WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers battled some adversity on Saturday night, and very nearly picked up a point in their game against the Utah Grizzlies. Unfortunately, a power play goal by Ryan Lowney with 5:01 left in the third period was the difference, as Utah skated away with a 4-3 decision. Aaron Thow had a goal and an assist for the Nailers.
The Nailers had a great start to the first period, but things took a unique turn to put them behind at the intermission. Austin Fyten put the home team on the scoreboard first at the 5:11 mark, as he connected on a give-and-go with Nick Rivera, which resulted in Fyten blazing home a one-timer from the left circle. However, penalties dictated the remainder of the frame, as Wheeling was whistled for four in a row. Utah drew even on the power play, as Trey Bradley deflected a pass from Riley Woods, which produced a rebound goal for A.J. White. A little more than three minutes later, the Grizzlies scored at even strength, as Miles Gendron swept in a wrist shot from the top of the right circle.
The middle frame had a challenging start for the Nailers, but they hung in there and were able to tie things up before all was said and done. Hunter Skinner banked a shorthanded shot off the glass and in to put Utah ahead, 3-1, then Wheeling had a goal disallowed for goaltender interference. Not to be discouraged, the Nailers pulled within one shortly after, when Aaron Thow hammered in a slap shot from the center point. Then, with 1:16 remaining in the period, Evan Wardley's wrist shot from the right point created a rebound, which was stashed in by Lawton Courtnall for a 3-3 deadlock.
The tilt remained tied until the 14:59 mark of the third period, when the Grizzlies went ahead with a power play goal. Ryan Lowney's wrist shot from the center point hit Alex D'Orio's right pad and bounced in over the goal line. Wheeling was unable to recover from that, as Utah prevailed, 4-3.
Brad Barone was the winning netminder for the Grizzlies, as he made 27 saves on 30 shots. Alex D'Orio took the loss for the Nailers with 31 saves on 35 shots.
The Nailers and Grizzlies will conclude their weekend series in Wheeling on Sunday at 4:10. 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.