WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers have been getting some terrific goaltending performances over the last few weeks, but have had difficulty making their way into the win column. On Friday night, Tommy Nappier turned in a 25-save effort, but a third period goal by Keoni Texeira snapped a 1-1 tie, as the Indy Fuel went on to the 3-1 win over the Nailers at WesBanco Arena.
National Doughnut Day saw doughnuts on the scoreboard for the better part of two periods, as the two sides turned in strong defensive performances. Less than a minute after a successful penalty kill, the Nailers broke through with the opening goal. Brendan Harris put the puck on a tee for Patrick Watling, who stepped up and clobbered in a one-timer from high in the offensive zone. Indy responded 1:09 later to send the game into the intermission deadlocked, as Tim Davison waltzed into the slot and slipped in a backhander.
A little more than five minutes into the third period, the Fuel took their first lead of the night, as Keoni Texeira snapped in a shot from the right side of the slot, with traffic set up in front of the cage. Wheeling put a game-high 14 shots on goal in the final frame, but were unable to net an equalizer. Nic Pierog iced Indy's 3-1 win with an empty netter.
Dan Bakala earned the victory for the Fuel by denying 27 of the 28 shots he faced. Tommy Nappier was excellent in goal again for the Nailers, but wound up with the defeat, as he made 25 saves on 27 shots.
The Nailers will wrap up their 29th season on Saturday night with a 7:10 tilt against the Fuel. To purchase tickets 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.