WHEELING, WV- The Kalamazoo Wings have been a thorn in the side for the Wheeling Nailers over the course of the past two seasons, and on Saturday night, Kalamazoo put an end to Wheeling's four-game winning streak. Justin Taylor led the offensive attack with one goal and two assists, while Matheson Iacopelli tallied the eventual winning goal in a 4-2 Wings win at WesBanco Arena. Christopher Brown recorded two assists for the Nailers.
Penalty trouble put the Nailers behind in the first period, as Kalamazoo tallied twice on the man advantage to take a 2-1 lead. Justin Taylor tipped in a Kyle Blaney feed on the left side of the crease during a 5-on-3, then Zach Frye buried a one-timer from the top of the right circle. Sandwiched in the middle, Wheeling got on the board, courtesy of its captain. Nick Saracino took a pass from Cam Brown, faked to his backhand, and lifted a shot into the top-right corner of the net.
Neither team was able to light the lamp in the middle stanza, then the Wings picked up a key insurance goal at the 11:51 mark of the third. Matheson Iacopelli drove down the middle of the offensive zone, where he ripped a shot into the bottom-left part of the cage. Moments later, the Nailers pulled within one, when Marc-Olivier Duquette tossed in a wrist shot from the left wing wall. Unfortunately, the home squad was unable to record an equalizer, and Kyle Blaney applied the finishing touches on Kalamazoo's 4-2 win with an empty netter.
Jake Hildebrand picked up the victory in goal for the Wings, denying 24 of the 26 shots he faced. Emil Larmi turned aside 36 of the 39 shots he faced, but suffered the defeat for Wheeling.
The Nailers will come out of their holiday break with a pair of road games in Toledo on Friday, then Indy on December 29th. Wheeling's next home game is New Year's Eve, featuring $8 tickets and a light stick giveaway for the first 2,000 fans, courtesy of Unified Bank. The puck drops at 6:05 against the Norfolk Admirals. 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.