Nailers Suffer First Loss of the Season When Leading by Two or More Goals
The Wheeling Nailers nearly completed the rare feat of sweeping a three-game road series against the Florida Everblades, as they had a 2-0 lead in the early part of the second period. However, the Everblades rallied back with five consecutive goals, including three in the final stanza, as they defended their home ice with a 5-2 win at Germain Arena.
For the third time in as many games, the Nailers scored during the first three minutes of play, as they grabbed a quick 1-0 lead. Sahir Gill slid a pass back to Evan Wardley, who teed up a drive from the right point. Anthony Peters made the save, but booted the rebound out to Brett Stern, who delivered a slap shot of his own from the left point. Stern’s shot found its way into the cage, making him the first Wheeling blueliner to reach double digits in points this season.
The Nailers added to their lead early in the second period. John McCarron took a shot from the right wing wall, which was stopped by Peters. However, the rebound sat loose for Riley Brace, who jumped in to pound in his fifth goal in the last four games. The Everblades rallied back to tie the score. An initial shot was blocked to Carter Sandlak, who wired in a half-slapper from high in the slot at 6:58. Then, with 6:11 remaining, Rob Florentino tallied the equalizer, taking advantage of a broken play, by sliding in a wrist shot from the middle of the offensive zone.
Unfortunately for Wheeling, the third period didn’t go its way, as the Everblades completed their comeback victory with three goals. The first one came at the 4:31 mark, with the home team playing on the man advantage. Ethan Werek and Matt Willows jammed the puck toward the front of the goal, and while their chances didn’t go in, Corey Syvret’s did, as he flipped in a shot from the right side of the net. 1:12 later, Florida built off of that goal, by ringing in another. Carter Sandlak’s shot off of an odd-man rush was stopped, but Ethan Werek cleaned up the trash for his third point of the contest. Brant Harris slipped in a shorthanded empty net marker, giving the game a 5-2 final score.
Anthony Peters got his lone win of the week for Florida, making 23 saves on 25 shots. Brian Foster took the defeat for Wheeling, despite twisting away 38 of 42 attempts.
The Nailers will return home for two games during Thanksgiving Week. Wednesday night at 7:05 will be a WesBanco Winning Wednesday, the first 2,500 fans will receive thundersticks, and Turkey Bowling will take place during intermission, as Wheeling hosts Reading. Then, on Saturday at 7:35, it’s Military Appreciation Night, and the first 2,000 fans will receive a free camo hat, courtesy of Main Street Bank, as the Nailers battle division rival Brampton.
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