INDIANAPOLIS, IN- The Wheeling Nailers are ready to take a break from playing the Indy Fuel. On Saturday night, the two teams met for the fourth time in a row, and all four games were decided by one goal. Wheeling was able to pick up a point, but Spencer Watson's power play goal gave Indy a 5-4 overtime win at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. Felix Robert netted a hat trick for the Nailers, while Michael Joly notched his 100th pro goal as part of a three-point night.
The Nailers had their best first period of the season, as they jumped out to a 2-0 lead. The first goal came at the 5:35 mark. Michael Joly's shot whistled just wide to the left, but a hard rebound off the end wall allowed Felix Robert to tap the puck in on his backhand. Robert struck again with 5:58 left in the stanza, when he took a Brady Tomlak feed and cruised in on the right side, before roofing a shot into the top-left corner of the cage.
Indy turned things on in the middle frame, as it scored three of the four goals to tie the score. The Fuel got on the board courtesy of Antoine Waked, who deflected in Cliff Watson's shot from the left point. Wheeling temporarily went back ahead by two, as Robert completed his hat trick by drilling in a one-time feed from Michael Joly. Matt Miller also collected an assist for his first pro point. Indy appeared to pull within a goal at the 14:53 mark, but Matt Marcinew's strike was wiped off the board. The Fuel scored a goal that counted 37 seconds later off of a left side wrist shot by Scott Savage, then tied the contest with 1:12 left in the stanza, when Nic Pierog chipped in a cross-crease pass from Derek Barach.
The opening minute of the third period saw some quick action, as the two sides scored eight seconds apart from each other. Peter Krieger roofed a shot from the right circle for Indy, then Michael Joly jammed in a wraparound for the Nailers. The rest of the stanza was scoreless, as the teams went to overtime for the second straight Saturday.
For the second straight week, the Fuel got the extra point, thanks to special teams. Spencer Watson connected on a snap shot from the slot on the power play, giving Indy the 5-4 win.
Dan Bakala was the winning goaltender for the Fuel, as he made 19 saves on 23 shots. Shane Starrett took the overtime defeat for Wheeling, after stopping 26 of the 31 shots he faced.
The Nailers will get a week off from playing the Fuel, as they will play three games against South Division opponents in the coming week. Wheeling starts in Greenville on Wednesday at 7:05, followed by a two-game set with South Carolina on Friday and Saturday at 7:05 and 6:05 respectively. The next time the Nailers are on home ice is January 22nd, 23rd, and 24th - a three-game set against the South Carolina Stingrays. The Friday and Saturday games begin at 7:10, while Sunday's puck drop is at 4:10. 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.