WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers completely dominated Saturday night's game at WesBanco Arena, as they rolled past the Kalamazoo Wings, 8-2. Patrick Watling scored twice in the first two minutes of the contest, then added three assists, while Sean Josling also collected a pair of tallies, and Stefanos Lekkas made 40 saves. The Nailers won three of four games on their homestand, and finished the month of February with a 9-2 mark to climb ten games over .500.
The Nailers exploded out of the gates, as they scored twice in the first two minutes and three times total in the opening stanza. The first two markers both came from Patrick Watling. On the first goal, Sam Houde delivered a tape-to-tape pass across the slot, leading to Watling's one-timer from the left side. 27 seconds later, Watling flew past a defender at the blueline and broke in alone, as he lifted a shot into the top-left corner of the net. Wheeling put another one on the board with 2:35 left, when Brandon Saigeon banged in a cross-ice feed from Bobby Hampton to punctuate an odd-man rush.
The offensive surge continued in the middle frame, as the red light went off four more times for the home team. Sean Josling netted the first two on the man advantage, as he deposited the rebound of Watling's shot off the post, then jammed in the rebound of Josh Maniscalco's initial attempt. After denting the twice a couple of times, Josling looked to one of his teammates later in the period, as he fed Justin Almeida, who punctuated a 2-on-1 break. Cam Hausinger added one more marker in the closing minute, roofing a wrist shot into the top-right corner. Erik Bradford mixed in a goal for Kalamazoo between the two Josling strikes.
Sam Houde and Bradford exchanged goals in the third period, as the Nailers rolled to the 8-2 triumph.
Stefanos Lekkas had a terrific performance in goal for Wheeling, as he denied 40 of the 42 shots he faced for the win. Trevor Gorsuch allowed four goals on 13 shots in the loss for the Wings, before being replaced by Jason Pawloski, who surrendered four goals on 22 shots off the bench.
The Nailers will play a couple of road games in the coming week, as they will visit the Toledo Walleye on Wednesday at 7:15, followed by the Reading Royals on Saturday at 7:00. Wheeling will then play three home games the following week. Wednesday, March 9th is a 7:10 start time against Toledo, then Reading comes in for a pair on Saturday, March 12th at 7:10 and Sunday, March 13th at 4:10. March 13th is Pups & Pucks, in which fans get to bring their dogs to the game, and there will be a dog treat giveaway. The next big promotional night is Throwback Night on March 25th, starring Paul Bissonnette and Louis Dumont. 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.