WHEELING, WV– The Nailers looked to improve on a 1-1 weekend as they played their third of three on the weekend. For the first time in a weekend this season the Nailers didn’t have to board the bus, playing all three weekend games at home. With the number one ranked power play entering the game and a high powered offense, in general, they hoped to make one of the better home records a bit better. But, it was the Komets that had other plans.
The Nailers found the scoreboard first as Cody Wydo got a one-time pass from Reid Gardiner and shot it past Michael Houser to give Wheeling a 1-0 lead at 12:13. Dylan Zink was also credited with an assist on the play.
The Komets didn’t wait long to answer…16 seconds to be exact. Shawn Szydlowski took a shot, and Adam Morrison made the first save and couldn’t reach out to corral the rebound and Szydlowski was able to put it home. Mason Baptista and Louick Marcotte got assists on the play.
Wheeling had a great chance just before the buzzer to end the frame as Dan Milan took a shot that Houser made a save. The rebound deflected out into the left side of the goalie, Milan tried to pick it up but couldn’t get it to settle on his backhand.
The game of see-saw continued in the second period.
Fort Wayne came into the zone with numbers at 4:43 Garrett Thompson sent it by Morrison to give Fort Wayne a 2-1 lead. 25 seconds after the go-ahead goal by Thompson, Milan answered for Wheeling. Cam Brown and Freddie Tiffels got the helpers on Milan’s third of the season at 5:08.
Thompson fired a shot low and to the stick side that beat Morrison and Fort Wayne retook the lead 3-2. Szydlowski and Ryan Lowney got assists on Thompson’s second of the game at 13:14 second period.
Neither team was able to solve the goalies in the third period. The Nailers got the closest to it as late in the third while on the power play. Tiffels got the puck past Houser but found the post. As the puck laid in the crease, a Komets player was able to get the puck out and keep the visitors ahead and win the game.
Both teams were unsuccessful on the man advantage as the Komets were 0-for-3 while the hosts finished 0-for-2.
Houser picked up the victory by stopping all 16 third period Nailer shots and 40 of 42 in the contest. Morrison looked strong in the defeat by stopping 31 of 34, including nine in the third. Both goalies were named the second and third stars of the game respectively. With two goals, Thompson was named the game’s number one star.
Wheeling’s next game is this Wednesday against Reading at Santander Arena in Reading. Faceoff is set for 7:00 pm.
Fort Wayne will continue their 2017-18 schedule in Toledo on Wednesday morning at 10:35 am.
Side note: Sunday was “The Voice of the Wheeling Nailers” DJ Abisalih’s 500th game behind the microphone in the Friendly City. Congrats to him on the milestone.
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