WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers continue to win in thrilling fashion, and on Saturday night, their 4-3 overtime victory against the Fort Wayne Komets lifted them into sole possession of second place in the Central Division, as well as a season-high seven games over .500. Fort Wayne forced the extra session with two late goals, but Sean Josling was the hero, as he converted on a power play 44 seconds into OT. Josh Maniscalco and Nick Hutchison both assisted on the game winner, while each added a goal in regulation.
One goal was scored in the opening stanza, and it came with 2:26 remaining, as the Nailers were able to take a lead into the intermission. Chris Ortiz let a wrist shot go from the right wall, and he got a deflection from Nick Hutchison, who squeezed the puck through goaltender Jiri Patera.
Fort Wayne temporarily tied the score at the 6:09 mark of the middle frame. Willie Corrin bounced the puck through the slot to the left side of the crease, where it was stashed in by Kellen Jones. Wheeling had an answer with 5:21 left, when Hutchison delivered a perfect tape-to-tape pass to Josh Maniscalco, who hammered home the one-timer from the right side.
The Nailers nearly put the game on ice in the early stages of the third period, when Jesse Lees stole the puck along the right wing wall, and shoveled a shot into the top-left corner. The Komets didn't go away easily, as they battled back with two goals in the final 5:02 of regulation Connor Corcoran whizzed in a wrist shot from the slot, then Anthony Petruzzelli's right circle shot on the power play got tipped in off of a Wheeling stick, bringing the contest to a 3-3 deadlock.
During the final minute of the third, Fort Wayne was whistled for two penalties, which gave the Nailers a 5-on-3 power play to start overtime. Wheeling didn't waste any time to get the triumph, as the deciding marker came 44 seconds into the bonus stanza. Patrick Watling's shot rang off the post, leading to a mad scramble. Hutchison poked the puck toward the twine, and Sean Josling made sure it got all the way in, as the Nailers were victorious, 4-3.
Stefanos Lekkas earned the win for Wheeling against his former squad, as he denied 26 of the 29 shots he faced. Jiri Patera received the overtime loss for the Komets, as he made 24 saves on 28 shots.
The Nailers will play only one game next week, as they will travel to Reading for a 4:00 Saturday game against the Royals. Wheeling will then play four consecutive home games on February 22nd, 23rd, 25th, and 26th, with all four starting at 7:10. The 22nd and 23rd are against Reading, while the 25th and 26th are against Kalamazoo. 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.