FORT WAYNE, IN- The Wheeling Nailers and Fort Wayne Komets played another tight game that went right down to the wire on Saturday night at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. The Nailers were inches away from coming away with a point, but a last minute goal in the second period was the difference, as the Komets collected a 3-2 win on their home ice. Tyler Drevitch and Patrick Watling were Wheeling's goal scorers, while Nick Hutchison extended his point streak to six games.
Both teams had strong stretches of play in the opening stanza, and that resulted in a 1-1 deadlock. The Komets were the first to strike, as they capitalized on a delayed penalty. Kellen Jones swung around out of the right corner and delivered a tape-to-tape pass to Matt Murphy, who drove a one-timer into the left side of the goal. Wheeling pulled even with 3:58 remaining. Nick Hutchison slid the puck out to Alex Stevens for a one-time blast from the right point, which got tipped into the cage by Tyler Drevitch.
The Nailers leaned on the goaltending of Alex D'Orio in the middle frame, as he put in a lot of work to keep his squad in the game. However, Fort Wayne was able to connect for a pair of strikes. Murphy notched his second of the night at the 6:58 mark, when he zipped down the middle of the offensive zone and roofed a wrist shot into the top-left corner of the net. Then, with under a minute to go, Stephen Harper batted the rebound of Will Graber's attempt out of the air and in on the right side.
Wheeling put forth an excellent push in the third period, and very nearly tied the contest. With 5:36 remaining, the Nailers got to within a goal on a power play. Cam Hausinger jammed at the puck on the doorstep, and eventually got it to slide to Patrick Watling, who lifted a shot over Sam Harvey, who was sprawled out in the Komets crease. Moments later, Wheeling thought it may have drawn even, but Dylan MacPherson's wrist shot rang off the crossbar and dropped down without going completely over the goal line. The Nailers were unable to come that close again, as they dropped the 3-2 decision.
Sam Harvey got the win in goal for Fort Wayne, as he made 18 saves on 20 shots. Alex D'Orio played very well for Wheeling, as he stopped 30 of the 33 shots he faced, but ended up on the other side of the equation.
The Nailers will return home on Wednesday night for their traditional Thanksgiving Eve game at 7:10 against the Indy Fuel. $2 beers will be available, plus turkey bowling will be played during intermission. The next Big 6 Promotional Night is Elf Night on Saturday, December 11th. Season memberships, mini plans, and single game tickets are available, and fans can get more information by calling (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.