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Nailers at Wings Game Day Snap Shot, Mar. 10

Sunday, March 10th
Nailers at Wings Game Day Snap Shot, Mar. 10

WHEELING NAILERS(27-25-6-1, 61 PTS, 5th Central, 9th West)205 GF, 196 GAPP: 21.1% (52-for-246), 4thPK: 80.6% (212-for-263), 22nd

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

27-F-Zac Lynch (15 goals, 38 assists, 53 points in 54 games)9-F-Yushiroh Hirano (15 goals, 33 assists, 48 points in 54 games)12-F-Renars Krastenbergs (15 goals, 22 assists, 37 points in 51 games)22-D-Kevin Spinozzi (16 goals, 19 assists, 35 points in 35 games)23-F-Michael Phillips (15 goals, 19 assists, 34 points in 59 games)14-F-Cedric Lacroix (17 goals, 15 assists, 32 points in 58 games)31-G-Jordan Ruby (10-6-2 record, 2.83 GAA, .911 Sv% in 20 games)

KALAMAZOO WINGS(30-25-2-2, 64 PTS, 4th Central, 8th West)204 GF, 219 GAPP: 21.4% (55-for-257), 3rdPK: 78.9% (206-for-261), 25th

NHL Affiliate: Vancouver CanucksAHL Affiliate: Utica Comets

12-F-Chris Collins (26 goals, 30 assists, 56 points in 47 games)74-F-Tanner Sorenson (17 goals, 37 assists, 54 points in 42 games)18-F-Kyle Blaney (10 goals, 28 assists, 38 points in 50 games)7-D-Kyle Bushee (8 goals, 25 assists, 33 points in 54 games)15-D-Eric Kattelus (10 goals, 16 assists, 26 points in 32 games)9-F-Chad McDonald (8 goals, 17 assists, 25 points in 58 games)29-G-Jake Hildebrand (19-14-2 record, 3.60 GAA, .888 Sv% in 39 games)

Head-to-HeadSeason Series: Wings 5, Nailers 0Season Series at Wings Event Center: Wings 3, Nailers 0All-Time Series: Wings 30, Nailers 27All-Time Series at Wings Event Center: Wings 16, Nailers 12

Back After a Short BreakThe Wheeling Nailers will take the ice fresh and ready to go on Sunday afternoon, as they have been off since Wednesday night in Fort Wayne. That game was a high scoring tilt, which started with Fort Wayne jumping out to a 2-0 lead within the first five minutes of play. The Nailers rallied back to tie the score, as Johnny Austin cruised down the right side for the first goal, then Trevor Yates buried a feed from Yushiroh Hirano. The deadlock was short-lived, as the Komets regained their advantage just 48 seconds later, then added two insurance tallies in the middle frame for a 5-2 score. Yates connected for two more goals in the third, recording his first professional hat trick on his 24th birthday, and Mark Petaccio also found the back of the net, but Mason Baptista's redirection goal with 10:30 left in regulation was the difference, as Fort Wayne squeaked out the 6-5 decision. Zachary Fucale made 25 saves for the Komets, while Jordan Ruby stopped 29 attempts for Wheeling.

Iced by the Indiana TeamsThe Kalamazoo Wings haven't had a fun start to their weekend, suffering back-to-back home losses to the Fort Wayne Komets and Indy Fuel. On Friday night, the majority of the scoring took place during the second period, as Kalamazoo and Fort Wayne played to a 2-2 deadlock. The Wings got their goals from Kyle Bushee and Luke Sandler, but nearly got a third from Chris Collins, who came up empty on a penalty shot. Phelix Martineau's drive across the front of the net decided the contest for the Komets at 1:56 of overtime. On Saturday, all three goals were scored on third period power plays. Travis Brown lit the lamp twice in a span of 1:58 for Indy, and that proved to be enough, as Collins was responsible for Kalamazoo's lone strike. In goal, Ivan Kulbakov made 30 saves on Friday, while Matiss Kivlenieks turned aside 35 shots on Saturday.

High Likelihood for Special Teams GoalsIt won't come as much of a surprise if at least one goal is scored on special teams during Sunday's match. Wheeling and Kalamazoo both boast power plays in the ECHL's top-5, as the Wings enter in third place with a 21.4% success rate, followed by the Nailers in fourth at 21.1%. However, the electric offenses don't stop there, as the two Central Division rivals have scored the most shorthanded goals in the league this year, with Wheeling's 17 edging Kalamazoo's 16 for the top spot. Despite all of that shorthanded success, the two clubs have experienced some difficulty on the penalty kill. The Nailers have maintained a clip over 80%, but rank 22nd at 80.6%. The Wings have allowed the third most power play goals in the ECHL, and thus, rank 25th at 78.9%. There have been 11 power play goals and two shorthanded tallies on 50 attempts in the five previous head-to-head clashes.

Pulling Even in GamesFour weeks will be left in the ECHL's regular season after Sunday's game, which will serve as number 60 on the slate for the Nailers and Wings, who could be separated by as little as one point when all is said and done. Kalamazoo currently holds a three-point lead over Wheeling for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Central Division. Thanks to a perfect 3-0-0 week, Fort Wayne has built a three-point lead over the Wings for third place, and the Komets will pick up a second game in hand on the three other teams in the race, as they are idle on Sunday. Indy's 2-1 triumph at Wings Event Center on Saturday pulled it two points back of the Nailers for fifth place, and the Fuel host Toledo on Sunday. While Wheeling and Indy will both have balanced schedules down the stretch (6 home, 6 away after Sunday), Kalamazoo has a very unique finish, as the Wings will play ten of their final 12 games outside of Michigan.

Time to Get on the BoardSunday afternoon marks the sixth of eight head-to-head meetings between the Nailers and Wings this season, as well as the fourth of six battles at Wings Event Center. Kalamazoo has had Wheeling's number thus far, coming out on top in each of the first five contests. Three of the five games have decided by one goal, and a fourth tilt had a one-goal margin prior to an empty netter. The Wings are currently missing their three most productive players in the set, as Reid Gardiner (7 goals, 1 assist) and Brandon Anselmini (1 goal, 6 assists) are with the AHL's Utica Comets, while Justin Taylor (4 goals, 3 assists) has missed 23 straight games due to injury. Two players on the active roster have five points for the Nailers - Michael Phillips (4 goals, 1 assist) and Renars Krastenbergs (2 goals, 3 assists). Wheeling's final trip to Kalamazoo takes place on March 23rd, before the season series concludes at WesBanco Arena on March 31st.

Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
Screen Time Sunday & Post Game Skate
Sunday, February 25th
Screen Time Sunday & Post Game Skate
Puck Drops:
4:10 PM EST
WesBanco Arena
Kalamazoo Wings
KAL Kalamazoo Wings
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena
Faith & Family Night
Sunday, March 3rd
Faith & Family Night
Puck Drops:
4:10 PM EST
WesBanco Arena
Cincinnati Cyclones
CIN Cincinnati Cyclones
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena
Education Day
Tuesday, March 19th
Education Day
Puck Drops:
10:45 AM EDT
WesBanco Arena
Indy Fuel
IND Indy Fuel
at
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
WesBanco Arena

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