INDIANAPOLIS, IN- Sunday afternoon's result at Indiana Farmers Coliseum wasn't what the Wheeling Nailers had in mind, but they ended up taking a split in their two-game road weekend. The Indy Fuel netted two goals in each period, including a pair from Alex Wideman, as they were victorious, 6-1 on home ice. Jack Van Boekel collected the lone tally for Wheeling.
The Nailers had a 9-6 advantage in shots during the first period, but it was Indy who scored both of the goals. The first marker came at the 3:52 mark, when Seamus Malone teed up Jan Mandát for a one-timer, which he drove in along the ice from the top of the right circle. The Fuel added to their lead with 3:38 remaining. Shane Kuzmeski had his initial attempt get blocked, but the puck dropped to Alex Wideman in the slot, who quickly slinged a shot into the right side of the cage.
Indy added two more tallies in the middle frame, as the home side doubled its advantage. 4:54 into the period, Wideman scraped the puck off of the boards and delivered a pass to Cameron Hillis, who swirled a right circle wrist shot off the right post and around the inside of the goal. Wideman collected his second goal and third point of the contest with 9:33 left, when he tipped Hillis' feed in from the slot.
Wheeling tried to conjure up some positive energy in the third period, and 1:44 into the stanza, the team found the back of the net, as Jack Van Boekel fired a laser of a slap shot into the top-left corner from straight away. The Nailers nearly got another goal moments later, but came up empty, and the Fuel tacked on two more, as Bryan Lemos potted a wrist shot from the slot, then Cliff Watson clobbered a power play one-timer from the left point for the 6-1 final.
Zach Driscoll backstopped the win for Indy, as he made 28 saves on 29 shots. Ryan Bednard came away with 18 stops on 23 shots for Wheeling, before giving way to Tommy Nappier, who was 7-of-8 in relief.
The Nailers and the Fuel will make their way to Wheeling for a re-match on Wednesday, which is Thanksgiving Eve. There will be $2 beer specials, plus a traditional favorite - turkey bowling. The Nailers will also be home on Sunday at 4:10 against the Toledo Walleye, which will feature a post game skate with the even-numbered players. The next Big Six Promotional Night is less than two weeks away, as Wheeling will celebrate Holiday Palooza on Saturday, December 3rd, with a small business holiday village, specialty jerseys, the annual Teddy Bear Toss, and more. 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.