WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers and Brampton Beast exchanged two-goal leads, and needed overtime to decide Friday's match at WesBanco Arena. At the 1:25 mark of overtime, Wheeling's Alec Butcher sent the fans home happy with an open shot in the slot, as the Nailers were victorious, 5-4. Cedric Lacroix also had two goals in the win.
Brampton got off to a quick start, netting a pair of goals in a span of 1:20. First up was David Vallorani, who bettered his chances by skating into the left circle, before snapping a wrist shot into the top-left corner of the net. Artur Tianulin followed, taking a return feed from Jackson Leef, then waltzing into the low slot, where he stickhandled around for the tally.
The Nailers rebounded with a strong second period, as they rallied to tie the score. At the 5:31 mark, Dane Birks rushed down the right side, getting past a defender, before twisting a pass through the slot for Renars Krastenbergs, who found the twine from the left circle. With 2:56 remaining, Cedric Lacroix battled his way to the front of the net, where he fished a rebound free, stashing it underneath Etienne Marcoux for the equalizer during a two-man advantage.
Both teams opened up with more offense in the third period. Wheeling broke the initial deadlock at the 1:21 mark, when Zac Lynch floated a pass ahead to Alec Butcher, who tapped in his own rebound. Cedric Lacroix increased the lead, when he roofed a centering pass from Wiston Day Chief, who was playing in his 300th professional game. The Beast battled back to force extra hockey, as Artur Tianulin converted on a breakaway, then Nathan Todd swatted in the rebound of Matt Petgrave's shot with 8.6 left on the clock.
Overtime needed one shot to be decided. Lynch twisted the puck off the left wall to a wide open Butcher in front, who waited, then slipped his shot under Marcoux's left pad for the 5-4 Nailers victory.
Jordan Ruby earned the win against his former team, denying 24 of the 28 shots he faced. Etienne Marcoux took the overtime loss, making 25 saves on 30 shots.
The Nailers and Beast will meet up again on Saturday at 7:05 for Country Roads. The first 2,000 fans will receive a Mason Jar, fans can meet the WVU Mountaineer, there will be mechanical bull riding and tailgating activities in the main concourse, the Nailers will wear special warmup jerseys, and more. Tickets are available for just $12, and proceeds from the night will benefit WVU Medicine Children's Hospital. 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.