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Bonesaw Helps Nailers Cut Through Iowa in Series Opener, 5-2

Thursday, April 13th
Bonesaw Helps Nailers Cut Through Iowa in Series Opener, 5-2

CORALVILLE, IA- Things got interesting in the closing minutes of Wednesday night's series opener between the Wheeling Nailers and Iowa Heartlanders at Xtream Arena, but in the end, the Nailers had it all the way. After Austin Eastman tied the score with his second goal of the contest, Jarrett Lee put the Nailers ahead with 4:38 to go. Thanks to insurance strikes by Ross Krieger and Keltie Jeri-Leon, Wheeling never looked back, as it earned a 5-2 win. Brad Barone was a big reason his team ended up on the right side of the equation, as he denied 38 shots between the pipes.

Both teams got on the scoreboard in the first period. Iowa collected the first marker of the night, which came just 2:02 into the contest. Justin Michaelian sent an aerial pass to the front of the crease, and got a friendly bounce, as the puck hit off of teammate Austin Eastman and dribbled in over the line. The Nailers had a plethora of chances in the opening stanza, as they peppered the net with 17 shots. The 17th one went in to tie the match. Chris Ortiz carried the puck out of the right corner and set off chaos around the crease. David Jankowski ultimately dragged the puck free, and deposited a wrist shot into the right side of the cage.

Goaltending helped to preserve the 1-1 tie in the early stages of the second period, which featured Brad Barone's best sequence of the evening, as he denied three straight high-grade scoring opportunities. Wheeling fed off of the tremendous play of its keeper and scored a go-ahead marker moments later. Keltie Jeri-Leon helped battle the puck out of the defensive zone, then got rewarded on the other end, when he zipped a pass from Peter Laviolette in from the right circle.

The score stayed that way for over 27 minutes, before the Heartlanders pulled even at the 14:44 mark of the third. Nolan Orzeck drilled a shot from the slot, which was stopped by Barone. However, the rebound fell out to Eastman on the left, who potted his second of the evening. The Nailers immediately put their heads down and battled back to retake the lead 38 seconds later. Cédric Desruisseaux slid a pass into the right circle for Jarrett Lee, who roofed a wrist shot into the top-right corner of the twine. Ross Krieger added a big insurance tally 1:28 after that, when he gobbled up a loose puck in the left circle, and also flew his shot into the right side of the net. Jeri-Leon put the finishing touches on the 5-2 Wheeling triumph with his second of the night, as he found the vacant goal from his own side of the red line.

Brad Barone was outstanding to earn the victory for the Nailers, as he made a season-high 38 saves on 40 shots. Hunter Jones also had a busy night for Iowa, as he came away with 40 stops on 44 attempts in the loss.

The Nailers and Heartlanders will have Thursday off, before concluding the 2022-23 season with games on Friday and Saturday at 8:05 in Coralville. 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.

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