TOLEDO, OH- Timing was everything for the Wheeling Nailers on Friday night, as they earned a win at Toledo's Huntington Center for the second straight week. Chris Ortiz netted a shorthanded goal late in the second period, then Sean Josling snapped a tied score midway through third, as the Nailers edged the Toledo Walleye, 2-1 to improve their road record to 3-1-0. Wheeling also received top-notch goaltending from Ryan Bednard, who made 31 saves.
Goals were challenging to come by, as the two squads played to a scoreless first period, before trading tallies in the middle frame. Toledo was first on the board at the 4:28 mark, while playing on the man advantage. Ryan Lowney walked the puck into the high slot, where he sifted a shot through three bodies and into the net. The Nailers responded with a shorthanded marker, thanks to some perfect timing. Chris Ortiz exited the penalty box, and was immediately given a pass by Adam Smith. Ortiz broke away, and ripped a wrist shot into the left side of the cage.
As the contest progressed, it was starting to become clear that one shot could make the difference. With 9:59 to go, that shot went Wheeling's way. The Nailers did a remarkable job fending off a scramble around their net, led by Josh McKechney, who made great plays on both ends. After ending the play defensively, he dropped a pass to Sean Josling, who cruised through the slot and into the right circle, where he buried the go-ahead strike. Wheeling's defense limited the Walleye to eight shots in the third period, which helped the visitors preserve the 2-1 triumph.
Ryan Bednard was excellent once again in goal for the Nailers, as he earned his first win with the team by denying 31 of the 32 shots he faced. Sebastian Cossa made 28 saves on 30 shots for Toledo.
The Nailers will have Saturday off, when they will make their way to Indianapolis to face the Indy Fuel on Sunday at 5:00. Wheeling and Indy will meet up again at WesBanco Arena in the Nailers' next home game, which is Thanksgiving Eve on Wednesday at 7:10. $2 beers will be available that night. The next Big Six Promotional Night is less than three weeks away, as the Nailers 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.