nailers 9, Admirals 6All-Time Series at Norfolk Scope Arena: Admirals 5, Nailers 4

A Wild Ride to Number SevenThe Wheeling Nailers have earned points in seven consecutive games, thanks to a crazy 7-6 shootout victory over the Norfolk Admirals on Wednesday night. The Nailers started out with their most explosive stanza of the year, storming out of the gates with five goals in the first 13:03 of action. Nick Saracino opened the scoring just 1:33 into the contest, and after a tying goal by the Admirals, Wheeling took charge, denting the twine four times in a row. Brien Diffley netted his first professional goal, and he was followed by Renars Krastenbergs, Dan Fick, and Winston Day Chief. Saracino's second tally of the night was the lone second period goal for the Nailers, who took a 6-3 lead into the intermission. Norfolk surged back with three goals in the opening five minutes of the third frame, pulling even, and forcing extra hockey. Cam Brown and Matt O'Connor wound up being the heroes of the night, as Brown scored the lone shootout goal in round two, while O'Connor made eight saves in the game and three in the shootout, after taking over in the crease with 15:22 left in the third.

A Point They Desperately NeededThe Norfolk Admirals got off to their best start since returning to the ECHL, winning eight of their first 11 games. However, their recent play has left their fans wondering what happened. Norfolk earned a point for the first time in seven tilts on Wednesday night, after falling below the .500 mark with its 5-1 loss at WesBanco Arena on Saturday. The Admirals saw two players return to the lineup on Wednesday, and both factored into the offense, as Chris Crane recorded a goal and an assist, while Patrick D'Amico dished out a pair of helpers. Jake Wood had the best performance for Norfolk, notching two goals and an assist, while Cody Smith, Connor Hurley, and Jalen Smereck also found the back of the net. Ty Reichenbach continues to face the heaviest workload in the ECHL, as he made 38 saves on 44 shots, bringing his season saves total up to a league-leading 662.

Loving That Southern HospitalityIn addition to enjoying the warmer temperatures outdoors, the Nailers have also enjoyed tremendous success on the ice against the South Division for the second year in a row. Wheeling enters the weekend with a 6-1-1 mark against South Division foes this season, having beaten Greenville and Norfolk twice each, while knocking off Jacksonville and South Carolina once each. Over the last two seasons, the Nailers have gone 14-3-2 against the South Division, playing against everyone except the first place Florida Everblades and last place Atlanta Gladiators. Nine of the 14 triumphs have occurred on enemy ice, including four of this year's six. The Admirals are 1-3-1 against the Central Division in 2018-19, dropping decisions against Cincinnati and Toledo, to go along with their 1-1-1 record against Wheeling.

Shootout Shining StarsDuring the first period of Wednesday's win, it looked like the heroes of the night would be decided early, as Nick Saracino and Yushiroh Hirano were both enjoying three-point performances. However, two players shined brightly at the end, helping deliver two points to Wheeling. Matt O'Connor was called into action at the 4:38 mark of the third period, with the score deadlocked, 6-6. He proceeded to stop all eight shots he faced during the game, including three huge stops during an Admirals power play. O'Connor then thwarted all three Norfolk shooters in the shootout, as Nailers netminders improved to 7-for-7 this season. After extending his point streak to eight games earlier in the contest, Cam Brown netted the deciding goal in the shootout. It was Brown's second shootout winning goal of the season, making him the third Wheeling player in the last decade to score two shootout winners in the same year (Chris Barton- 3 in 2012-13, David Gilbert- 2 in 2014-15).

A Chance to Clinch Another SetFriday night marks the fourth of five head-to-head meetings between the Nailers and Admirals this season, as well as the third of four battles at Norfolk Scope Arena. Wednesday's triumph gave Wheeling one win in Virginia for the fourth consecutive season, but one more win on this trip would give the Nailers multiple victories in Norfolk for the first time since the Admirals returned to the ECHL in 2015. Wheeling is also trying to put the clamps on a fifth season series win in 2018-19, having already knocked off Allen (1-0), Greenville (2-1), Jacksonville (1-0), and South Carolina (1-0). Cam Brown has been the top performer for the Nailers, with six points in the first three matches, while Norfolk has three different players with four points, including Jake Wood, who is the only player for either team to score three goals.

Upcoming Home Games

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Saturday, November 2nd
Bloomington Bison @ Wheeling Nailers
Puck Drops:
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Trois-Rivières Lions @ Wheeling Nailers
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Wheeling Nailers
Saturday, November 9th
Trois-Rivières Lions @ Wheeling Nailers
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM EST
WesBanco Arena
Trois-Rivières Lions
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