WHEELING, WV- The old saying goes that turnabout is fair play, and the Wheeling Nailers turned the tables against the Idaho Steelheads at WesBanco Arena on Saturday night. One night after Idaho erased a 2-0 deficit with five straight goals, Wheeling did the exact same thing. The Nailers trailed 2-0 in the second period, then found the back of the net five times in a span of 7:38 to reverse the result and collect a 5-2 triumph on home ice. Tanner Laderoute led the way offensively with two goals, while Michael McNiven was magnificent with 34 saves in his Nailers debut.
The first period was evenly played, but one mistake made the difference, as a Wheeling turnover resulted in a goal by the Steelheads. The Nailers reversed the puck into their trapezoid, where A.J. White made an interception. White quickly delivered a pass into the bottom of the right circle, where Keaton Mastrodonato belted in a one-timer along the ice.
Mark Rassell's unassisted goal gave Idaho a 2-0 lead in the early stages of the middle frame, but the rest of the period belonged to Wheeling, as the home squad rattled off five straight goals in a span of 7:38. Jordan Frasca was first on the board for the Nailers, as he wired in a slap shot from the left circle, off of a drop pass from Dillon Hamaliuk. Hamaliuk picked up the primary helper on Wheeling's equalizer as well, as he placed a perfect pass to the top-right corner of the crease, where Tanner Laderoute touched the puck into the cage. 52 seconds later, the Nailers took the lead. Isaac Belliveau drove a shot on goal from the left point, which got stopped, but Matthew Quercia instantly scooped the rebound up and over Bryan Thomson's right leg pad. 1:53 after that, the red light got turned on again. David Drake let a wrist shot go from the left point, which deflected off of Justin Addamo and found its way into the net. Laderoute struck again with 5:06 to go, as he deposited the rebound of Raivis Ansons' power play attempt.
Momentum had a chance to shift early in the third, but Michael McNiven made it clear that was going to be his period to shine. The Wheeling netminder denied Mark Rassell's penalty shot attempt 1:55 into the stanza, and proceeded to stop all 18 shots sent his way in the 20-minute session, as the Nailers finished off the 5-2 win.
Michael McNiven earned the victory in his Wheeling debut, as he denied 34 of the 36 shots he faced. Bryan Thomson took the loss for Idaho, as he allowed five goals on 35 shots.
The Nailers and Steelheads will wrap up their weekend series in Wheeling on Sunday at 4:10. Sunday's game is a Screentime Sunday, in which one lucky fan will win a free TV courtesy of Walmart. There will also be a post game skate with even-numbered players, and $2 sundaes will be available for kids. Other exciting upcoming promotions include Thanksgiving Eve with IWC Wrestling on November 22nd and First Responders Night on November 25th. 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.