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Four-Goal First Gives Iowa the Win

Saturday, November 25th
Four-Goal First Gives Iowa the Win

WHEELING, WV- The story of Saturday night's game at WesBanco Arena was the first period, as the Iowa Heartlanders were ready from the drop of the puck. Iowa turned on the red light four times in the opening frame, en route to a 6-2 win at WesBanco Arena. Brett Budgell and Louie Boudon each had three-point nights for the Heartlanders, while Isaac Belliveau assisted on both Wheeling Nailers goals, scored by Evan Vierling and Tanner Laderoute.

The first period was all Iowa, as the visitors broke out to a 4-0 lead with a 16-5 advantage in shots. All four tallies came off of perfectly executed passing plays. Will Calverley was first on the board, as he crashed to the left side of the crease, where he redirected Brett Budgell's pass into the cage. The Heartlanders got their next two goals on the man advantage. Louis Boudon clobbered a one-time feed from Landon Kosior in the right circle, then Boudon set up Odeen Tufto, who threaded a one-timer through Michael McNiven's legs from the middle of the slot. Davis Koch finished the scoring in the stanza, when he tipped in a pass from Yuki Miura off the rush. Peter Laviolette III gave his team some life as the buzzer sounded, as he threw down the gloves with Adam Goodsir.

The Nailers began to claw back in the middle frame. Evan Vierling collected the first goal for the home squad, as he scooped in the rebound of Lukas Svejkovsky's slot from the left side of the crease. 4:53 later, Dillon Hamaliuk shed off a defender, then centered the puck to Tanner Laderoute, who chipped a shot into the top-right corner of the net. Unfortunately, Iowa slowed Wheeling's momentum just 24 seconds after that, when Budgell rolled a loose puck in on the line, following Jake Durflinger's initial rush.

Budgell potted one more on the power play with 2:56 left in the game, as the Heartlanders prevailed, 6-2.

Hunter Jones recorded the win for Iowa, as he turned away 29 of the 31 shots he faced. Michael McNiven received the loss for the Nailers, as he made 30 saves on 36 shots.

The Nailers and Heartlanders will collide again on Sunday afternoon at 4:10. That game will be a Screen Time Sunday, in which one lucky fan will win a free TV courtesy of Walmart. Following the game, fans will have the opportunity to skate with the odd-numbered players. Kids can also get $2 sundaes at Flurry's. The next Big Six game is Wheeling Wonderland on Saturday, December 9th. That night will have a Pom Pom Hat Giveaway, the Small Business Holiday Village, a chance to meet Santa and other characters, free hot chocolate, and the annual Teddy Bear Toss. 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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