FORT WAYNE, IN- The Wheeling Nailers got off to a great start in Friday's game against the Fort Wayne Komets at Allen County Memorial Coliseum, but unfortunately, the game as a whole didn't go the way they had hoped. Fort Wayne converted on two of five power plays to pick up a 4-2 win on its home ice. Nick Rivera and Brady Tomlak both had a goal and an assist for the Nailers.
The Nailers got things started with their fastest goal of the season, as they got on the board just 55 seconds into the contest. Brady Tomlak stole the puck in his own end and led a transition rush in the other direction. Nick Rivera joined him and went directly to the net, where Tomlak put a perfect pass on his tape, so Rivera could convert with a redirect. Fort Wayne tied things up on a power play with just over five minutes remaining. Shawn Szydlowski fed Spencer Smallman, who twirled in a wrist shot from the left side of the slot.
The Komets took the lead at the 7:09 mark of the middle frame, while playing on the man advantage. Randy Gazzola let a wrist shot go from the right point, which was tipped into the cage by A.J. Jenks on the doorstep. Wheeling rebounded to tie the game shortly after a power play of its own. Cody Sylvester's one-timer made its way into a pile, where it was fished out by Rivera and given to Tomlak for a top shelf shot. Fort Wayne went back into the lead just 22 seconds later, when Anthony Petruzzelli swepped in a feed from Smallman. With less than one minute to go, the Komets tallied once more, just as a penalty expired. Olivier Galipeau took advantage of traffic in front of the net, and threaded a one-timer through from the right point.
The Nailers put ten shots on goal in the third period, but were unable to break through for another marker, as they fell, 4-2.
Stefanos Lekkas was the winning goalie for Fort Wayne, as he made 19 saves on 21 shots. Alex D'Orio stopped 29 of the 33 shots he faced in the defeat for Wheeling.
The Nailers and Komets will tangle again on Saturday in Fort Wayne at 7:30. Wheeling will then play three straight home games against the two teams from the Hoosier State. The Nailers and Fuel collide on Tuesday at 7:10, then the Komets visit Nail City on Friday and Saturday, both starting at 7:10. 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.