WHEELING, WV- Elite goaltending was on display on Sunday afternoon at WesBanco Arena, as Taylor Gauthier of the Wheeling Nailers and Julian Junca of the Tulsa Oilers put on a remarkable show. Each team scored once during regulation, as the two netminders combined for 68 saves. It took until the seventh round of a shootout to determine a winner, and that winner was the Tulsa Oilers, who got a goal from Kishaun Gervais for the 2-1 result.
The Nailers couldn't have asked for a better start, as they needed just 49 seconds to open the scoring. Thimo Nickl tossed a shot toward the goal for the blueline, which created a scramble for the rebound. David Jankowski and Dillon Hamliuk both made contact, with Hamaliuk's final swipe sending the puck home.
The score stayed 1-0 all the way until the 4:18 mark of the third period, when Tulsa pulled even. Wheeling turned the puck over on a breakout, and Dante Sheriff eventually feathered a pass through the slot for Alec Butcher, who slid in a one-timer from the left side of the ice.
Both teams had chances galore, but ran into a pair of goaltenders who weren't budging an inch. Neither side scored for the remainder of regulation and overtime, as the contest progressed to a shootout. David Jankowski led off with a goal in the top-right corner for the Nailers. The Oilers stayed alive in the third round, when Andy Carroll wired in a left side shot. The fourth, fifth, and sixth rounds went by without any scoring, before the match got decided in round seven. Dillon Hamaliuk's shot trickled through Julian Junca, but stopped on the right post. Kishaun Gervais then netted the winner, when he made a plethora of stickhandles, before lifting a backhander into the top of the goal.
Julian Junca earned the win for Tulsa, as he denied 37 of the 38 shots he faced during the game, then went 6-for-7 in the shootout. The game was Junca's third in as many days on the weekend. Taylor Gauthier was also stellar Wheeling, as he stopped 31 of the 32 shots sent his way during the game, then went 5-for-7 in the shootout.
The Nailers will play two more home games next weekend. Wheeling will host Indy on Friday at 7:10, which will be a Frosty Friday and Ugly Sweater Night. Then, on Saturday, Cincinnati comes to town for a 7:10 face-off. Some other exciting upcoming promotions include Kids New Year's Eve on December 31st, and the next Big Six Promotional Game - Super Nailers World on January 13th. 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.