WHEELING, WV- Defense and goaltending took center stage in Tuesday night's game, as the Wheeling Nailers took the division-leading Cincinnati Cyclones down to the wire. Both teams scored once in the third period, before Eric Knodel snapped a deadlock at the 2:56 mark of overtime, lifting the Cyclones to the 2-1 road win.
Wheeling's defense was especially impressive during the second and third periods, as it limited Cincinnati to just nine shots on goal, despite having only five blueliners, as Aaron Titcomb left the game in the opening stanza. There were a couple of fights in the first two frames, as Troy Josephs dropped the mitts with Arvin Atwal, then Robbie Hall duked it out with Spencer Dorowicz.
The scoreless tie got broken at the 9:26 mark of the third period, when the Cyclones converted on a power play. Jesse Schultz snapped a pass through the slot for Alex Wideman, who banged in a one-timer from the bottom of the right circle. The Nailers drew even with 3:12 to go, when Winston Day Chief centered the puck into the slot for a Mark Petaccio one-timer that went into the left side of the cage.
Petaccio's equalizer assured both teams of a point, but it was Cincinnati who skated away with the extra point. Mike Marnell dipped a pass through the slot for Eric Knodel, who stepped up on the right side, lifting a shot inside the left post for the 2-1 victory.
Jonas Johansson earned the win for the Cyclones, turning away 30 of the 31 shots he faced. John Muse made 19 saves on 21 shots for Wheeling.
The Nailers will travel to New England this weekend for games against Manchester, Worcester, and Maine on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Wheeling will then play three straight games at home, starting with a 7:05 match against Reading on Wednesday, February 13th. The next big promotional night is Country Roads, featuring a Mason Jar Giveaway to the first 2,000 fans on February 16th. All tickets for that game are just $12. 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.