TOLEDO, OH- The Wheeling Nailers played a strong defensive game against one of the more explosive offenses in the ECHL on Friday night, but were unable to score enough goals of their own to land in the win column. Christopher Brown was the only Wheeling player to solve Billy Christopoulos, as Toledo edged the Nailers, 2-1 at Huntington Center.
The first two periods were dominated by the defenses and the goaltenders, as just one puck found the back of the net. That came courtesy of a former Nailer. Shane Berschbach pounded a shot on goal from the left circle, which was kicked away. However, the rebound went to Kevin Spinozzi, who wired home his first tally in a Toledo uniform. One of the other highlights of the first two stanzas was a fight between Brandon Hawkins and Charle-Edouard D'Astous.
The Walleye scored what turned out to be a big goal at the 3:03 mark of the third period, as Kyle Bonis banked a shot off a Wheeling defender and into the cage. The Nailers battled back to within one at the 7:55 mark, when Christopher Brown lifted in the rebound of Cameron Heath's drive off the rush. Despite three power plays in the final frame, Wheeling was unable to pot an equalizer, as Toledo prevailed, 2-1.
Billy Christopoulos earned the win for the Walleye, stopping 29 of the 30 shots he faced, including a stellar left pad save during a Nailers two-man advantage. Jordan Ruby played extremely well, but was saddled with the loss for Wheeling, after making 32 saves on 34 shots.
The Nailers will have Saturday off, before visiting the Indy Fuel on Sunday at 3:05. Wheeling's next home game is New Year's Eve against the Norfolk Admirals at 6:05. All tickets for New Year's Eve are $8, and the first 2,000 fans will receive a free light stick, courtesy of Unified Bank. The next Big Six Promotional Night is Nickelodeon Night featuring Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on January 11th. Holiday Packages are currently available as well. 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.