FORT WAYNE, IN- The Wheeling Nailers faced the tall task of playing the Fort Wayne Komets in their home opener on Friday night at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. Fort Wayne came out of the gates with two goals in the opening seven minutes and took that to the finish line for a 4-1 win. Matt Alfaro was the lone goals scorer for the Nailers.
Playing in their first home game of the season, the Komets started the game with lots of jump, which resulted in a pair of goals. Mathieu Brodeur struck first at the 3:15 mark, when his wrist shot from the top of the left circle slid in off of the right post. Less than three minutes later, Justin Vaive tipped in Olivier Galipeau's point shot for a power play marker - his second in as many games.
Neither team lit the lamp in the second period, but early in the third, Fort Wayne added two more tallies to pull away. Matthew Boudens set up Zach Pochiro on the doorstep at the 4:26 mark, then Anthony Petruzzelli flew down the left side on a transition rush to up the home team's lead to four. Matt Alfaro put Wheeling on the scoreboard with 10:27 remaining, as he drilled in a centering pass from Hayden Hodgson for the 4-1 final.
Stefanos Lekkas picked up the win for the Komets, as he made 20 saves on 21 shots. François Brassard stopped 22 of the 26 shots he faced in the defeat for the Nailers, before giving way to Hayden Hawkey, who was perfect on eight shots in relief.
The Nailers and Komets will meet again in Fort Wayne on Saturday and Sunday with 7:30 and 5:00 start times respectively. Wheeling will then return home for four games at WesBanco Arena on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, as the Indy Fuel come to town on Wednesday, before the Utah Grizzlies make their way to Nail City for the weekend. A limited number of tickets are available for Wheeling Nailers home games, and season memberships and flex packs are also available. 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.