On Sunday afternoon, the Wheeling Nailers welcomed the Evansville IceMen to WesBanco Arena for the final time this season. Philippe Lefebvre and Scott Zurevinski both lit the lamp twice, as the Nailer matched a season-high, scoring seven goals, in a 7-5 triumph over the IceMen.
In the first period, goalie Peter Delmas returned to the Wheeling crease in fine fashion, making two exceptional saves early. Philippe Lefebvre then put his team on the board, scoring on a shot from the slot, high over Rob Madore’s glove, notching an unassisted goal at 5:28. A little more than six minutes later, it was Lefebvre again, burying the rebound of Christiaan Minella’s shot, which came from a long lead pass by Carl Sneep. With 21 seconds remaining, the Nailers tacked on another, as Adam Ross stickhandled in the left circle, and found Minella on the right side for his fourth goal of the campaign.
Wheeling started off the second period with yet another marker, as Scott Zurevinski redirected Peter Merth’s original shot from the right point, 33 seconds in. The IceMen trimmed the Nailers’ lead to 4-2, when Brett Ponich and Dylan Clarke scored two goals in less than three minutes. With a minute to go in the period, Wheeling got one of those goals back, as Andrew Hotham slid the puck across the blueline to Peter Merth, who launched a one-timer from the left point, which was tipped in by Zurevinski.
The Nailers continued their offensive success early in the third period. Luke Pither made the score 6-2, with a power play goal – Wheeling’s eight goal on the man advantage in the last six games. Lefebvre then recorded his third point of the night, with a cross-ice feed to Daultan Leveille, who put it in the back of the net. The IceMen scored three more goals in the third, from Patrick Kennedy, Trent Vogelhuber, and Kevin Baker, before the clocked stopped, with the Nailers on top 7-4.
Peter Delmas played in his first game of the season for the Nailers, earning the win with 22 saves on 27 shots. Rob Madore took the loss for Evansville, allowing seven goals on 37 shots.
The Nailers will play back-to-back home games against the Greenville Road Warriors on Tuesday and Wednesday, with Tuesday’s face-off taking place at 7:00.