By Bill Engleman
The Wheeling Nailers (3-5-1-0, 7 points) played four games this past week, going 1-2-1-0. The Nailers are second in the Atlantic Division with seven points five behind Reading and one point ahead of Elmira headed into this week’s action.
The Nailers lost in a shoot out on Wednesday at Kalamazoo 3-2, defeated Fort Wayne Friday with a commanding 6-2 win then dropped both games in their home and home with Reading 2-0 on Saturday, and 2-1 on Sunday.
The Nailers traveled to Kalamazoo last Wednesday where they dropped a 3-2 shootout decision to the Wings. After trailing 2-0 early in the third period, Cody Sylvester tallied to cut the deficit to 2-1. Then with 27 seconds left in the third, Jack MacLellan scored to send the game into overtime. The Nailers converted one of four chances in the shootout, while Kalamazoo found the back of the net three times to take the extra point. MacLellan had a goal and an assist, and had the lone goal in the shootout.
On Friday, November 8th, Wheeling visited Fort Wayne, where they once again found themselves trailing, this time 2-1 in the second period. The result was much better this night, as the Nailers rallied to score five unanswered goals to give them a dominating 6-2 win on the road. Carter Rowney was instrumental in the win, tallying the hat trick and recording the game-winning goal for Wheeling. Mike Condon stopped 30 of 32 shots for the victory.
On Saturday, Wheeling came back home to start a two-game set with Reading. Unfortunately the Royals spoiled the home return, shutting out the Nailers 2-0. Eric Hartzell did all he could in net, stopping 31 of 33 shots.
The Nailers completed the home-and-home series on Sunday in Reading, where the Royals jumped out to a 2-0 lead, and held on for a 2-1 victory. Colin Mulvey scored for the Nailers .
After nine games, Rowney has the team lead in points eight and goals five. Denver Manderson leads the team with six assists and is second on the team with seven points.
This week the Nailers will play their division rivals, the Elmira Jackals, three times, starting in Wheeling on Thursday, before moving to Elmira Friday, and returning back to West Virginia for a Saturday night showdown. These will be the second, third and fourth meetings between the clubs this season. They will meet 15 times in total.
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