INDIANAPOLIS, IN- Blake Siebenaler and the Wheeling Nailers are as clutch as they come in the final minutes of regulation. On Friday night, Siebenaler snapped a 2-2 tie with 1:23 remaining, lifting the Nailers to a 3-2 triumph over the Indy Fuel at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. It was Siebenaler's third game winner of the year, and it put Alex D'Orio into the win column, after a 41-save performance.
The Nailers had a strong first period, as they fended off some Indy pressure, while sending two pucks to the back of the net. On the first goal, a Fuel pass deflected off Yushiroh Hirano and went right to Alec Butcher in the slot. Butcher promptly ripped a shot into the top-left corner of the cage. Less than four minutes later, Brandon Hawkins banked the puck off the left wing wall, springing Spencer Trapp in behind the defense. Trapp faked to his backhand, sliding his first professional goal through Charles Williams' legs.
Indy battled back with a pair of goals in the middle frame, squaring the contest at two. Both tallies came off the rush, starting with Dylan McLaughlin, who potted a cross-ice feed from Spencer Watson. The equalizer went to Sam Kurker, who sped down the left side of the ice, before rifling a shot into the right side of the net.
The tilt stayed tied until what is quickly becoming Wheeling's time to shine - the closing minutes of regulation. Blake Siebenaler wound his way around from the left corner into the high slot, where he swept a wrist shot along the ice and through Williams. The goal came with 1:23 remaining, putting the Nailers ahead 3-2. Wheeling had to kill of a pair of penalties in the final minute, and did so successfully, hanging on the for the victory.
Alex D'Orio played a fantastic game for the Nailers, earning the win by denying 41 of the 43 shots he faced. Charles Williams made 29 saves on 32 shots in the loss for the Fuel.
The Nailers will conclude their quick two-game trip to Indiana with a battle against the Fort Wayne Komets on Saturday at 7:35. Wheeling's next home game is Thanksgiving Eve, when Fort Wayne comes to town for a 7:05 face-off. The next Big-6 Promotional Night is Be Our Neighbor Night on Saturday, December 7th. New for all Saturday home games, fans can purchase a Friends & Family 4-Pack, which includes four tickets, four Tito's Sloppy Doggs, and a $10 voucher to the Nailers Team Store. 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, partial plans, and more, call (304) 234-GOAL.