WHEELING, WV- Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Casey DeSmith had a lot to smile about on Friday night, as the former Wheeling Nailer watched his good friend Danny Tirone earn his first professional victory. Tirone stopped 24 of the 26 shots he faced, and got lots of support from his teammates. Kevin Spinozzi and Renars Krastenbergs both posted three-point games, as the Nailers rocked the Indy Fuel, 6-2 at WesBanco Arena.
Both teams found the twine in the first period, with Indy opening the scoring early and the Nailers responding with a late power play. The Fuel goal came at the 3:32 mark, when Alex Brooks skated his way into the right circle, then proceeded to lift a shot into the top-right corner of the net. Renars Krastenbergs netted the equalizer for Wheeling, drilling home a slap shot from the right face-off dot for his third goal in two games. Dane Birks and Kevin Spinozzi were awarded with the assists.
The Nailers carried some momentum over into the middle frame, taking their first lead of the night at the 5:51 mark on a three-way passing play. Krastenbergs brought an Aaron Titcomb stretch pass into the zone, before feeding Yushiroh Hirano, who set up Nick Saracino for the tally. Hirano made the final pass for another Wheeling goal at the 11-minute mark, when Kevin Spinozzi blasted in a slap shot from the top of the left circle. Radovan Bondra's great individual effort temporarily brought Indy within one, but Zac Lynch made the score 4-2 in the last minute with a wrist shot from straight away on the man advantage.
The Nailers defended their lead well in the third period, limiting the Fuel to seven shots, while tacking on two insurance markers. Spinozzi's second of the night flew into an empty net, then Brien Diffley's first professional point set up Mike Fazio, who tipped in his first ECHL goal with 1:43 on the clock for a 6-2 final score.
Danny Tirone earned his first career win for Wheeling, making 24 saves on 26 shots. Matt Tomkins was the losing goaltender for Indy, as he gave up five goals on 22 shots.
The Nailers will play at home again on Saturday at 7:05, when they welcome the Kalamazoo Wings to town for Nailers Fight Cancer Night. All proceeds from the game will go to the Mario Lemieux Foundation, players and fans alike will be able to get their "Movember" facial hair shaved by Great Clips, and names will be written on the glass for friends and family members that people fight for. 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.