For the second night in a row, the Wheeling Nailers earned one point on the road, but were unable to get the second one. Wheeling forced overtime, and ultimately a shootout, scoring two goals in the third period. However, Artem Demkov’s tally in the fifth round of the shootout was the difference, as the Elmira Jackals picked up a 3-2 win at First Arena.
The Jackals picked up the lone tally of the first period, finding the twine at the 5:20 mark. Dustin Gazley took the puck in behind the Wheeling goal, before feeding it into the slot, where Mike Radja was able to sneak a shot through Peter Delmas and in.
The score remained 1-0 in favor of the home team, all the way until the 6:46 mark of the third period. Chase Watson won an offensive zone face-off in the right circle, and went immediately to the net. In the meantime, Peter Merth sent a shot on goal that was stopped, but the rebound was right there for Watson, who capitalized with the equalizer. Ten seconds later, Elmira regained the lead, as Mike Radja rifled in a slap shot from the left wing. Once again, the Nailers had an answer, and for the second time in the contest, it came off of a face-off. The puck was battled for in the right circle, ultimately landing on Zack Torquato’s stick, as he lifted a shot into the top of the net.
Neither team was able to light the lamp from that point on in either regulation or overtime, despite two power play opportunities for Elmira, so the game went to a shootout. The two netminders stood tall in the shootout, as both teams came up empty on their first four chances. In round five, Paul Crowder was unable to score for Wheeling, while Artem Demkov netted the winning goal for the Jackals.
Brian Stewart picked up the win for Elmira, stopping 24 of the 26 shots he faced during regulation and overtime, before going 5-for-5 in the shootout. Peter Delmas made 20 saves on 22 shots for Wheeling, before going 4-for-5 in the shootout loss.
The Nailers return to WesBanco Arena on Friday night, where they will take on the Cincinnati Cyclones at 7:35.