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Nailers Drop 2-1 Heartbreaker in Utah

Saturday, February 17th
Nailers Drop 2-1 Heartbreaker in Utah

WEST VALLEY CITY, UT- The Wheeling Nailers played their hearts out on Saturday night at Maverik Center, but unfortunately, their hearts were yanked out of their chests on a late second period goal by the Utah Grizzlies. Brett Stapley scored with 2.3 seconds remaining in the middle stanza to give Utah a 2-1 win, despite a 33-21 shots advantage in Wheeling's favor. Tanner Laderoute netted the lone goal for the Nailers.

Both teams put a tally on the board in the first period, which also saw an early fight win by Shaw Boomhower against Jordon Stone. Utah was first to strike at the 8:59 mark. Aaron Aragon worked the puck up to Kyle Mayhew, who let a wrist shot go from the middle of the blueline. Tyler Penner tipped the attempt down and to the right to collect the goal. Wheeling argued that the goal should not have counted due to Utah goaltender Arvid Holm dislodging his net earlier in the shift without a stoppage. The Nailers bounced back with an equalizer 2:16 later. Louie Roehl stepped into the slot with a wrist shot that whizzed wide to the left. The shot was so powerful that the end board rebound kicked out to Tanner Laderoute, who slid the puck over the right side of the goal line.

The score stayed even until the closing seconds of the middle frame, when the Grizzlies pulled off some late magic to retake the lead. Utah won a defensive zone face-off and rimmed the puck around the left boards, where Brandon Cutler chased the play down. Cutler dropped a pass into the slot, which hopped off of Mick Messner and went to Brett Stapley, who wired a wrist shot into the left side of the cage with 2.3 seconds on the clock.

The Nailers poured everything they had on the Grizzlies in the third period, as they outshot the host squad, 13-1. Unfortunately, a tying goal wasn't in the cards, as Utah held on for the 2-1 decision.

Arvid Holm played the first 68 games of his pro career in the AHL, before winning his ECHL debut by stopping 32 of the 33 shots he faced for the Grizzlies. Jaxon Castor made 19 saves on 21 shots in the defeat for Wheeling.

The Nailers and Grizzlies will have Sunday off, before returning to the ice to conclude their series in Utah on Monday at 5:10. Wheeling's next homestand will take place on February 23rd, 24th, and 25th. The highlight game of the weekend will be Country Night on Saturday the 24th, which features a post game concert by Jason Michael Carroll presented by Generations. 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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