CINCINNATI, OH- Stefanos Lekkas and Chris Ortiz had nights to remember on Wednesday night, as they were two of the key pieces that led the Wheeling Nailers to a 2-0 victory over the Cincinnati Cylones at Heritage Bank Center. Lekkas backstopped his first career shutout with 29 saves, while Ortiz tallied both goals - one in the first and one in the third.
The Nailers had a couple of close calls on the offensive side, before finally getting the puck to go over the goal line with 2:48 remaining in the first period. Chris Ortiz sped down the left side of the ice and blew past a defender to create some space in the circle. He then let a wrist shot go, which caught goaltender Sean Bonar in the left arm and dribbled into the net.
The middle frame featured 27 combined shots on goal, but neither team could light the lamp, as the one-goal margin continued into the third. At the 2:05 mark of the final frame, Wheeling broke through again with a huge insurance marker. A mad scramble took place in front of the net, as Nick Hutchison and Tyler Drevitch both crashed in. Ultimately, Ortiz snagged the loose puck out of the trapezoid and tucked it into the left side of the goal. At that point, the only thing to settle was the zero on the opposite side of the scoreboard, which stayed there when the final buzzer sounded, signaling a 2-0 Nailers win.
Stefanos Lekkas earned his first professional shutout, as he was perfect on 29 shots for Wheeling. Sean Bonar made 38 saves on 40 shots in the defeat for Cincinnati.
The Nailers and Cyclones will collide again in Cincinnati on Friday at 7:35. Wheeling will then travel to Toledo for a Saturday tangle with the Walleye at 7:15. The Nailers' next homestand is February 4th, 5th, and 6th, starting with a Frosty Friday against the Indy Fuel at 7:10. The next big promotional night is Pittsburgh Penguins Night on Saturday, February 12th, which features the Stanley Cup. Season memberships, single game tickets, and partial packages 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.