NORFOLK, VA- The Wheeling Nailers put their seven-game winless skid to bed in a big way on Wednesday night, as they played the first of three games at Norfolk Scope Arena this week. Brooklyn Kalmikov was the brightest star of the game, as he kick-started a three-goal first period by Wheeling and ended up with a hat trick and an assist. Tyler Drevitch posted his fifth multi-goal game of the season, while Jarrett Lee dished out three primary assists in his professional debut. That all added up to an 8-4 Nailers triumph.
The first period was a superior one for the Nailers, as they came out with a purpose, and quickly put three goals on the scoreboard. The first two markers looked extremely similar with the finishing touches, as Jarrett Lee started his pro career with a pair of tape-to-tape feeds through the slot to Brooklyn Kalmikov. Kalmikov deposited both passes into the left side of the net, with one coming at the 6:27 mark, and the other at 11:03. Wheeling wasn't done there, and on goal number three, Kalmikov started the play with a pass from his own end, as he sent Tyler Drevitch and Jordan Frasca away on a 2-on-1 break. Drevitch dished the puck to Frasca, who stepped into the left circle and roofed a wrist shot into the top-right corner of the cage.
Norfolk pushed back with two tallies in the middle frame. The first one came just 18 seconds in, as Carson Musser led Darren McCormick into the left circle, where he sifted a wrist shot in along the ice. Ryan Foss temporarily brought the Admirals within one, when he took Ian White's right point shot from ice level and redirected it up and into the top-right corner of the net. The Nailers answered that strike 1:11 later to carry their two-goal lead into the intermission. Cédric Desruisseaux stole the puck in the offensive zone, then zipped a left circle wrist shot into the right side of the goal.
The first two periods saw six total goals scored, and the third period matched that. Wheeling took full control of the game early in the stanza with a power play tally. Jordan Frasca slid a pass to Kalmikov, who completed his hat trick by driving a one-timer from the top of the right circle off of the left post and in. Tyler Drevitch and Gianluca Esteves followed with goals 1:44 apart from each other, as Drevitch tapped home a loose puck on the left side of the crease, and Esteves chipped a pass from Lee into the top-right corner. Todd Burgess notched back-to-back markers for the Admirals, before Drevitch turned turned out the lights with the final goal of the night, as he blazed a shot through his college teammate Troy Kobryn for the 8-4 score.
Tommy Nappier recorded the win for the Nailers, as he made 25 saves on 29 shots. Tomas Vomacka allowed four goals on 11 shots for Norfolk in two periods, before giving way to Troy Kobryn, who received the loss with 13 saves on 17 shots in the third.
The Nailers and Admirals will continue their three-game series in Norfolk on Friday night at 7:05, then wrap things up with the finale on Saturday night at 6:05. The next home game is Wheeling Hockey Hall of Fame Night on Friday, March 24th at 7:10 against the Kalamazoo Wings. Former Nailers Head Coach Peter Laviolette and former Thunderbird Brock Woods are the two inductees. That night is also a Frosty Friday. 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.