WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers beat the Utah Grizzlies in more ways than one on Sunday afternoon at WesBanco Arena. Wheeling scored four times in the first period and got two goals each from Nick Rivera and Austin Fyten, as they clobbered the Grizzlies, 6-1. Then, with ten seconds left in the game, every player on the ice got involved in a brawl, including victorious goaltender François Brassard.
The Nailers were down right dominant in the first period, as they scored four times, while outshooting Utah, 16-7. Three of the four tallies came on the power play, starting at the 7:27 mark, when Nick Rivera tipped in a one-timer by Cody Sylvester on the right side. Austin Fyten netted the second marker of the stanza on the man advantage, as he tipped in a left point wrist shot by Aaron Thow. The lone even strength goal went to Vladislav Mikhalchuk, who spun into the high slot, and roofed a wrist shot into the left side of the cage. That chased Brad Barone out of the net for the Grizzlies, but Wheeling greeted Kevin Carr with a goal as well, as Rivera collected his second of the day by smacking in the rebound of Sylvester's initial attempt.
The two sides exchanged goals in the middle frame, as the Nailers maintained their four-goal lead. A.J. White gave Utah its first goal of the match on the power play, as he redirected Riley Woods' feed on the left side of the crease. Wheeling's answer came courtesy of Matt Miller, who drilled in a wrist shot from the slot. Matt Alfaro picked up the primary assist to extend his point streak to nine games.
Fyten tacked on his second of the afternoon to put the wraps on the 6-1 triumph for the Nailers, but the story of the third period came with 9.1 seconds left, as a full line brawl broke out in the Utah zone. With all ten skaters involved, goaltenders François Brassard and Kevin Carr looked down at each other and decided to have themselves a go. As he was in the game, Brassard was the winner in the fight, as he delivered three straight uppercuts. The fight also featured Vladislav Mikhalchuk, who completed his Gordie Howe Hat Trick.
François Brassard earned his fourth straight win on home ice, as he stopped 23 of 24 shots, before giving way to Alex D'Orio for the final ten seconds. Brad Barone allowed three goals on 11 shots in the loss for the Grizzlies, before getting pulled. Kevin Carr made 17 saves on 20 shots in relief.
The Nailers will spend the next week on the road, as they will visit the Indy Fuel on Wednesday, followed by the Fort Wayne Komets on Friday and Saturday. Wheeling will return home the following week to face Indy on Tuesday, March 9th, then Fort Wayne on Friday, March 12th and Saturday, March 13th. 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.