INDIANAPOLIS, IN- The Wheeling Nailers had found some dramatic ways to beat the Indy Fuel during the 2019-20 season, but unfortunately, that wasn't the case on Saturday night at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. Justin Almeida tallied the lone goal for the visiting side, as the Nailers fell 4-1 to the Fuel, who increased their lead to three points over Wheeling for fourth place in the Central Division.
Indy held a 12-6 advantage in shots on goal during the opening stanza, and put the lone puck into the back of the net. Liam Coughlin deked his way down the left side to put himself alone on the goal. The Fuel forward waited patiently, while dragging the puck to the right, as he proceeded to lift a shot into the top portion of the net.
The Fuel extended their lead in the second period, lighting the lamp twice in a span of 1:13. Craig Wyszomirski swiped in the second Indy marker from the blueline, following strong work along the boards by Alex Rauter. Moments later, Wheeling was victimized by a stick getting stuck in the door, which gave Christian Horn a wide open chance in the slot. Justin Almeida put the Nailers on the board 17 seconds after that, banging in a loose puck at the top of the crease.
Alex D'Orio denied a Derian Plouffe penalty shot in the final frame, but Indy tacked on an empty netter by Bobby MacIntyre to put the wraps on a 4-1 home win.
Dan Bakala backstopped the victory for the Fuel, turning aside 28 of the 29 shots he faced. Alex D'Orio suffered the defeat for Wheeling, making 29 saves on 32 shots.
The Nailers will spend the next few days on their All-Star Break, before resuming the schedule at WesBanco Arena against the Cincinnati Cyclones on a Frosty Friday at 7:05. Wheeling and Cincinnati will also face-off on Saturday at 7:05 during Pups & Pucks Night, when fans can bring their dog to the game. The next Big Six Promotional Game is Country Roads Night on Saturday, February 1st at 7:35, when all tickets are just $10. Friends & Family 4 Packs presented by WTRF-7 are available for all Saturday home games, and feature four tickets, four Tito's Sloppy Doggs, and a $10 voucher to the Team Shop for $52. 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.