WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers faced a tall hill on Sunday afternoon, as they trailed by two goals in the third period, while playing their fourth game in five days. Despite forcing overtime to earn a point, Wheeling wasn't able to get into the win column. Chad Nychuk scored on the lone shot of the extra period to give the Kalamazoo Wings a 3-2 victory at WesBanco Arena. Carter Johnson and Brooklyn Kalmikov both had a goal and an assist for the Nailers.
The Nailers controlled the play in the first period, as they outshot Kalamazoo, 14-3, but neither team was able to find the twine. The scoreless bout continued in the middle frame, as only ten combined shots found their way on target.
Both offenses finally came alive in the third, as each side put two goals on the board. The Wings broke the deadlock at the 3:25 mark off of a turnover. Max Humitz had his shot stopped, but Brandon Saigeon followed up, and clobbered a slap shot into the top-right corner. 3:31 later, Matheson Iacopelli won a face-off to Anthony Florentino, whose shot from the left wall got tipped in by Darby Llewellyn. Wheeling battled back extremely hard to earn a point with two tallies in a span of 2:31. David Drake created the first goal, as he tossed a shot on target, which produced a rebound for Brooklyn Kalmikov, who touched a pass to Carter Johnson for a backhand goal from the low slot. The equalizer had the forwards go in the reverse order, as it was Johnson making the pass to Kalmikov for a tap-in on the left side of the crease.
Overtime was over in the blink of an eye. Chad Nychuk flew into the offensive zone, and zipped a wrist shot into the right side of the cage just 33 seconds into the extra stanza for the 3-2 Kalamazoo win.
Hunter Vorva was the winning netminder for the second straight Sunday for the Wings, as he stopped 26 of the 28 shots he faced. Bailey Brkin sufffered the overtime defeat for the Nailers, as he made 15 saves on 18 shots.
The Nailers will spend the next two weeks on the road. The first of four straight contests on enemy ice will take place on Saturday night, when they meet up with the Kalamazoo Wings at 7:00. Wheeling's next home game is a Frosty Friday on February 3rd, when they welcome the Iowa Heartlanders to town for a 7:10 face-off. Saturday, February 4th is also a 7:10 game against Iowa, and that will be the annual Pups & Pucks Game, when fans are invited to bring their dogs to the game. The next Big 6 Promotional Game is Pittsburgh Penguins Night on Saturday, February 11th at 7:10 against the Norfolk Admirals. 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.