INDIANAPOLIS, IN- Special teams played a major role in Friday's clash between the Wheeling Nailers and Indy Fuel at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. Indy scored twice on the power play, while keeping the Nailers scoreless on seven attempts, holding on for a 3-2 triumph on home ice. Renars Krastenbergs and Mark Petaccio were the goal scorers for Wheeling.
The first period was a tough one for the Nailers, who fell behind by a pair. Indy's first goal came at the 4:13 mark, when Mathew Thompson fed Kevin Dufour, who cut to the net, and stashed a backhander through Jordan Ruby's legs. The second tally was recorded on the man advantage, as Alex Brooks tossed a wrist shot through bodies and into the net from the center point.
Wheeling got on the scoreboard in the early stages of the middle frame, trimming the deficit to one. Renars Krastenbergs stickhandled around in the right corner, before eventually escaping into the right circle. Krastenbergs then stepped into a wrist shot, as he found the back of the net. Troy Josephs picked up the lead assist, extending his point streak to seven games.
Six straight minutes of power play time gave the Nailers a tremendous opportunity to tie the score, but the Fuel killed off all of it, and proceeded to score a power play goal of their own for what turned out to be the game winner. Brett Welychka picked the top-left corner of the cage from the bottom of the left circle. Mark Petaccio banged in a one-timer from Alex Rauter with less than six seconds left, as Wheeling came up short, 3-2.
Matt Tomkins snagged the win for Indy, making 20 saves on 22 shots. Jordan Ruby played well in the defeat for the Nailers, turning aside 24 of the 27 shots he faced.
The Nailers will finish off the week in Toledo on Saturday with a 7:15 tilt against the Walleye. Wheeling will play three home games next weekend. Friday's 7:05 match against Utah is a Frosty Friday, Saturday is Nickelodeon Night Featuring SpongeBob & Patrick against Indy at 7:05, and Sunday is a Family Funday at 3:05 against the Fuel. The Nailers and Fuel will both wear special jerseys for Nickelodeon Night, and Family Four packs are available for that night - fans can get four tickets, four hats, and four McDonald's Meal Vouchers for $60. 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.