WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers began their six-game homestand on Friday night, and picked up one point against the division-leading Cincinnati Cyclones at WesBanco Arena. Unfortunately, Wheeling was unable to maintain a 2-0 lead, as the Cyclones rattled off three straight goals to pick up a 3-2 overtime win. Cam Brown and Brandon Hawkins scored the goals for the Nailers, who got a 33-save effort from Jordan Ruby.
For the first time in eight games, the Nailers were the first team to get on the scoreboard. With 8:06 left in the opening stanza, Matt Abt spun the puck along the blueline from the right wall to Nick Minerva in the middle. Minerva quickly found Cam Brown, who was able to drag the puck around Michael Houser's right leg and into the cage.
Wheeling added to its advantage with 4:46 remaining in the second period. Cam Brown, Yushiroh Hirano, and Matt Abt forechecked hard in the offensive zone, as they kept possession, while creating a scoring chance. Hirano ended up with the puck out of the pile, and he proceeded to feed a pass through the slot to Brandon Hawkins, who potted a one-timer from the left circle.
Midway through the third period, the Cyclones began to turn the game around. Darik Angeli swiped in a wrist shot on the power play at the 9:53 mark, then Mason Mitchell picked the top-left corner with 4:54 left in regulation to force overtime.
In the extra session, the Nailers had a terrific opportunity to skate away victorious, but came up empty on a power play. Less than 15 seconds after the penalty expired, Ben Johnson stole the puck and fed Frank Hora, who gave Cincinnati the 3-2 victory.
Michael Houser picked up the win in goal for the Cyclones, making 19 saves on 21 shots. Jordan Ruby suffered the overtime defeat for Wheeling, despite turning away 33 of the 36 shots he faced.
The Nailers and Cyclones will meet again at WesBanco Arena on Saturday night at 7:05 for Pups & Pucks, when fans can bring their dog to the game. Next week, Wheeling is home for three games, highlighted by Country Roads Night on February 1st, 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.