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Nailers vs. Komets Game Day Snap Shot, Dec. 16

Sunday, December 16th
Nailers vs. Komets Game Day Snap Shot, Dec. 16

WHEELING NAILERS(11-11-2-0, 24 PTS, 6th Central, 12th West)76 GF, 72 GAPP: 19.8% (20-for-101), 5thPK: 83.8% (93-for-111), 15th

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

13-F-Nick Saracino (10 goals, 17 assists, 27 points in 23 games)21-F-Cam Brown (5 goals, 19 assists, 24 points in 24 games)22-D-Kevin Spinozzi (8 goals, 12 assists, 20 points in 22 games)27-F-Zac Lynch (7 goals, 11 assists, 18 points in 24 games)23-F-Michael Phillips (6 goals, 8 assists, 14 points in 24 games)17-F-Winston Day Chief (6 goals, 7 assists, 13 points in 22 games)30-G-Matt O'Connor (3-2-1 record, 2.84 GAA, .899 Sv% in 7 games)

FORT WAYNE KOMETS(13-10-0-1, 27 PTS, 3rd Central, T-8th West)73 GF, 73 GAPP: 17.0% (15-for-88), 16thPK: 84.8% (89-for-105), 11th

NHL Affiliate: Vegas Golden KnightsAHL Affiliate: Chicago Wolves

88-F-Justin Hodgman (8 goals, 22 assists, 30 points in 23 games)25-F-Jake Kamrass (11 goals, 11 assists, 22 points in 26 games)15-F-J.C. Campagna (14 goals, 2 assists, 16 points in 22 games)71-D-Ryan Lowney (14 assists, 14 points in 24 games)4-D-Jason Binkley (5 goals, 7 assists, 12 points in 23 games)27-F-Shawn Szydlowski (1 goal, 9 assists, 10 points in 14 games)55-G-Lukas Hafner (5-5-0 record, 2.49 GAA, .916 Sv% in 11 games)

Head-to-HeadSeason Series: Komets 1, Nailers 0Season Series at WesBanco Arena: Komets 1, Nailers 0All-Time Series: Komets 13, Nailers 10All-Time Series at WesBanco Arena: Komets 6, Nailers 5

Teddy Bears and a TakedownThe Wheeling Nailers treated their fans to another fun night of hockey on Saturday, as they extended their point streak to five games with a 5-1 triumph over the Norfolk Admirals. The annual Teddy Bear Toss typically features lots of anticipation, and Zac Lynch made sure there wasn't a long wait this season, as he slammed in a shorthanded pass from Cam Brown just 2:19 into the contest. Brown extended the lead later in the frame with a goal of his own from the left circle. Norfolk's Taylor Cammarata trimmed the lead to one with a power play marker early in period two, but the Nailers powered right back with Brown's second of the night on a rebound, then a wrist shot from the left wing wall by Kevin Spinozzi. Yushiroh Hirano tacked on one final tally in the third period, and Matt O'Connor was terrific between the pipes, stopping 37 of the 38 shots he faced.

Let the Fish off the HookThe Fort Wayne Komets probably felt pretty good about themselves in the first half of their game on Saturday against the rival Toledo Walleye. However, the ending left a bit of a sour taste in their mouths. Jake Kamrass gave Fort Wayne the first lead of the game at the 4:26 mark of the first period, and Mason Baptista added to the advantage in his second game since returning from Europe. The Walleye began their comeback with 4:34 left in the middle stanza, as TJ Hensick snatched a power play goal. However, the Komets were able to keep the lead until the final minute, when Tyler Spezia's extra attacker goal forced bonus hockey. A scoreless overtime led to a shootout, where Greg Wolfe and A.J. Jenks scored on Toledo's only two shots, and Kaden Fulcher denied Justin Hodgman to close the door. Zachary Fucale made 37 saves on 39 shots during regulation and overtime for Fort Wayne.

We're Back with the Rest of the GroupAfter starting the season 1-5-0, the Nailers had their work cut out for them, but in their 24th game of the season on Saturday night, a 5-1 victory over Norfolk brought Wheeling to the .500 mark for the first time this year. The last two weeks have been especially friendly for the Nailers, as they have gone 4-0-1 in their last five games, helping them to a 10-6-2 mark since the slow beginning. However, there is still a lot of work to be done in the final two-thirds of the 2018-19 campaign, as Wheeling is part of the only division in the ECHL in which every team has at least a .500 record. In fact, the Allen Americans are the only team in the Western Conference that is currently below .500, as they are 6-21-2. Saturday's loss by the Admirals was their sixth in a row, and it dropped them under .500 for the first time all season.

Tip of the Cap to the PKSpecial teams tend to play a big role in overall success, and the Nailers are a great example of that, as their power play and penalty kill added together make for a 103.6% success rate. The power play had been earning a good amount of recognition in recent weeks, but over the last week, the penalty kill has stepped up to the occasion in a big way. Zac Lynch's shorthanded goal on Saturday night was Wheeling's third in the last four games and seventh of the season, as the team ranks tied for fourth in the ECHL in that category. However, the first priority for a penalty killing unit is to keep the opposition off the scoreboard, and in the last four matches, the Nailers have succeeded in that department 17 times in 18 chances. Sunday's opponent Fort Wayne also has special teams that add up to eclipse the century mark, as their power play and penalty kill combine for a 101.8% clip.

Remember the FinishSunday afternoon marks the second of eight head-to-head meetings between the Nailers and Komets this season, as well as the second of five battles at WesBanco Arena. Wheeling had a difficult start in its last clash against Fort Wayne, as the Komets opened things up with four goals in the first period. The Nailers attempted to rally back, but came up one goal short, as the visitors escaped with a 5-4 decision. The win was Fort Wayne's tenth in 13 tilts against Wheeling over the course of the last four years, as the Komets have turned the historical series into their favor with a three-game lead. Former Nailer J.C. Campagna was one of Fort Wayne's brightest stars that night, as he scored a couple of goals, while Cam Brown and Nick Saracino each had a goal and an assist for Wheeling. The Komets will return to Nail City for the third time in a row on January 27th, before the Nailers make their first trip to Allen County War Memorial Coliseum on February 17th.

Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
Bloomington Bison
Wheeling Nailers
Saturday, November 2nd
Bloomington Bison @ Wheeling Nailers
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM EDT
WesBanco Arena
Bloomington Bison
BLM Bloomington Bison
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena
Trois-Rivières Lions
Wheeling Nailers
Friday, November 8th
Trois-Rivières Lions @ Wheeling Nailers
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM EST
WesBanco Arena
Trois-Rivières Lions
TR Trois-Rivières Lions
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena
Trois-Rivières Lions
Wheeling Nailers
Saturday, November 9th
Trois-Rivières Lions @ Wheeling Nailers
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM EST
WesBanco Arena
Trois-Rivières Lions
TR Trois-Rivières Lions
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena

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