WHEELING, WV- Two rookies had goals to remember for the Wheeling Nailers on Friday night, as Tyler Drevitch and Sean Josling both scored the first goals of their professional careers. However, the second period was the story of the game, as the Orlando Solar Bears found the back of the net three times, en route to a 4-2 road win at WesBanco Arena.
The two sides played to a scoreless first period, but in the middle frame, Orlando opened things up by lighting the lamp three times. The first goal came from the blueline, as DeVante Stephens let a wrist shot go through traffic and was able to find the bottom-right corner of the cage. Less than three minutes later, the visitors upped the lead. Tyler Bird dragged the puck wide of the goal, then dropped a pass to Johno May, who smacked the loose biscuit into the top-right corner. The Nailers hoped to get some momentum off of a successful 5-on-3 penalty kill, but the Solar Bears tacked on one more tally with 2:53 remaining. Chris LeBlanc scraped the puck out of the crease, then flipped a shot under the crossbar.
The third period was Wheeling's best, but unfortunately, it was a case of too little too late. Tyler Drevitch got the Nailers on the board with a shorthanded goal at the 5:22 mark, when he sped into the right circle and tossed an offspeed shot underneath netminder Clint Windsor. Ryan Lohin gave Orlando a big insurance goal with 2:44 left, as his left side shot had just enough power to make its way in over the line. Sean Josling also picked up a marker in the third for Wheeling, as he banged in the third shot, after Windsor kicked out initial shots by Lawton Courtnall and Shane Kuzmeski. All four players involved in the third period scoring for the Nailers recorded their first professional points.
Clint Windsor was the winning goalie for the Solar Bears, as he made 22 saves on 24 shots. Shane Starrett stopped 27 of the 31 shots he faced between the pipes for Wheeling.
The Nailers and Solar Bears will meet up again on Saturday at 7:10. A limited amount of tickets are still available and must be purchased either online or by phone. Season memberships are also available for the 2020-21 season. To purchase yours or to get more information, visit wheelingnailers.com or call (304) 234-GOAL. 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.