INDIANAPOLIS, IN- Some night, the breaks go your way, and some nights, they don't. Although the deciding goal was scored midway through the second period, the Indy Fuel got two huge breaks late in the first period to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead in Wednesday's clash against the Wheeling Nailers at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. Power plays were also a notable story in this game, as Jon Martin's game winner came during one of Indy's eight man advantages, lifting the Fuel to the 3-2 win. Cédric Desruisseaux and David Jankowski were the goal scorers for Wheeling.
The first period started exactly how the Nailers envisioned it, but the final two minutes spiraled away to Indy. Wheeling opened the scoring on the man advantage 1:44 into the match. The team won the face-off to start the power play, and quickly started moving the puck to create a shot. That shot came from Cédric Desruisseaux, who returned to the lineup, and roofed a wrist shot into the top-left corner of the net from the top of the left circle. With 1:25 remaining, the Fuel pulled even. Andrew Bellant beat out an icing race, then assisted in winning a puck battle along the wall. Kyle Maksimovich then carried the puck into the slot, before tossing a backhander into the right side of the cage. The Nailers received a glorious chance to take a lead, when Indy was called for back-to-back penalties 42 seconds apart from each other. However, the Fuel flipped the script with a shorthanded strike, as Bryan Lemos broke away, and shoveled a wrist shot into the top-left corner with under four seconds left.
Special teams continued to play a role in the middle frame, as both teams struck on the power play. Wheeling drew even at the 9:11 mark. Thimo Nickl set up Justin Lee for a one-timer from the right circle, which got stopped, but David Jankowski crashed in to deposit the rebound. However, Indy regained the lead 1:24 later, as Seamus Malone touched the puck to the top of the crease, where Jon Martin had a tap-in.
The Nailers had a difficult time generating chances in the third period, as they were limited to five shots, and the Fuel held on for the 3-2 decision.
Mitchell Weeks picked up the win for Indy, as he made 20 saves on 22 shots. Taylor Gauthier suffered the defeat, despite turning aside 26 of the 29 shots he faced.
The Nailers will play two home games this weekend. The first is Friday night at 7:10 against Toledo, which is a Frosty Friday featuring $2 beer specials. Then, Sunday at 4:10, Wheeling faces Kalamazoo on a Screen Time Sunday, in which one lucky fan will win a free TV courtesy of Walmart. Additionally, fans will be able to skate with the even-numbered players following Sunday's contest, and $2 sundaes will be available for kids 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.