WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers played over two periods of hockey down three players on Sunday afternoon, as they played host to the Greenville Swamp Rabbits at WesBanco Arena. Wheeling got goals from Patrick Watling, Tim Doherty, and Joshua Winquist, but Greenville's line proved to be too much, led by Frank DiChiara's four points, as the Swamp Rabbits were victorious, 6-3.
Greenville opened up the scoring right away at the 17-second mark of play. Frank Hora intercepted a pass on the right side, and proceeded to fire a shot, which got tipped into the net by Graham Knott. The Nailers came back to tie the game at 7:46. Joshua Winquist dropped a pass off to Patrick Watling, who bowled his way into the slot, before ripping a wrist shot into the left side of the cage. The score stayed tied until the final three minutes of the stanza, when the Swamp Rabbits wore down Wheeling's penalty killers and turned on the red light twice. Liam Pecararo jammed in a wraparound with 2:28 remaining, then Ben Finkelstein had enough mustard on his point shot to find the twine for what turned out to be an even strength strike, less than a second after a penalty had expired.
Tim Doherty netted his third goal in four games as a Nailer, as he poked the puck off of a Greenville stick and into the goal. However, the Swamp Rabbits sandwiched a pair of tallies around that to take a 5-2 lead into the intermission. Max Zimmer pounced on a loose puck in the right circle for his squad's fourth marker, then Frank DiChiara smacked in a shot in the slot on the man advantage.
The two clubs exchanged goals in the third period, as Alec Rauhauser rang in a shot for Greenville, before Joshua Winquist launched in a one-timer on the power play from the right circle for a 6-3 final in favor of the Swamp Rabbits.
John Lethemon got the win for Greenville, as he made 17 saves on 20 shots. Louis-Philip Guindon suffered the defeat for Wheeling, as he came away with 32 stops on 38 shots.
The Nailers and Swamp Rabbits will play three more games against each other next weekend, as the scene shifts to Bon Secours Wellness Arena, starting Friday at 7:05. Wheeling's next home game is Wednesday, May 26th against the Indy Fuel, which is the make-up for the April 28th postponement. 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.