WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers are on the board in the win column in 2022-23, and they did so by keeping the Iowa Heartlanders off of the board on Sunday afternoon at WesBanco Arena. Taylor Gauthier was perfect on 20 shots to earn his first professional victory, and he got goal support from Adam Smith and Sean Josling, as the Nailers finished off their four-game homestand with a 2-0 triumph.
The first period saw lots of chances on both sides of the ice, and it was the Nailers who cashed in with the lone goal. Bobby Hampton cycled the puck back to Adam Smith, who loaded up a low one-timer from the left point, and drove a shot through the traffic and into the net. Samuel Tremblay also picked up an assist for his first pro point.
Wheeling maintained its one-goal advantage with a dominant middle frame, as the shots on goal were 16-2 in favor of the home team. Insurance came with 2:50 left in the contest, as the Nailers got some breathing room. Cam Hausinger's pass kicked off of Brooklyn Kalmikov and went to Sean Josling, who chipped in a shot from the bottom of the left circle. Wheeling continued to shine in the defensive zone, as the club closed out its first win of the season in shutout fashion, 2-0.
Taylor Gauthier couldn't have asked for a better first career win for the Nailers, as he thwarted all 20 shots he faced for the shutout. He is the first Wheeling netminder since Eric Hartzell (November 14, 2013) to earn a shutout for his first pro victory. Bailey Brkin also turned in a strong performance in the other crease, as he made 37 saves on 39 shots for the Heartlanders.
The Nailers will get ready to embark on their first road trip of the season, as they will visit the Reading Royals on Friday and Saturday at 7:00. Wheeling's next homestand is November 11, 12, and 13. Friday, November 11th is Military Appreciation Night and a Frosty Friday, as the Nailers battle Kalamazoo at 7:10. Then, Fort Wayne comes to town for a 7:10 Saturday game and a 4:10 Sunday tilt. Saturday, November 12th is Martial Arts Night and Sunday, November 13th has a post game skate with odd-numbered players. Season memberships, Big 6 ticket plans, and single game tickets are available for the 2022-23 season by visiting wheelingnailers.com or 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.