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Nailers at Thunder Game Day Snap Shot, Jan. 16

Wednesday, January 16th
Nailers at Thunder Game Day Snap Shot, Jan. 16

WHEELING NAILERS(19-16-2-0, 40 PTS, T-4th Central, T-7th West)130 GF, 114 GAPP: 20.6% (33-for-160), 4thPK: 83.7% (144-for-172), 13th

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

27-F-Zac Lynch (11 goals, 25 assists, 36 points in 37 games)10-F-Troy Josephs (16 goals, 10 assists, 26 points in 20 games)4-F-Alex Rauter (9 goals, 17 assists, 26 points in 30 games)9-F-Yushiroh Hirano (8 goals, 17 assists, 25 points in 32 games)12-F-Renars Krastenbergs (11 goals, 12 assists, 23 points in 30 games)23-F-Michael Phillips (8 goals, 14 assists, 22 points in 37 games)1-G-John Muse (7-7-0 record, 2.78 GAA, .900 Sv% in 14 games)

ADIRONDACK THUNDER(20-12-3-2, 45 PTS, 2nd North, 3rd East)113 GF, 107 GAPP: 19.9% (28-for-141), 7thPK: 82.5% (118-for-143), 15th

NHL Affiliate: New Jersey DevilsAHL Affiliate: Binghamton Devils

15-F-James Henry (9 goals, 23 assists, 32 points in 37 games)91-F-Mike Szmatula (14 goals, 10 assists, 24 points in 33 games)44-F-Conor Riley (14 goals, 9 assists, 23 points in 32 games)9-F-John Edwardh (9 goals, 14 assists, 23 points in 28 games)19-F-Shane Conacher (8 goals, 15 assists, 23 points in 31 games)6-D-Matias Cleland (1 goal, 15 assists, 16 points in 37 games)1-G-Alex Sakellaropoulos (10-3-3 record, 2.46 GAA, .919 Sv% in 18 games)

Head-to-Head2017-18 Season Series: Nailers 2, Thunder 22017-18 Season Series at Cool Insuring Arena: Thunder 2, Nailers 0All-Time Series: Nailers 5, Thunder 4All-Time Series at Cool Insuring Arena: Nailers 3, Thunder 3

Key Two-Game SweepThe Wheeling Nailers and Indy Fuel began last weekend's two-game set with big points on the line, as Indy carried a three-point lead for fourth place into WesBanco Arena. Thanks to a sweep by the Nailers, the clubs are now deadlocked. On Sunday afternoon, Wheeling got things started with a 2-1 lead in the first period, as Troy Josephs drove to the net for the opening tally, and Cedric Lacroix followed with a shorthanded goal in the slot, which was setup by a strong forecheck from Zac Lynch. The Fuel pulled even in the middle frame, but Renars Krastenbergs' rebound marker gave the Nailers the lead early in the third period. However, both teams ended up with a point, as Alex Brooks knotted the score off a face-off with 4:43 left in regulation. At the 1:02 mark of overtime, Lynch brought the home crowd to its feet, charging down the left side of the ice, before roofing the winner for a 4-3 Wheeling triumph. John Muse stopped 36 of the 39 shots he faced in the win.

Not on Newfoundland TimeThe Adirondack Thunder played a pair of games in a different time zone over the weekend, as they visited the Newfoundland Growlers. Newfoundland took full advantage in the early goings, especially on Friday night, when the home team raced out to a 4-0 lead in the first period, en route to a 6-3 victory. Saturday's start wasn't as explosive, but the Growlers jumped ahead once again, as Scott Pooley lit the lamp with 2:50 to go in the opening stanza. Matt Bradley added to the advantage at the 1:02 mark of the second period, before Cullen Bradshaw put visiting Adirondack on the scoreboard. Pooley's second of the evening with 10:48 left in the game gave Newfoundland some breathing room, and Brad Barone's 22 saves made the 3-1 score hold up, as the Growlers swept the series, taking a six-point lead on the Thunder atop the North Division.

Earning Deals in the AHLDuring Sunday's Wheeling win, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins announced that forwards Yushiroh Hirano and Cedric Lacroix had been signed to American Hockey League contracts for the remainder of the 2018-19 season. Both players attended training camp with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, while Lacroix additionally played for the Pittsburgh Penguins during the Prospects Challenge in Buffalo. Hirano has eight goals, 17 assists, and 25 points in 32 games, and ranks second on the club with a +10 rating. Lacroix has eight goals, nine assists, and 17 points in 37 games, with his four shorthanded goals ranking tied for first in the ECHL. The Nailers have had nine affiliate contracted players on their roster this season, with two players on NHL deals from Pittsburgh (Dane Birks, John Muse), while Hirano and Lacroix join Johnny Austin, Cam Brown, Troy Josephs, Renars Krastenbergs, and Kevin Spinozzi under AHL contract with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Brown and Spinozzi are both currently with the Penguins.

A Long Transaction to Spell OutA little bit of help went Adirondack's way on Tuesday, after the Thunder played two men short in their final loss to Newfoundland over the weekend. Adirondack received three players back from three different AHL clubs. The Thunder's AHL affiliate, the Binghamton Devils, assigned Brian Ward to Adirondack, where has has collected nine points in 19 games. Next up was defenseman Desmond Bergin, who returned from a stint with the Milwaukee Admirals. Bergin has 12 points in 21 games this season, and scored both overtime goals for the Thunder against Wheeling last season. The final returnee was the biggest one in terms of impact, as well as the size of his name, as the Utica Comets returned goaltender Alex Sakellaropoulos to Adirondack. Alex leads the Thunder with ten wins, and is expected to get the starting nod on Wednesday.

New York State of Mind for a Few DaysWednesday night marks the first of two head-to-head meetings between the Nailers and Thunder this season, as well as the first of two battles at Cool Insuring Arena. Last year, the home squads swept the four-game set, as Wheeling posted 6-4 and 6-3 victories at WesBanco Arena, before Adirondack responded with a couple of 3-2 overtime wins on its home surface. Despite the five-game winning streak for home teams, the Nailers have earned at least a point in each of their first six visits to Glens Falls, going 3-0-3 since the Thunder arrived there in 2015. There are a few connections on the teams this season, as Wheeling's Aaron Titcomb began his pro career with the Thunder last spring, while Adirondack's Matias Cleland made his ECHL debut with the Nailers in March of 2017. Alexandre Carrier of the Thunder is also a former Wheeling forward. This will be the first of five straight games against the North Divison for the Nailers.

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