Wheeling Nailers Weekly Report, Jan. 2

Wheeling Nailers Weekly Report, Jan. 2

Nailers Begin 2018 with Four Games in Five Days

Last Week

Fri. 12/29 WHEELING NAILERS 2 @ Fort Wayne Komets 5
Brown (Fejes, Zink)
Gardiner (Sorkin, Wydo)
King- 25/29 (1 en)

Sat. 12/30 Toledo Walleye 5 @ WHEELING NAILERS 4
Josephs (Schulze, Sorkin)
Fejes (Fick, Brown)
Bourbonnais (Fejes, Josephs)
Brown (Rissling, Schulze)
King- 19/24

Sun. 12/31 Indy Fuel 3 @ WHEELING NAILERS 2
Josephs (Wydo, Gardiner)
Wydo (Fejes, Josephs)
Stevens- 27/29 (1 en)

Last week, the Wheeling Nailers closed out the 2017 calendar year with three games in three days. Although they didn't get the desired results, they enter the new year in a tie for third place in the North Division, three points up on a playoff spot. On Friday night, the Nailers surrendered a pair of goals in the first period, but drew even with two tallies in the third period, as Cam Brown and Reid Gardiner found the back of the net. The Fort Wayne Komets made one final push, scoring three times in the closing minutes for a 5-2 final score. On Saturday night, Wheeling fell behind by multiple goals again, as the Toledo Walleye took a 3-0 lead. However, another comeback was in store, as Troy Josephs, Hunter Fejes, and Riley Bourbonnais all lit the lamp, knotting the score. A pair of Toledo strikes in the last minute of period put the visitors back on top, before Brown's second in as many nights cut the final margin to 5-4 for the Walleye. On Sunday evening, the Nailers and Indy Fuel battled to a 1-1 tie into the third period. Indy got a power play goal to take a late lead, then added an empty netter, which turned out to be the game winner in a 3-2 decision. Josephs and Cody Wydo were the goal scorers for Wheeling.

The Nailers have been a very disciplined group, as they have been on the penalty kill fewer than three times in ten of their first 32 games. That discipline has been rewarded, as the penalty killers have responded, killing off 31 of the last 34 opposition power plays. Wheeling racked up over 40 shots on goal in the games on Saturday and Sunday, marking the fifth and sixth times that the 40-shot plateau was reached in December, and the eighth and ninth times ths season. Cody Wydo's assist on Sunday was the 150th point of his professional career. Sunday's game was the fourth in five days in four different cities for Wydo, who played in two AHL games and two ECHL contests last week.

This Week

Wed. 1/3 WHEELING NAILERS @ Norfolk Admirals, 7:00
Fri. 1/5 Manchester Monarchs @ WHEELING NAILERS, 7:05
Sat. 1/6 WHEELING NAILERS @ Cincinnati Cyclones, 7:35
Sun. 1/7 Fort Wayne Komets @ WHEELING NAILERS, 3:05

This week, the Wheeling Nailers will open 2018 by diving right into a stretch of four games in five days. On Wednesday night, the Nailers will get the week started at Norfolk Scope Arena, where they will face the Norfolk Admirals. Wheeling has won two of three games against the Admirals this season, taking scores of 5-3 and 6-4 in November. Norfolk occupies sixth place in the South Division, but has points in five straight games (3-0-2), including a three-game road sweep of the Orlando Solar Bears. On Friday night, the Nailers will play their first game of the year against the North Division leading Manchester Monarchs. The Monarchs have built an eight-point lead in the division, thanks to a 6-1-0 mark in their last seven tilts. Wheeling won its lone clash with Manchester in 2016-17. On Saturday night, the Nailers will take a short trip over to Cincinnati to collide with the Cyclones. Cincinnati has come out on top in two of three head-to-head meetings against Wheeling thus far, including a 3-1 decision at home on Black Friday. The Cyclones won three of their four games last week, and are currently in third place in the Central Division. One slot up in that grouping is Sunday's opponent - the Fort Wayne Komets. Fort Wayne has been victorious twice against Wheeling this season, including a 5-2 score last Friday. The Nailers are in the midst of seven straight games against different opponents.

Upcoming Home Games/Promotions
Fri. Jan. 5- Frosty Friday
Sun. Jan. 7- Family Funday, Post Game Skate with the Team (Odd-Numbered Players)
Wed. Jan. 10- WesBanco Winning Wednesday
Fri. Jan. 12- Frosty Friday
Sat. Jan. 13- Bricks & Kids Night, OYO Sports Figurine Giveaway (first 2,500 fans)

Nailers Leaders
Goals: 16, Hunter Fejes
Assists: 24, Cam Brown
Points: 33, Cody Wydo
Penalty Minutes: 60, Garrett Meurs
Plus/Minus: +7, Garrett Meurs
Wins: 8, Sean Maguire
Goals Against Average: 3.04, Adam Morrison
Save Percentage: .910, Sean Maguire
Shutouts: 0

North Division Standings
1. Manchester Monarchs 21-10-1-1, 44 pts.
2. Adirondack Thunder 17-14-1-1, 36 pts.
3. WHEELING NAILERS 16-14-2-0, 34 pts.
4. Reading Royals 16-14-2-0, 34 pts.
5. Brampton Beast 14-13-1-2, 31 pts.
6. Worcester Railers 12-13-2-2, 28 pts.