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Nailers Start Homestand Successfully With 5-3 Win

Sunday, April 7th
Nailers Start Homestand Successfully With 5-3 Win

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers have four huge home games remaining in the regular season, as they attempt to qualify for the Kelly Cup Playoffs. The first of those was exactly what they were looking for, as they earned a 5-3 victory over the Indy Fuel at WesBanco Arena on Sunday afternoon. Jared Westcott snapped a 2-2 tie by scoring two goals in the third period, and Jaxon Castor made the win stand up with 21 saves.

The first period was a tale of two parts, as Indy started strong, but the Nailers finished stronger. The Fuel opened the scoring at the 4:36 mark, when a Wheeling player swatted a loose puck that went directly to Andrew Bellant in the right circle. Bellant immediately ripped a snap shot into the top-right corner of the cage. The Nailers got things turned around with special teams success. Jared Westcott bounced a pass back to Isaac Belliveau, who skated all the way up to the left face-off dot, and rang a wrist shot in off the right post. Wheeling's second power play took just five seconds to convert, as Tanner Laderoute helped Jordan Frasca win a face-off back to Jordan Martel, who drilled a shot into the top-right corner from the high slot.

The Nailers held onto their lead until 4:43 remained in the middle frame, when Indy pulled even. Bellant led the way on the left side of a 2-on-1 rush, then threaded a pass over to Bryan Lemos, who wound a shot into the right side of the twine.

Wheeling needed a big third period, and that was exactly what it got, thanks to one of the newer members of the squad. At the 6:57 mark, Davis Bunz tossed a shot toward the goal from the right point. The puck kicked to Jared Westcott, who stashed the rebound through Mitchell Weeks to give the Nailers the lead. Westcott struck again at 11:20, as he wrapped the puck around the goal and found daylight just inside of the left post. That tally turned out to be key, as Ross MacDougall brought the Fuel within one during 6-on-5 play with 2:11 left. Wheeling put the finishing touches on its 5-3 triumph with Tanner Laderoute's empty netter.

Jaxon Castor earned the win for the Nailers, as he turned away 21 of the 24 shots he faced. Mitchell Weeks took the loss for Indy, as he made 23 saves on 27 shots.

The Nailers will continue their final regular season homestand on Wednesday at 7:10 against Fort Wayne. This is the rescheduled game from April 5th, and fans with tickets from the April 5th contest can use them on Wednesday. Wheeling will follow that by hosting Toledo for a Frosty Friday at 7:10 on April 12th. Finally, the regular season concludes with Fan Appreciation Night on Saturday, April 13th at 7:10 against Cincinnati. Tons of prizes will be given out throughout the evening, including one grand prize winner, who will receive a trip to Put-In-Bay. 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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