KALAMAZOO, MI- The Wheeling Nailers knew they deserved a better result in Cincinnati, and they carried that attitude into Wings Event Center, as they completely controlled Saturday night's game at Wings Event Center. On the offensive side, Cédric Desruisseaux extended his goal scoring streak to four games with a pair of tallies, and Gianluca Esteves turned in a multiple point effort with a goal and an assist. Tommy Nappier took care of the rest of the work, as he became the first ever Wheeling goaltender to record a shutout in Kalamazoo, as the Nailers blanked the Wings, 5-0.
The Nailers played a dominant first period, as they scored three goals on 17 shots, while also picking up a victorious fight, courtesy of Félix Paré. Wheeling's first tally of the evening came at the 4:15 mark. Matt Alfaro laid a pass through the slot to Cédric Desruisseaux, who was able to find a hole above the pad and below the blocker on Evan Cormier. Gianluca Esteves added to the lead with a thing of beauty at the 12:25 mark, when he redirected Adam Smith's shot from the left wall in off of the right post. Davis Bunz put one more on the board for the visitors, and it was a special one for him, as he stepped into the right circle and drilled a shot into the left side of the cage for his first professional goal. Jordan Frasca picked up an assist on that goal in his pro debut.
The red light kept shining in the middle frame, as the Nailers put two more on the right side of the scoreboard. At the 8:12 mark, Esteves dished a pass into the slot for Carter Johnson, who slammed a one-time drive into the left side of the goal. Desruisseaux added his second of the contest with 7:06 to go, when he banged in a cross-slot pass from Alfaro below the right circle.
The third period was all about getting the match to the finish line, as Wheeling outshot Kalamazoo, 7-2 to put the wraps on the 5-0 triumph.
Tommy Nappier earned his first shutout as a Nailer and second of his pro career, as he denied all 17 shots he faced. Evan Cormier took the loss for the Wings, as he made 33 saves on 38 shots.
The Nailers will play one more road game on Wednesday against the Indy Fuel at 7:00, before finally returning home to WesBanco Arena. Wheeling will host the Fuel on Friday at 7:10, which is a Frosty Friday, featuring $2 beers. The Nailers will also be home next Sunday at 4:10 against the Cincinnati Cyclones, and following that game, fans will have the opportunity to skate with the even-numbered players. Other exciting upcoming promotions include the annual New Year's Eve Game, as well as Wizards & Wands on January 14th. Following that contest, fans will get the chance to skate with the even-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.