WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Thunderbirds made lots of great memories on the ice, and on Friday night, fans at WesBanco Arena got to celebrate like it was the 1990's once again. With Louis Dumont and Paul Bissonnette in the building, Wheeling put forth an all around great effort. Patrick Watling and Justin Almeida both lit the lamp twice, while the T-Birds held the Kalamazoo Wings to 14 shots on goal, as Wheeling was victorious, 4-1 on Throwback Night.
The two sides exchanged goals in the first period. Patrick Watling put Wheeling on the board first, as he followed up his four-goal performance from Sunday afternoon. Tim Doherty dropped a pass off in the left circle for Watling, who zipped a wrist shot into the left side of the net. The Wings got their goal while playing shorthanded, as a Thunderbirds turnover at the offensive blueline led to a 2-on-0 in the opposite direction. Tanner Sorenson led the charge, before he tapped a pass to Erik Bradford on the left for a shot into the wide open side.
Wheeling enjoyed a terrific middle frame, as the home side netted a pair of markers, while outshooting the opposition, 16-6. Justin Almeida put the T-Birds in the lead at the 8:09 mark, when he attempted to sift a pass through the low slot to Sean Josling, but got a friendly deflection off of a Kalamazoo skate, which send the puck dribbling into the goal. With 4:04 to go, Watling added to the advantage, as he rifled in a drop pass from Sam Houde in the right circle, while utilizing net front traffic by Matt Alfaro.
The Thunderbirds continued to control the play in the third period, as they limited the Wings to just three shots on goal, and tacked on one more insurance strike. Justin Almeida snagged a loose puck on the right side of the slot, then laid a shot in the left side of the net to put the finishing touches on the 4-1 triumph.
The Nailers will be right back on home ice on Saturday night at 7:10, when they host the Indy Fuel. A couple of notable upcoming promotions include April 9th, when the Kelly Cup comes to WesBanco Arena, and April 15th, which is Fan Appreciation 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.