Nailers Earn One Point in Season Opener
Record & Results
Overall: 0-0-0-1, 1 pt., 3rd Atlantic, T-9th East
Week: 0-0-0-1, 1 pt.
Saturday: Wheeling Nailers 2 @ Cincinnati Cyclones 3 (SO)
Crowder (1) (Barton, Merth)
Barton (1) (Crowder, Wild)
Killeen- 30 shots, 28 saves (0-0-1)
The Wheeling Nailers took the ice once this past week, as they opened the 2012-13 regular season on the road against the Cincinnati Cyclones. The first period was all about the goaltenders, as Patrick Killeen and Brian Foster both made brilliant stops, turning the contest into a great defensive showdown. Cincinnati broke the scoreless deadlock with a power play goal late in the first, then added to their lead with a second power play marker early in the middle frame. However, the Nailers were able to battle back, with Paul Crowder scoring midway through the second, to get within one. Then, with 10:43 remaining in regulation, visiting Wheeling drew even, thanks to a power play goal by Chris Barton. The game ultimately progressed to a shootout, and that’s where the Cyclones pulled away victorious. Cincinnati scored on two of three attempts, while the Nailers were unable to dent the twine on four shots.
The Elmira Jackals and Trenton Titans had successful weeks to start the 2012-13 campaign, as both teams earned a pair of victories against the Greenville Road Warriors and Reading Royals.
On Friday night, Artem Demkov broke a 1-1 tie, and Dustin Gazley added a big insurance goal, as the Jackals snuck past Reading, 3-2. Saturday’s game wasn’t as much of a challenge, as Elmira tallied three times in the second and third periods, spanking Greenville, 7-1.
Meanwhile, Trenton got off to fast starts in both contests. On Friday night, the Titans netted two power play goals in the first period, en route to a 3-1 win over the Road Warriors. On Saturday, the Titans opened the scoring at the 31-second mark, then buried four goals in the second period, taking out the nearby rival Royals, 6-2.
Elsewhere in the Eastern Conference
The defending champion Florida Everblades got off to a blazing start, as the Orlando Solar Bears got a rude welcome into the ECHL. On Friday night, the Everblades took a 4-0 lead, only to see the Solar Bears tie the score at four, courtesy of three goals in the final five minutes of regulation. However, David Rutherford’s second marker of the night gave Florida the win at the 26-second mark of overtime. On Saturday night, Matt Marquardt tallied twice, helping the Everblades to the weekend sweep, 4-2.
New clubs Fort Wayne and Evansville also made their ECHL debuts last weekend. The Komets got their schedule started first, when they played host to the Kalamazoo Wings on Friday night. Kalamazoo ended up gaining the upper hand, as four goals in the middle frame gave the visiting Wings a 4-1 win in front of over 10,000 fans at Memorial Coliseum. On night later, the Komets spoiled Evansville’s home opener, lighting the lamp six times in a 6-2 triumph at Ford Center. Kalamazoo’s weekend turned out to be the opposite of Fort Wayne’s, as the Wings dropped a 4-1 decision to Toledo on Saturday. Petr Mrazek made his professional debut with 33 saves for the Walleye.
One other game took place in the Eastern Conference, as South Carolina edged Gwinnett 4-3 at North Charleston Coliseum. Five of the seven goals were scored in the second period of that contest, which was led by the Stingrays, 3-2. The Gladiators tied the score in the third period, before Tyler McNeely gave host South Carolina the 4-3 win with 10:01 to go.