WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers were hungry to get things rolling on Wednesday night, as they played host to the Indy Fuel at WesBanco Arena. Wheeling tallied once in each period and got a 25-save effort from Shane Starrett to extend its point streak to six with a 3-1 triumph. Patrick Watling snapped a tied score late in the second period, then Austin Fyten added a key insurance strike in the third.
The Nailers scored the lone goal of the first period at the 5:15 mark. Cody Sylvester got the puck behind the net off of a strong offensive zone forecheck by his club. He then dished a pass to Joshua Winquist in the right circle, who immediately fed Patrick McNally for the redirection tally from the top-left corner of the crease.
Both teams found the back of the net once in the middle frame. The Fuel knotted things up at the 8:03 mark on the man advantage. Diego Cuglietta battled the puck out to Willie Raskob, who stepped up into the high slot and whipped a wrist shot into the left side of the cage. Wheeling regained the lead with 2:58 remaining. Vladislav Mikhalchuk swept the puck into the slot for Patrick Watling, who slid a shot along the ice and inside of the left post.
The Nailers played a very responsible third period, as they looked to take their win to the finish line. With 1:50 to go, Wheeling got a huge insurance goal. Dylan MacPherson floated in a shot from the right point, which was blocked, but the second the puck hit the ice, it got slammed home by Austin Fyten for the 3-1 advantage, which was the final score.
Shane Starrett earned the victory for the Nailers, as he thwarted away 25 of the 26 attempts sent his way. Tom Auburn took the loss for Indy, as he made 15 saves on 18 shots.
The Nailers and Fuel will meet again on Thursday at Indiana Farmers Coliseum at 7:05, before a home-and-home series with the Fort Wayne Komets begins in Fort Wayne on Friday at 8:00. The back half of that set will take place at WesBanco Arena 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.