WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers kept their playoff hopes alive, while finally solving the mystery of the Kalamazoo Wings at WesBanco Arena on Sunday afternoon. Renars Krastenbergs tallied the lone goal, while Matt O'Connor made 31 saves, as Wheeling edged Kalamazoo, 1-0, to pull within four points of the fourth and final playoff spot in the Central Division.
The Nailers played a good first period, and got rewarded with a goal. Renars Krastenbergs and Cedric Lacroix both established physical play, and it was Krastenbergs who opened the scoring, as his backhander deflected off a Kalamazoo skate and into the right side of the net. Michael Phillips and Robbie Hall picked up the assists.
Wheeling turned to its defense and goaltending to guide it into the win column, as Krastenbergs' goal stood as the only one in the 1-0 triumph.
Matt O'Connor earned his second career shutout, blocking away all 31 shots he faced for the Nailers. Wheeling solved Jake Hildebrand once on 29 shots, as he tended the net for Kalamazoo.
The Nailers will play their final two home games of the regular season on Friday and Saturday, both starting at 7:05. Friday's tilt against the Toledo Walleye is a Frosty Friday. Saturday's match against the Indy Fuel is Fan Appreciation Night. All tickets for Fan Appreciation Night are $10, one lucky fan will shoot for a chance to win a trip to Myrtle Beach, plus there will be various different prizes given out during the game. 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.