WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers put together a terrific bounceback effort on Sunday afternoon, as they avenged Saturday's setback and defeated the Iowa Heartlanders, 4-1 at WesBanco Arena. Lukas Svejkovsky led the way offensively with two goals and an assist, while Taylor Gauthier was sensational in goal with 28 saves.
Defense and goaltending shined in the first half of the contest, as neither team was able to break through in the opening 31 minutes of play. The Nailers finally got the first goal of the match with 8:21 left in the second. Evan Vierling had his attempt kicked away, but the rebound slid out to Davis Bunz, who drilled a shot into the top portion of the net. Wheeling followed that up with another tally 1:43 later. Lukas Svejkovsky dragged the puck out of the right corner, then dangled his way to the slot, where he sifted in a backhander. Iowa got on the board with 1:07 left in the stanza, when Adam Goodsir zipped in a shot from the right circle.
Exceptional goaltending from Taylor Gauthier kept the Nailers in the lead in the early stages of the third, before his team tacked on a pair of insurance markers in the final five minutes. Svejkovsky extended the advantage with his second of the tilt, as he tapped in a loose puck in the crease, which was originally sent there by Vierling. Matt Koopman applied the final exclamation point on the 4-1 triumph with an empty netter.
Taylor Gauthier earned the victory for Wheeling, as he thwarted 28 of the 29 shots he faced. Peyton Jones took the loss for the Heartlanders, as he made 30 saves on 33 shots.
The Nailers play four more games in a five-day span in the coming week. The stretch begins on Wednesday in Indy at 7:00. Wheeling's first home game of the week is a Frosty Friday on December 1st at 7:10 against Toledo. The team will go back to Indy again on Saturday at 7:00, before returning home to conclude the week on Sunday at 4:10 against Kalamazoo. Sunday's game is a Screen Time Sunday, in which one lucky fan will win a new TV courtesy of Walmart. Fans will also have the opportunity to skate with the even-numbered players following the Sunday tilt. 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.