Brochu a Brick Wall in 3-1 Komets Win
FORT WAYNE, IN- For the second time this weekend, the Wheeling Nailers put a shooting gallery on an opposing goaltender, but were unable to get two points to show for their efforts. Wheeling poured 43 shots on rookie goaltender Brett Brochu, who was only beaten in the second period by Tanner Laderoute. The Fort Wayne Komets also succeeded in the special teams department, as Ture Linden scored two power play goals, while Fort Wayne blanked Wheeling's six power plays in a 3-1 win for the home side at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.
The Nailers dominated the first period with a 13-4 shots advantage, but neither squad was able to turn on the red light during the opening 20 minutes. However, both sides wasted little time in getting on the board in the middle frame. Fort Wayne struck first at the 1:26 mark. Wheeling attempted to clear the puck on the penalty kill, but William Provost made a steal and promptly set up Ture Linden, who zipped a wrist shot into the right side of the net. The Nailers answered 22 seconds later on a 2-on-1 break. Dillon Hamaliuk saucered a pass across the slot to Tanner Laderoute, who slammed in the feed as he crashed in on the right side. Although those were the only two goals in period two, there was an enormous save with 2:41 remaining, as Taylor Gauthier denied a penalty shot attempt by Jack Dugan, who led the Komets with 12 points.
Wheeling's power play struggled to dent the twine for the second time on the weekend, and at the 6:43 mark of the third period, Fort Wayne capitalized on its man advantage. Goaltender Brett Brochu launched a pass ahead to Jake Chiasson, who then connected with Linden for a tip-in at the top of the crease. 2:10 later, Alexis D'Aoust collected a key insurance marker for the Komets, as he squirted a shot through from along the goal line. Fort Wayne took 11 of the first 12 shots in the first 8:53 of the third period, but the rest of the stanza belonged to Brochu. The Nailers took 15 of the final 17 shots and finished with 43, but were unable to cash in again, as the Komets prevailed, 3-1.
Brett Brochu was incredible in his ECHL debut for Fort Wayne, as he stopped 42 of 43 shots to earn the victory. Taylor Gauthier made 21 saves on 24 shots for Wheeling.
The Nailers will have three home games in the coming week, starting with Thanksgiving Eve on Wednesday at 7:10 against Toledo. That night will feature live IWC Wrestling, Turkey Bowling, $2 Beer Specials, and a Twisted Tea Special. First Responders Night is later that week on Saturday, November 25th, which will feature the Guns vs. Hoses Game following the Nailers match against Iowa at 7:10. The next Big Six game is Wheeling Wonderland on Saturday, December 9th. 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.
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