WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers knew they were faced with a big game on Saturday night, as they played host to the Fort Wayne Komets in front of 3,517 fans at WesBanco Arena. Wheeling was up for the challenge, and played a fantastic team game, as six different players found the back of the net, while Jordan Ruby made 39 saves in a 6-1 triumph.
The lone goal of the first period went to the Komets, who outshot Wheeling, 17-8. Shawn Szydlowski spun a pass into the middle of the ice for Brett McKenzie, who stepped in and ripped a shot into the top-right corner of the net.
The Nailers had excellent energy in the middle frame, as they stormed back with three straight goals to take the lead. At the 5:55 mark, Graham Knott had his first shot blocked, but followed up his attempt, and wired the equalizer into the left side of the cage. 1:22 later, Wheeling struck again. Nick Saracino held onto the puck in the right circle, then made a tape-to-tape pass to Ryan Scarfo for a wide open tip-in on the left side of the crease. Fort Wayne native Blake Siebenaler added another tally for the home side with 7:43 to go, as he forced a turnover, then got the return feed from Renars Krastenbergs, which sent him through the defense and in for a backhand goal.
The home crowd got even more to cheer about in the third period, as the Nailers tacked on three more goals for the 6-1 final. Cam Brown swatted in a loose puck with his backhand at the 1:29 mark on his backhand, Yushiroh Hirano capitalized off a turnover with a snipe into the top-left corner at 7:12, and Alec Butcher finished off a shorthanded rush with Ryan Scarfo at 16:16.
Jordan Ruby was maginificent in goal for Wheeling, as he denied 39 of the 40 shots he faced. Cole Kehler allowed six goals on 28 shots in the loss for the Komets.
The Nailers will play another home game on Wednesday night at 7:05, when they face the Reading Royals. The next Big Six Promotional Game is Pittsburgh Penguins Night on Saturday, February 29th, starring 2009 Stanley Cup Champion Max Talbot. Friends & Family Ticket Packages are available for all Saturday home games, which include 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.