GREENVILLE, SC- The Wheeling Nailers ran into one of the hotter teams in the ECHL right now, as they faced the Greenville Swamp Rabbits on Friday night at Bon Secours Wellness Arena. Greenville snapped a tied score late in the second period, then tacked on a pair of goals in the third period for a 5-2 win, which improved its record to 12-2-2 in the last 16 games. Brady Tomlak and Jesse Lees were the goal scorers for the Nailers.
Both teams lit the lamp once during the opening stanza. Greenville was first on the board, as it capitalized on a man advantage. The Swamp Rabbits primarily kept the puck at the top of the zone, with Samuel Jardine setting up Matt Bradley, who blasted in a one-timer from the top of the left circle. Wheeling answered just over three minutes later on a beautiful redirection goal, as Brady Tomlak tipped in a wrist shot from Patrick McNally.
The Nailers got their first lead of the night in the early stages of the second period, but found themselves on the other side of the scoreboard at the intermission. Cody Sylvester battled through a delayed penalty behind the net to set up Jesse Lees, who sent a one-time laser home from the right circle. Greenville knotted things up on the power play. Ben Finkelstein skated to the middle of the blueline, where he tossed in a wrist shot to give him points in nine straight contests. With just over one minute remaining, the Swamp Rabbits went ahead on Bradley's second of the night, which came on a breakaway, as he slipped a shot through Tommy Nappier's legs.
That late goal turned out to be big for Greenville, who added two insurance markers in a span of 25 seconds for the 5-2 win. Max Zimmer redirected in a perfect pass by Frank Hora, then Gordi Myer deked around to slide in a shot from the left side.
John Lethemon won for the seventh time in eight straight starts for the Swamp Rabbits, as he made 22 saves on 24 shots. Tommy Nappier stopped 21 of the 26 shots he faced in his Wheeling debut.
The Nailers and Swamp Rabbits will face each other twice more this weekend, on Saturday at 7:05, then Sunday at 3:05. Wheeling will then return home to face the Indy Fuel on Wednesday, which is the make-up game from the previously postponed April 28th match. A limited number of tickets are available for Wheeling Nailers home games. 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.