CINCINNATI, OH- Alex D'Orio played his first game in goal for the Wheeling Nailers since December 1st, as they visited the Cincinnati Cyclones on Friday night. He turned in one of the best performances of his young career, stopping 34 of the 35 shots he faced. Wheeling got its offense from Cam Brown, who scored two goals, including the overtime winner, as the Nailers edged the Cyclones, 2-1.
Cincinnati controlled the majority of the action in the first period with a 16-4 advantage in shots on goal, but the Nailers got a break and were able to convert to open the scoring. Cam Brown stole the puck on the right side of the neutral zone, and proceeded to go on a breakaway. Brown stickhandled a ton, and ultimately faked out Michael Houser, before shoveling in a backhander.
The 1-0 score remained until the 16:09 mark of the middle frame, when the Cyclones pulled even. Brady Vail swirled around the back of the net to the right circle, where he was able to squeeze a wrist shot into the right side of the net.
The defenses and goaltending kept the contest deadlocked through the end of regulation and into overtime. During the extra session, Wheeling's special teams were the difference. The Nailers killed off an early penalty, then went on the power play and won the game. Brandon Hawkins' left circle wrist shot was tipped in by Cam Brown, lifting Wheeling to the 2-1 victory.
Alex D'Orio was phenomenal in his return to the crease for the Nailers, as he thwarted 34 of the 35 shots he faced. Michael Houser made 16 saves on 18 shots in the overtime loss for Cincinnati.
The Nailers and Cyclones will meet again on Saturday in Cincinnati, with face-off scheduled for 7:35. Wheeling will then return home on Sunday at 4:05 to face the Toledo Walleye. Following that game, the even-numbered players will be on the ice skating with the fans. After that, the next Big Six Promotional Night is Nickelodeon Night featuring Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on January 11th, when the Nailers battle the Fort Wayne Komets at 7:05. 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.