1. Home
  2. News
  3. Nailers at Fuel Game Day Snap Shot, Dec. 27

Nailers at Fuel Game Day Snap Shot, Dec. 27

Thursday, December 27th
Nailers at Fuel Game Day Snap Shot, Dec. 27

WHEELING NAILERS(15-11-2-0, 32 PTS, 3rd Central, T-7th West)100 GF, 84 GAPP: 20.7% (24-for-116), 3rdPK: 85.7% (108-for-126), T-7th

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

21-F-Cam Brown (8 goals, 24 assists, 32 points in 28 games)27-F-Zac Lynch (9 goals, 14 assists, 23 points in 28 games)4-F-Alex Rauter (5 goals, 12 assists, 17 points in 21 games)5-D-Dan Fick (3 goals, 13 assists, 16 points in 28 games)9-F-Yushiroh Hirano (4 goals, 11 assists, 15 points in 23 games)23-F-Michael Phillips (6 goals, 8 assists, 14 points in 28 games)30-G-Matt O'Connor (7-2-1 record, 2.48 GAA, .914 Sv% in 11 games)

INDY FUEL(14-13-0-0, 28 PTS, 6th Central, 12th West)88 GF, 98 GAPP: 15.1% (18-for-119), 21stPK: 83.1% (103-for-124), 20th

NHL Affiliate: Chicago BlackhawksAHL Affiliate: Rockford IceHogs

10-F-Kevin Dufour (14 goals, 10 assists, 24 points in 25 games)24-F-Josh Shalla (11 goals, 13 assists, 24 points in 24 games)13-F-Olivier Labelle (10 goals, 14 assists, 24 points in 27 games)20-F-Matt Rupert (11 goals, 11 assists, 22 points in 27 games)22-F-Ryan Rupert (5 goals, 16 assists, 21 points in 27 games)18-D-Neil Manning (2 goals, 13 assists, 15 points in 25 games)30-G-Matt Tomkins (10-9-0 record, 3.39 GAA, .899 Sv% in 20 games)

Head-to-HeadSeason Series: Nailers 2, Fuel 12017-18 Season Series at Indiana Farmers Coliseum: Nailers 1, Fuel 1All-Time Series: Nailers 9, Fuel 8All-Time Series at Indiana Farmers Coliseum: Nailers 4, Fuel 4

We Sank Their BattleshipThe Wheeling Nailers had a spectacular week in Norfolk, as they swept three games against the Admirals, bringing their winning streak to five games and their point streak to nine games. Wheeling dominated Saturday's series finale from start to finish, beginning with Kevin Spinozzi's end-to-end rush to open the scoring at the 1:22 mark of the first period. Nick Saracino netted back-to-back goals to extend his personal point streak to ten, drawing assists from Cam Brown, who also saw his point streak reach double digits. Alex Rauter and Spinozzi applied the finishing touches to the 5-0 triumph, turning on the red light 49 seconds apart from each other. Matt O'Connor made 21 saves for his first professional shutout, as the Nailers outshot Norfolk, 47-21. Wheeling scored 18 goals during the three-game set at Norfolk Scope Arena.

Fueling up with GoalsThe Indy Fuel had their offense clicking over the last three games as well, as they posted a 2-1-0 record, while lighting the lamp 15 times against the Tulsa Oilers, Toledo Walleye, and Kalamazoo Wings. In the final tilt before the break on Saturday, the Fuel raced out to a 3-0 lead, as Kevin Dufour, Josh Shalla, and Quentin Shore all found the back of the net. That advantage quickly became 3-2, as Kalamazoo's Reid Gardiner and Tanner Sorenson scored 13 seconds apart from each other in the late stages of period one. Indy extended its lead with two more goals during the middle frame, as Dufour's second of the night followed Logan Nelson. Those turned out to be crucial markers, as the Wings pulled within one during the opening three minutes of the third. Matt Tomkins and the Fuel defense stepped up big down the stretch, killing off six minutes in penalties during the third period, holding on for the 5-4 win. Tomkins made 27 saves.

Back with the Big BoysAfter cruising through the South Division with an 8-1-1 record for the season, the Nailers will get back to business by playing five of their next six games against Central Division foes. All six teams in the Central Division have winning records, with Wheeling currently sitting in third place - its highest positioning of the year. The two hottest teams in the ECHL both come from the Central Division, as the Nailers have points in nine consecutive matches (8-0-1), while the Cincinnati Cyclones are 8-0-2 in their last ten contests. Wheeling leads sixth place Indy by four points, and the Nailers will look to extend that advantage with four clashes over the course of the next 18 days. Wheeling is eight points back of second place Toledo, who appears on the schedule twice next week. The Nailers are 3-0-1 in their last four tilts against divisional opponents, bringing their mark for the year to 5-8-1.

An Apple for the Day, While Keeping the Goals AwayMatt O'Connor capped off a stellar week on Saturday, as he finished as the lone runner-up to Adirondack's Alex Sakellaropoulos in the chase for ECHL Goaltender of the Week. O'Connor stopped 61 of the 64 shots he faced against the Admirals last week, earning all three victories. In fact, Matt has been the goaltender of record in each of Wheeling's last five games, which have all been wins. In Saturday's tilt, the Toronto, Ontario native backstopped his first professional shutout in 103 career games, turning away all 21 shots sent his way. Additionally, O'Connor was awarded with an assist on Kevin Spinozzi's opening goal - the second assist for a Nailers goaltender this season and the third of his career. The last time a Wheeling netminder recorded an assist and a shutout in the same game was January 5, 2013, when Scott Darling assisted on a Paul Crowder goal, while making 27 saves to blank the Trenton Titans, 5-0 at WesBanco Arena.

Rare Trip to Their BarnThursday night marks the fourth of 11 head-to-head meetings between the Nailers and Fuel this season, as well as the first of two battles at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. Wheeling's two road games against Indy will both be played over the course of the next nine days, before the final six games of the set take place at WesBanco Arena. After falling 5-3 in their home opener, the Nailers have posted back-to-back wins over the Fuel, knocking them off 6-2 on November 30th and 5-1 on December 9th. Nick Saracino's five-point day came in the 5-1 triumph, and he was Wheeling's leader with seven points in the three previous matches. That honor is now a three-way tie between Cam Brown, Zac Lynch, and Kevin Spinozzi, who each have four points. Josh Shalla leads Indy with four points against his former club.

Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
Frosty Friday
Friday, February 23rd
Frosty Friday
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM EST
WesBanco Arena
Fort Wayne Komets
FW Fort Wayne Komets
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena
Country Night
Saturday, February 24th
Country Night
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM EST
WesBanco Arena
Kalamazoo Wings
KAL Kalamazoo Wings
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena
Screen Time Sunday & Post Game Skate
Sunday, February 25th
Screen Time Sunday & Post Game Skate
Puck Drops:
4:10 PM EST
WesBanco Arena
Kalamazoo Wings
KAL Kalamazoo Wings
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena

Latest News

More News
Nailers Grab Finale Against Grizzlies, 4-2
Nailers Grab Finale Against Grizzlies, 4-2
Nailers Drop 2-1 Heartbreaker in Utah
Nailers Drop 2-1 Heartbreaker in Utah
Utah Snaps Wheeling's Winning Streak in Series Opener
Utah Snaps Wheeling's Winning Streak in Series Opener

Get Hockey Updates

Sign up for our email newsletter to be the first to know about news and upcoming games!