FORT WAYNE, IN- The Wheeling Nailers had one of the better games in terms of generating chances against the Fort Wayne Komets, as they put 40 shots on goal on Saturday night at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. Despite goals from Austin Fyten and Jesse Lees, the Nailers were unable to get the upper hand on the Komets, who picked up a 7-2 win on their home ice, scoring multiple goals in each period.
The game started out with a bang, as Kyle Marino and Morgan Adams-Moisan had a tremendous fight just 1:15 into play. Wheeling would have loved to turn that energy into a lead, but it was the Komets who struck first at the 3:22 mark. Anthony Nellis rushed into the offensive zone on an odd-man rush and pounded a shot on goal from the right side. Taran Kozun made the save, but the rebound kicked out to Marc-Olivier Roy for the putback. Fort Wayne extended its advantage later in the stanza by capitalizing on a turnover. Anthony Petruzzelli swiped a puck away in center ice, then drove down the right side and snapped in a wrist shot.
The middle frame was a busy one, as both sides dented the twine twice. The Komets were first on the board, as they took their lead to three. After the Nailers were denied on a rush, Fort Wayne went back the other way. Jesse Lees made a terrific block on a Randy Gazzola attempt, but the puck squibbed back to Gazzola, who touched in the tally. Wheeling began to rally back, scoring twice in a span of 4:27. The first marker came from Austin Fyten, who matched a career-high with his 19th of the year, as he swatted in a centering pass from Patrick McNally. Next up was Jesse Lees, who powered in a left circle slap shot off of a feed by Lawton Courtnall. The Nailers had momentum on their side, but 37 seconds later, Fort Wayne regained its two-goal edge, as Blake Siebenaler wound in a wrist shot from the right circle.
The Komets added three more goals in the third to put the game away, as Mason Primeau, Petruzzelli, and Jackson Leef found the back of the net for a 7-2 final score.
Robbie Beydoun earned the victory in net for Fort Wayne, as he turned aside 38 of the 40 shots he faced. Taran Kozun suffered the defeat for Wheeling, as he made 26 saves on 32 shots.
The Nailers and Komets will finish up their head-to-head weekend on Sunday at WesBanco Arena, with opening face-off scheduled for 4:10. That will be the first of four home games in eight days for Wheeling, who hosts Indy on Wednesday, Fort Wayne on Saturday, then Indy again on Sunday, May 2nd. 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.