WHEELING, WV- Saturday night's Holiday Palooza game at WesBanco Arena wasn't quite the Goal Palooza that took place in Fort Wayne on Friday, but the Wheeling Nailers still got the job done to sweep the home-and-home series against the Fort Wayne Komets. Brooklyn Kalmikov and Josh McKechney scored 36 seconds apart from each other in the third period to lift Wheeling to the 4-2 home ice triumph, which also featured the annual Teddy Bear Toss Goal by Josh Maniscalco to benefit the Salvation Army.
Fort Wayne got on the scoreboard first, but good things came to those who waited, as the Nailers rebounded to take a lead into the intermission. Mark Rassell picked up the marker for the Komets, as he cut to the middle of the ice, and proceeded to roof a shot into the top-left corner of the net. Wheeling answered 1:13 later, as teddy bears rained down onto the WesBanco Arena ice. Josh Maniscalco led the charge on a 2-on-1 break, and kept the puck to himself, as he drilled his snap shot into the left side of the cage. Justin Addamo kept his red hot play going with 5:16 remaining in the stanza, as he put enough mustard on his left side shot to squirt the puck through Colton Point and in over the goal line.
The score stayed 2-1 until the closing minutes of the second period, when the Komets tied the match. Filip Engaras fished the puck free on the left side of the crease, and lifted a shot up and into goal.
The early stages of the third period set the tone for the remainder of the tilt, as the Nailers took the lead and added to it in a matter of less than three minutes. The go-ahead strike came at the 2:33 mark, when Brooklyn Kalmikov crashed the net and shoveled the rebound of Colin Swoyer's initial shot up and under the crossbar. Wheeling built off that goal by adding insurance just 36 seconds later, as Josh McKechney broke behind the defense, faked to his backhand, and slipped his first professional goal through Colton Point's legs. The Nailers shut the door the rest of the way, and skated off with the 4-2 win.
Tommy Nappier earned his second straight victory in goal for Wheeling, as he denied 26 of the 28 shots he faced, including all 11 in the third period. Colton Point took the loss for Fort Wayne, as he made 31 saves on 35 shots.
The Nailers will be right back on home ice on Sunday afternoon at 4:10, when they will wrap up the weekend with a game against the Toledo Walleye. Following the contest, fans will have the opportunity to skate with the 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.