KALAMAZOO, MI- Wings Event Center was a less than friendly location for the Wheeling Nailers, who dropped a tight one-goal decision to the Kalamazoo Wings. Winston Day Chief and Mark Petaccio lit the lamp for the Nailers, but Tanner Sorenson's strike with 17:43 left in the third period broke a deadlock and lifted the Wings to the 3-2 home win.
The first period was very open, as the two teams combined for three goals on 28 shots, with Kalamazoo taking a 2-1 lead into the intermission. Former Nailer Kyle Bushee put his squad on the board first, finishing a 2-on-1 rush with Dominic Zombo. Wheeling answered a little more than two minutes later, when Dane Birks wound around the net, then fed Winston Day Chief, who lifted in a shot from the right side of the crease. The Wings regained the lead in the final minute of the stanza, as Kyle Blaney tipped the puck to Chad McDonald, who had an open twine on the left side.
The Nailers evened the score with the lone tally in the middle frame. Zac Lynch fired a shot from the right wing wall, which was tipped home by Mark Petaccio. Birks also notched an assist for his second point of the evening, while Lynch collected his fifth assist in three games during the week.
One puck found the back of the net in the third period, and it was Kalamazoo who snapped the tie. Tyler Ganly launched a pass to Tanner Sorenson, who battled off the Wheeling defense, and flicked a backhander into the right side of the cage, giving his team a 3-2 win.
Jake Hildebrand backstopped the win for the Wings, turning aside 35 of the 37 shots he faced. Jordan Ruby played a strong game in goal for the Nailers, making 33 saves on 36 shots.
The Nailers will play two home games next weekend on Friday at 7:05 against Fort Wayne, then Sunday at 3:05 against Kalamazoo. Friday's game is a Frosty Friday, and Sunday is First Responders Appreciation Night, which also features a team poster giveaway and a full team autograph session. Another exciting upcoming promotion is Fan Appreciation Night on April 6th, when all tickets are $10. 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.