WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers ran into a difficult opponent on Thursday night, and unfortunately, saw their five-game home winning streak come to an end in the process. The Toledo Walleye got two goals and an assist from TJ Hensick, as well as 33 saves by Kaden Fulcher in a 6-2 triumph at WesBanco Arena. Renars Krastenbergs and Troy Josephs were the Wheeling goal scorers.
The Nailers controlled the majority of the play early, outshooting Toledo, 13-4 in the first period. However, the lone goal of the stanza went to the visiting Walleye on the man advantage. Matt Register started the rush through neutral ice, feeding TJ Hensick, who quickly led Greg Wolfe into the zone. Wolfe battled through a check and was able clang a shot in off the right post. The tally ended a shutout streak of 93:47 for Wheeling goaltender John Muse.
Wheeling knotted the score 1:19 into the middle frame. Aaron Titcomb let a low shot go from the right point, and Renars Krastenbergs put a perfect tip on the attempt, redirecting the puck up and under the crossbar. Toledo regained the lead at the 9:04 mark. Justin Kea sauced a pass ahead to Matt Register, who gained a breakaway out of the penalty box, and he converted. The Walleye then converted on a power play to extend their lead, as Shane Berschbach got a piece of Ryan Obuchowski's wrist shot from the blueline.
Toledo extended its advantage in the final period. Jordan Topping drove down the right side for a 4-on-4 goal, which was followed by TJ Hensick's power play strike. Troy Josephs brought his point streak to six games with a one-timer from the right face-off dot, but the Nailers were unable to erase their deficit, and Hensick's empty netter put the finishing touches on a 6-2 decision.
Kaden Fulcher was the winning netminder for the Walleye, as he turned away 33 of the 35 shots he faced. John Muse took the loss for Wheeling, making 16 saves on 21 shots.
The Nailers will head on the road for a pair of games to close out the week, as they do battle with Indy on Friday at 7:35 and Toledo on Saturday at 7:15. Wheeling will be home for three games next weekend, as Utah comes to town for a Frosty Friday, followed by a Saturday, Sunday series with Indy. Saturday's game is Nickelodeon Night Featuring SpongeBob & Patrick. Both teams will wear special jerseys. Sunday is a Family Funday, which includes a Post Game Skate with the Team (odd-numbered players). 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.