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Toledo Advances With Overtime Win

Friday, May 10th
Toledo Advances With Overtime Win

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers emptied the tank on Saturday night in game four of the Central Division Final against the Toledo Walleye at WesBanco Arena. Unfortunately, the bounces didn't go the way of the home team, as Toledo's Riley Sawchuk changed onto the ice to replace a teammate who lost his helmet, and snapped home a power play goal in overtime. The Walleye defeated the Nailers, 3-2 to win the series, 4-0.

The Nailers brought great energy to start the game, and were able to build a 13-8 shots advantage, while throwing the body around in a 0-0 first period. Wheeling ultimately broke through at the 8:09 mark of the middle frame. Matthew Quercia wound his way into the right circle, and fired a shot toward the goal. Dillon Hamaliuk crashed toward the crease and got a piece of the Quercia attempt to put his team on the scoreboard. With 3:06 remaining in the period, Brandon Hawkins netted the equalizer for Toledo, as he roofed a wrist shot off of the crossbar and in from the right side of the slot.

The two teams exchanged goals in the third period in the opposite order. Chase Gresock put the Walleye in front at the 1:32 mark, when he took a drop pass from Brandon Kruse, and lifted a wrist shot into the top-left corner of the cage. The Nailers drew even on the power play. Jordan Martel set up Justin Lee for a center point one-timer, which was tipped home by Justin Addamo with 10:43 left on the clock.

For the second time in the series, the contest progressed to overtime. Both sides received a power play in the extra session. Unfortunately, Wheeling came up empty, and Toledo cashed in. Orrin Centazzo lost his helmet and left the ice in favor of Riley Sawchuk. Sawchuk ended up receiving a pass from Alexandre Doucet and snapping a shot into the top-left corner of the goal to end the game 3-2 for the Walleye.

Jan Bednar picked up the win for Toledo, as he made 24 saves on 26 shots. Taylor Gauthier stopped 33 of the 36 shots he faced in his playoff debut for the Nailers.

That puts a close on the 2023-24 season for the Wheeling Nailers - the 32nd in team history. The Nailers would like to extend a humongous thank you to all of their amazing fans for a terrific season of support on and off of the ice, and look forward to another spectacular season starting in the fall.

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