WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers welcomed their three millionth fan in team history on Saturday night, as part of a terrific crowd of 3,972 fans at WesBanco Arena. Unfortunately, the result on the ice didn't go the home team's way. Yushiroh Hirano tallied Wheeling's lone goal in a 6-1 setback at the hands of the Fort Wayne Komets.
The Nailers outshot Fort Wayne, 15-12 in the first period, but found themselves behind, 3-0. The Komets opened the scoring with a power play goal, as Anthony Petruzzelli redirected Drake Rymsha's feed in the low slot. Brady Shaw netted the second tally for the visitors, intercepting a pass for a tap-in at the top of the crease. The third marker also came off a turnover, resulting in Jermaine Loewen cashing in from the left side.
Fort Wayne added to its lead in the late stages of the middle frame. Gage Torrel flipped a pass into the slot for Petruzzelli, who swept in his second tally of the evening.
Olivier Galipeau and Rymsha tacked on two more goals for the Komets, before Yushiroh Hirano ended Fort Wayne's shutout bid in the last minute of the game, by banging in the rebound of Blake Siebenaler's initial shot.
Cole Kehler backstopped the victory for the Komets, as he turned aside 38 of the 39 shots he faced. Alex D'Orio made 28 saves on 34 shots in the loss for Wheeling.
The Nailers will head back on the road on Sunday, when they visit the Toledo Walleye at 5:15. Wheeling's next home game is Friday, January 24th at 7:05, which is also a Frosty Friday against the Cincinnati Cyclones. Cincinnati sticks around for Saturday, January 25th, which is Pups & Pucks, as fans can bring their dog to the game. The next Big 6 Promotional Game is Country Roads on Saturday, February 1st against the Orlando Solar Bears, with a special 7:35 start time. 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.