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Iowa Edges Wheeling, 3-2 in Overtime

Wednesday, March 13th
Iowa Edges Wheeling, 3-2 in Overtime

CORALVILLE, IA- The Wheeling Nailers picked up one point, but fell short on their quest for a second on Wednesday night, as they played the opening game of three straight against the Iowa Heartlanders at Xtream Arena. Ben Brinkman snapped a 2-2 tie on an odd-man rush at the 3:50 mark of overtime to lift Iowa to the 3-2 triumph. Both of the Nailers goals were scored on the power play, as Justin Lee and Tanner Laderoute turned on the red light.

The Nailers got off to an excellent start, as they controlled the play in the opening minutes, and scored the opening goal on the power play. All five players on the ice touched the puck, beginning with David Jankowski's face-off win at the start of the man advantage. The final touch of the puck came just eight seconds later, as Evan Vierling fed Justin Lee, who crushed in a one-time rocket from the left face-off dot. Iowa tied the score later in the first period with some puck luck. Pavel Novak sent a bouncing pass toward the goal, which bounced off of Evan Boucher and in for the marker.

The teams exchanged goals again in the middle frame, and did so in reverse order. The Heartlanders took the lead at the 8:26 mark, as they converted on an odd-man rush. Jonny Sorenson poked the puck out of a scrum along the wall, and sprung his team on a 2-on-1 break. Kyle Masters led the charge on the left side, and kept the puck to himself, as he wired a left circle shot off of the right post and in. With 3:44 left in the period, Wheeling drew even with a second power play strike. Matt Koopman battled his way through some traffic in the left circle, and pushed the puck toward the goal, where it was tipped home by Tanner Laderoute.

The third period saw the most shots, as the two squads combined for 23. However, neither side could snap the deadlock, which led to extra hockey. At the 3:50 mark of overtime, Iowa got an odd-man rush and collected the bonus point. Ben Brinkman carried the puck into the left circle and sniped a shot into the right side of the cage for the 3-2 home win.

Payton Jones got the victory in goal for the Heartlanders, as he thwarted 34 of the 36 shots he faced. Taylor Gauthier made 29 saves on 32 shots in the overtime defeat for the Nailers.

The Nailers and Heartlanders will play twice more in Iowa this weekend on Friday at 7:35 and Sunday at 7:05. Wheeling's next home game is Education Day against the Indy Fuel on March 19th at 10:45 a.m. That will be the first of four straight home contests for the Nailers, which will also feature the next Big Six Promotional Game - Wizards & Wands on March 23rd. The first 2,500 fans at Wizards & Wands will receive a free wizard wand. There will also be acceptance letters to Wizarding School, specialty jerseys, Butter Beer, Quidditch, and more. 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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