WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers and Fort Wayne Komets both wrapped up 3-in-3 weekends on Sunday afternoon in a game which featured lots of twists and turns, and points going each way. The Nailers ultimately came out on top with less than one minute remaining in overtime, as Josh Maniscalco scored his second goal of the night and of his pro career, giving his team a 5-4 triumph and four out of six points on the weekend. Félix Paré also netted his first two career goals in a game which experienced a 90-plus-minute delay due to ice issues.
The Nailers did a solid job of controlling the play in the first period, as they outshot Fort Wayne, 11-5. However, it was the visitors who took advantage of their chances for a 2-0 lead. The first goal came off of a turnover, as Matthew Boudens stole the puck at his own blueline, and proceeded to break away, before flipping a shot into the top-left corner of the net. The second Komets tally came while the teams were playing 4-on-4. Connor Jones delieverd a pass to Marcus McIvor, who slithered in a shot from the bottom of the left circle.
Wheeling kept the pressure coming in the middle frame and got rewarded with three goals. The Nailers got on the board when Fort Wayne netminder Jiri Patera gave the puck way to Félix Paré, who bounced in his first professional goal from the right side. Tyler Drevitch squared the score with 6:45 remaining on an incredible individual effort, as he skated the puck from end to end, slipping a forehand shot around Patera's left leg. 1:20 later, Wheeling took the lead on a beautiful three-way passing play during 4-on-4 action. Patrick Watling started with the tic, Nick Hutchison got the tac, and Josh Maniscalco put the toe on the play, slamming in a one-timer from the left circle.
The third period was a long one, with a few ups and downs. The Komets pulled even at the 1:04 mark, when Connor Corcoran swiped in a wrist shot from the right circle. The Nailers bounced back to retake the lead at the 8:17 mark, just as a power play expired. Matt Foley's right point shot got stopped, but Paré was camped on the doorstep to bat in his second of the night.
With 4:30 to go in regulation, a large chunk came out of the ice, leading to a delay of over 90 minutes. When the teams returned, Fort Wayne quickly knotted things up. Matt Alvaro fed Boudens, who was cruising down the slot, and Boudens was able to tuck a shot inside the left post for the tying marker.
Both teams had glorious chances to end the contest, as overtime got under way, with each side receiving a power play. Both penalty kills got the job done, which preserved the deadlock until the final minute of the extra session. That's when Maniscalco stepped up as the hero, swatting in his second of the tilt from the left circle for the 5-4 Wheeling triumph.
Louis-Philip Guindon earned the win for the Nailers in his season debut, as he denied 27 of the 31 shots he faced from his former club. Jiri Patera took the overtime loss for the Komets, as he made 40 saves on 45 shots.
The Nailers will play a couple of games on the road in the coming week, as they will visit the Indy Fuel on Friday at 7:00, then the Fort Wayne Komets on Saturday at 7:30. Wheeling's next home contest is the traditional Thanksgiving Eve tilt on November 24th against Indy at 7:10. 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.