FORT WAYNE, IN- This weekend was a tale of two nights for the Wheeling Nailers and Fort Wayne Komets, who both came away with one win for their efforts. Unfortunately for Wheeling, Saturday night's contest belonged to the hosts. Cameron Wright led the way with a natural hat trick for the Komets, while Morgan Adams-Moisan netted a pair of goals in a 7-3 win. Justin Addamo, David Jankowski, and Lukas Svejkovsky all scored on the power play in the third period for the Nailers, who take a 2-1-0 record into their home opener next Saturday.
After getting blown out by rival Toledo on Friday, the Komets started with some angry energy, and used that to build a 2-0 lead in the first period. The opening tally came with 6:01 remaining. Morgan Adams-Moisan skated onto a pass and wound his way into the left side of the offensive zone. As he reached the circle, he let a wrist shot go, which found a home in the right side of the cage. Fort Wayne added another with 2:07 left. Carl Berglund centered a feed to Cameron Wright, who rolled his backhander from the left side of the crease right along the goal line, and eventually inside of the right post.
Wheeling kept the Komets at bay during the first half of the middle frame, but the hosts put two more on the board during the final five minutes. The first strike ended a season-opening run of 13 straight penalty kills by the Nailers, and it came off of a quick passing play. Jack Dugan played the puck to Berglund, who needed less than a second to one-touch a pass to Wright, who drilled in a one-timer from the right side of the slot. Wright completed his natural hat trick 1:48 later, as Ture Linden sent him on a breakaway, which he converted by shelving a shot into the top-right corner.
The power play breathed some life into Wheeling in the third, which started with a Justin Addamo goal 28 seconds in, when he tapped a centering feed from Lukas Svejkovsky into the left side of the twine. However, Fort Wayne responded to that with three straight markers, as Adams-Moisan and Alexis D'Aoust scored 1:24 apart, then Darien Kielb connected with a power play wrist shot from the right circle. The Nailers showed heart until the end, and tallied twice in the final four minutes. David Jankowski buried the rebound of Jordan Frasca's one-timer, and Lukas Svejkovsky whizzed in a wrist shot from the high slot, giving the game a 7-3 final.
Tyler Parks got the win for the Komets, as he made 28 saves on 31 shots. Taylor Gauthier had a busy night for Wheeling, as he came away with 33 stops on 40 shots.
The Nailers will play their home opener on Saturday night at 7:10 against Reading. Opening Night will feature Mad Chad Taylor - the chainsaw juggler, as well as a magnetic schedule giveaway, and the debut of Nail Ale by Big Timber Brewing. Wheeling and Reading will also play on Sunday, November 5th at 4:10, as the Nailers play five straight games at WesBanco Arena. Season memberships and other terrific ticket plans for the 2023-24 season are available now by 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.