BRAMPTON, ON- The Wheeling Nailers made the grade on Tuesday morning, as they put forth an outstanding effort, taking down the Brampton Beast, 6-2 at CAA Centre. 13 different players recorded at least one point in the victory, including Brad Drobot, whose first career ECHL goal was the game winner. Ontario native Matt O'Connor made 27 saves for the win in his home province.
The Nailers were more than ready for class to be in session, as they had an electric start with three goals in the opening 10:29 of play. First on the board was Alec Butcher, who needed just 1:26 to curl deep on the left side, before banking the puck off a Brampton defender and into the net. Next up was Yushiroh Hirano, who took a wide open feed in the slot, faked to his forehand, and stuffed a shot through Jake Paterson's legs. Paterson's day ended 1:37 later, when Brad Drobot shoveled in the rebound of Craig Skudalski's point shot for his first career ECHL goal. Brampton got one goal back with 3:48 remaining, when Reggie Traccitto broke in with an open chance from the right circle.
The second period also featured a powerful start by Wheeling, as the puck found the back of the net twice in a span of 16 seconds. Winston Day Chief won a battle along the end wall, then fed Cedric Lacroix, who drove a shot through Etienne Marcoux from the bottom of the right circle. Day Chief followed that up with a goal of his own, taking a pass from Renars Krastenbergs, and trickling a shot through Marcoux, which was eventually poked home by a Beast defender.
Both teams converted on power plays in the third period, with Kevin Spinozzi scoring for the Nailers and David Pacan tallying for the Beast, as Wheeling put the finishing touches on its 6-2 win.
Matt O'Connor made 27 saves on 29 shots in his ninth victory of the year for the Nailers. Jake Paterson allowed three goals on 11 shots in the loss for Brampton, before giving way to Etienne Marcoux, who stopped 25 of 28 shots in relief.
The Nailers will close out their stretch of road games on Friday night, when they visit the Toledo Walleye at 7:15. Wheeling will then return home for Pittsburgh Penguins Night on March 2nd against Cincinnati at 7:05. Mike Lange, Ken Wregget, and Tyler Kennedy will be the special guests, plus the Nailers will wear special jerseys. All tickets are $12, there will be a yellow rally towel giveaway, and fans are encouraged to wear black. 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.