TOLEDO, OH- The weather outside in Toledo on Friday night was freezing, but the excitement at Huntington Center was plenty hot enough. The Wheeling Nailers erased three separate deficits against the Toledo Walleye, then led when it mattered the most. Brooklyn Kalmikov gave Wheeling the 5-4 triumph, as he capitalized on a turnover at the 3:36 mark of overtime. Josh Maniscalco notched three points in his 100th pro game, while Cam Hausinger also racked up two goals and an assist for the victorious Nailers.
After allowing the opening goal, the Nailers rebounded to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission. Toledo's marker came 47 seconds after a successful penalty kill. Brandon Hawkins slipped a pass up to Brett McKenzie, who wired in a slap shot from the top of the left circle. Wheeling dusted itself off and promptly responded 1:48 later with an equalizer. Josh Maniscalco threw in a shot from the right wing wall, which got booted directly to Cam Hausinger, who pounded the rebound into the open cage. With 2:13 left, the Nailers went ahead on the power play. Brooklyn Kalmikov teed a pass up for Maniscalco, who stepped in and bombed home a one-timer from the top of the right circle.
The lone tally of the second period went to the Walleye, who squared the score on a man advantage of their own. Gordie Green plated a pass along the ice, which allowed Thomas Ebbing the opportunity to convert on a redirection, as he sent the puck into the left side of the goal.
The offenses cranked up in drastic fashion during the third, as both teams lit the lamp twice. Toledo led on a pair of occasions, starting at the 11:09 mark, when McKenzie finished an odd-man rush with Gordie Green on the left side. Wheeling answered that goal 1:30 later, when Hausinger snatched the rebound of a Chris Ortiz attempt off the back wall. With 2:16 remaining, the Walleye went ahead again, when Mitchell Heard roofed a wrist shot from the right side of the slot. That lead lasted just 17 seconds, before Justin Addamo knotted the contest with a wrist shot along the ice from the bottom of the left circle.
The match proceeded to overtime, and at the 3:36 mark, the Nailers got to celebrate. Kalmikov and Maniscalco forced a turnover along the right boards, which led to Kalmikov ending the game 5-4 in Wheeling's favor with a wrist shot into the left side of the net.
Taylor Gauthier collected the win for the Nailers, as he stopped 33 of the 37 shots he faced. John Lethemon took the overtime loss for Toledo, as he made 27 saves on 32 shots.
The Nailers will now get to enjoy their holiday break, before returning to the ice on Wednesday at 7:00, when they visit the Reading Royals. Wheeling will then play host to Reading for a pair of games on New Year's Weekend. Friday's 7:10 game will be a Frosty Friday with $2 beers, then Saturday's 6:10 tilt on New Year's Eve will feature a team calendar giveaway to the first 1,500 fans. Wizards & Wands is also coming up soon on Saturday, January 14th. Ticket packages 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.