INDIANAPOLIS, IN- The Wheeling Nailers were playing their third game in three days on Sunday afternoon, and they threw everything they could at the fresh Indy Fuel at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. Unfortunately, Wheeling ran into a hot goaltender, as Michael Joly's third period shot was the only one that solved Dan Bakala, who made 35 saves in a 3-1 Fuel win on home ice.
Special teams dictated some of the first period story, as the Nailers came up empty on four man advantages, while the Fuel cashed in on their first. Nic Pierog drove into the zone on the left side and got some help from Mathew Thompson, who tipped a pass over to Michael Pelech for the tally from the right side of the slot.
Wheeling had the edge in play during the middle frame, as it held a 17-9 advantage in shots on goal. However, the lone goal was scored by Indy. Thompson had a bounce go his way and he was able to connect with Diego Cuglietta for an open shot on the right side of the crease.
At the 3:45 mark of the third period, the Nailers trimmed the deficit to one. Patrick Watling drove in a slap shot from the left point, which was stopped by Dan Bakala, but Michael Joly was in perfect placement for the rebound and the goal. Wheeling was unable to pick up an equalizer, and with less than ten seconds to go, Cuglietta's second of the day put the wraps on a 3-1 Indy win.
Dan Bakala was outstanding in goal for the Fuel, as he stopped 35 of the 36 shots he faced in the victory. Alex D'Orio had another good game in goal for the Nailers, as he made 26 saves on 28 shots in the defeat.
Next up for the Nailers is a three-game home series against the Wichita Thunder on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Friday's game is another Frosty Friday, which begins at 7:10. Saturday's contest also starts at 7:10, before the teams collide for a 4:10 face-off on Sunday. 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.