WHEELING, WV- Sunday's clash between the Wheeling Nailers and Cincinnati Cyclones at WesBanco Arena was a roller coaster ride, as both teams had times when they thought they would be able to leave victorious. Wheeling opened with a 2-0 lead, before Cincinnati took 3-2 and 4-3 advantages later in the tilt. However, it was the Nailers who had the last laugh, as Sean Josling tied things up in the last minute of regulation, and Josh Maniscalco's second goal of the day won the game in overtime, 5-4.
The Nailers got the exact start that they were looking for, as they jumped out to a 2-0 lead. The first goal came at the 6:20 mark, when Justin Almeida snagged the puck out of the left corner, then found Tim Doherty for a one-timer on the left side of the slot. Wheeling then capitalized on one of four power plays it received in the stanza. The puck got moved around quickly, and Josh Maniscalco was rewarded with the goal, as he ripped in a wrist shot from the middle of the zone.
The first half of the middle frame gave the Nailers some adversity, as Cincinnati put three pucks into the back of the net. Gianluca Esteves was responsible for the first two, and he did so on both special teams, as he finished a shorthanded 2-on-1 break with Nick Boka, then swept in a loose puck on the left side of the crease with the man advantage. Lincoln Griffin gave the Cyclones the lead, when he rifled a one-timer into the top of the net from the right circle. Wheeling rebounded well with a tying marker 1:23 later, as Patrick Watling drove down the slot and placed a wrist shot into the left side of the cage.
Cincinnati pulled ahead at the 11:06 mark of the third period, when Bair Gendunov ramped Josh Burnside's left point shot up and under the crossbar. As the clock ticked down, the Nailers dug deep and tied the score with 46 seconds to go. Nick Hutchison won an offensive zone face-off, and he and his teammates went to work. The play ended up with Patrick Watling delivering a feed to Sean Josling, who swept in a shot from the right side of the crease, which sent the match into overtime.
Wheeling had a glorious opportunity to grab the bonus point early in the extra session, but came up empty on a power play. However, at the 5:39 mark, Tim Doherty took the puck off of the left corner boards, and put a pass onto Maniscalco's tape. Maniscalco buried the shot from the left side of the slot, giving the Nailers the 5-4 triumph.
Brody Claeys earned the win for Wheeling, as he thwarted 31 of the 35 shots he faced, including all six attempts in overtime. Sean Bonar took the overtime loss for the Cyclones, as he made 29 saves on 34 shots.
The Nailers will take a quick road trip out to Kalamazoo on Wednesday at 7:00, before returning home for two games over the weekend. Friday is a Frosty Friday at 7:10 against the Atlanta Gladiators. Then, Saturday is the highlight game of the month, as fans can get their picture taken with the Stanley Cup, as part of Pittsburgh Penguins Night - a 7:10 face-off against the Fort Wayne Komets. Wheeling will also be wearing specialty jerseys that night. 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.