WHEELING, WV- Strong starts are always crucial in the final game of a 3-in-3 weekend, and on Sunday afternoon, a two-goal first period gave the Fort Wayne Komets the early lift they were looking for. Griffin Lunn netted his first professional goal for the Wheeling Nailers, but at that point, the damage had been done, as Fort Wayne collected a 5-1 win at WesBanco Arena.
Two goals in a span of 1:25 put the Komets ahead by a pair in the opening stanza. On the opening marker, Samuel Dove-McFalls delivered a perfect pass from the right point to the left side of the low slot, where Mark Rassell redirected the feed up and into the top-left corner of the net. Fort Wayne followed that up with a 2-on-1 rush, as Matthew Boudens deposited a cross-slot feed from Tye Felhaber.
A bit of energy got breathed into the game in the early stages of the second period, when Félix Paré threw down the gloves with Joe Masonius. Unfortunately for the Nailers, their deficit grew by one later in the frame. Stefano Giliati saucered a pass to the front of the net, where the puck was tipped in by Joshua Winquist.
Tye Felhaber and Blake Siebenaler tacked on insurance for Fort Wayne in the third period, as Felhaber sniped a shot into the top-right corner, and Siebenaler went against the grain with a backhander in the slot. Wheeling was able to spoil the shutout bid with less than a minute remaining, when Samuel Tremblay set up Griffin Lunn for a one-timer, which he roofed for his first professional goal. The final score was 5-1 in favor of the Komets.
Ryan Fanti picked up the win for Fort Wayne, as he turned away 24 of the 25 shots he faced. Taylor Gauthier saw his four-game winning streak come to an end, despite a 32-save effort on 37 Komets shots.
The Nailers will spend the upcoming weekend on the road, as they will visit the Toledo Walleye on Friday at 7:15, then travel to Indy to face the 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, November 23rd 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.