(16-14-2-0, 34 PTS, T-3rd North, T-6th East)
112 GF, 105 GA
PP: 22.0% (29-for-132), 1st
PK: 80.5% (103-for-128), 22nd
21-F-Cam Brown (6 goals, 24 assists, 30 points in 32 games)
23-F-Garrett Meurs (13 goals, 14 assists, 27 points in 29 games)
8-F-Nick Sorkin (3 goals, 20 assists, 23 points in 30 games)
14-F-Riley Bourbonnais (6 goals, 9 assists, 15 points in 29 games)
26-D-Kevin Schulze (2 goals, 10 assists, 12 points in 19 games)
5-D-Danny Fick (10 assists, 10 points in 30 games)
30-G-Colin Stevens (2-1-1 record, 2.97 GAA, .912 Sv% in 4 games)
(11-17-2-1, 25 PTS, 6th South, 12th East)
94 GF, 123 GA
PP: 17.8% (27-for-152), 14th
PK: 83.8% (114-for-136), 11th
7-F-Brodie Dupont (11 goals, 21 assists, 32 points in 31 games)
14-F-Darik Angeli (12 goals, 11 assists, 23 points in 26 games)
16-F-Thomas Frazee (6 goals, 15 assists, 21 points in 24 games)
4-D-Michael Young (4 goals, 11 assists, 15 points in 28 games)
25-D-TJ Melancon (5 goals, 8 assists, 13 points in 26 games)
8-F-Domenic Alberga (3 goals, 8 assists, 11 points in 31 games)
33-G-Ty Reichenbach (7-8-1 record, 3.33 GAA, .912 Sv% in 17 games)
Head to Head
Season Series: Nailers 2, Admirals 1
Season Series at Norfolk Scope Arena: Nailers 1, Admirals 1
All-Time Series: Nailers 5, Admirals 4
All-Time Series at Norfolk Scope Arena: Nailers 3, Admirals 3
Waving Good Bye to 2017
The Wheeling Nailers closed out the 2017 calendar year last weekend, and after a tough 3-in-3, they are ready to turn the page to 2018. After falling 5-2 to Fort Wayne and 5-4 to Toledo, the Nailers were hoping for a better result on Sunday against the Indy Fuel at WesBanco Arena. Troy Josephs put Wheeling ahead in the first period, batting home a loose puck in the crease. Indy pulled even at the 1:06 mark of the second period on a right circle wrister by Riley Sweeney. The score stayed tied until a Fuel power play with 3:52 left, when Johnny McInnis tipped in Anthony Cortese's point shot. Sweeney tacked on an empty netter for what actually turned out to be the game winner in a 3-2 result, as Cody Wydo scored for the Nailers with 28 seconds remaining. Etienne Marcoux made 43 saves in the win for Indy, while Colin Stevens returned to the Wheeling crease with 27 stops.
They Wanted to Stick Around for More
The Norfolk Admirals have played in three straight games that have required extra time, including back-to-back nights last weekend against the Jacksonville IceMen. In Friday's game, all six regulation goals were scored in the first two periods, as Norfolk and Jacksonville were deadlocked, 3-3. Josh Erickson of the IceMen ended up breaking the tie at the 1:53 mark of overtime, giving the visitors the first win at Norfolk Scope Arena. On Saturday night, the host Admirals fell behind 3-0 and 4-3, before Darik Angeli forced bonus hockey by scoring with 2:44 left in regulation. That goal completed a hat trick for Angeli, who is Norfolk's active leading scorer, as he enters Wednesday with 12 tallies. However, Jacksonville prevailed for the second night in a row, as Tim Daly was the lone scorer in the shootout, and Austin Lotz kept the Admirals at bay for a 5-4 decision.
We Welcome the New Year
The start of a new calendar year has typically been very welcoming for the Nailers, who will play their first contest of 2018 on Wednesday night in Norfolk. In doing so, Wheeling will be looking for its seventh consecutive win to start a new year, although this year's tilt will have a bit of a different look to it, as five of the previous six victories were collected at WesBanco Arena. The lone exception was 2015, when the Nailers rallied from 3-0 and 4-3 deficits to stun the Fort Wayne Komets, 5-4 at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. Wheeling opened the 2017 calendar year with a bang, shutting out the Toledo Walleye, 6-0 on home ice on January 6th. In their first 25 years of existence, the Nailers and Thunderbirds have combined to post an 18-6-1 mark in their opening match of January.
Starting to Put it Together
It's never easy to recover when a team stumbles out of the gate, but the Admirals have done their best to rebound after a very ugly start to the 2017-18 campaign. Norfolk won just three of its first 15 games, including a stretch in which it went 1-10-1. However, the month of December began to turn things around for the Admirals, who have picked up points in five straight games (3-0-2), while posting a 7-4-2 record in their last 13 contests. Despite being six games under .500, Norfolk has closed to within six points of the final playoff spot in the South Division, with two games in hand on both Orlando and Atlanta. The Nailers begin the 2018 calendar year in a tie for third place in the North Division. Manchester has built an eight-point lead at the top of the grouping, while the other five clubs are separated by a total of eight points.
Came Back for One
Wednesday night marks the fourth of six head-to-head meetings between the Nailers and Admirals this season, as well as the third of four battles at Norfolk Scope Arena. Wheeling and Norfolk split a two-game series in Virginia back in November, after the Nailers took the opening clash at home, 5-3. Garrett Meurs has been the most productive player in the first three tilts, as he leads the way with four goals and six points. Brodie Dupont is the leader for the Admirals with five points in the three games. The Nailers and Admirals will get very accustomed to seeing each other in the near future, as the two teams will play a pair of games at WesBanco Arena next weekend. Once that set is complete, Wheeling will be almost finished with its Southern Division slate, with three games left in Orlando. The Nailers are 4-1-0 against the South Division thus far this season, with two wins each against Norfolk and Greenville.