Pither Nets Game Winner Fifty Seconds Into Extra Session
On Saturday night, the Wheeling Nailers played host to the Fort Wayne Komets for the first time in club history, and had reason to celebrate the occasion. Luke Pither assisted on Andrew Hotham’s tying goal with 6:26 left in regulation, before netting the game winner at the 50-second mark of overtime, lifting the Nailers to the 3-2 victory.
The Komets started off the scoring with a goal at 10:32 of the first period from former Nailer Luca Caputi, who finished off a 2-on-1 rush with Ryan Lasch. The Nailers got on the board, tying the game, with a rebound goal from Paul Crowder at 16:07, as he used his backhand to score off of Cody Chupp’s initial shot.
In the second period, Fort Wayne’s Ryan Lasch scored on a wraparound at 16:31. Brett Smith and Luca Caputi assisted, giving the Komets their second lead of the night, 2-1, headed into the third.
Wheeling tied the game again, with 6:26 remaining in regulation, while playing on the power play. Andrew Hotham popped the water bottle off of the goal, as he finished off a pass from Paul Crowder. Hotham’s second goal in five games since returning to the Nailers forced overtime.
The extra session barely lasted one minute, as Luke Pither picked the top corner at the 50-second mark, with assists from Chris Higgins and Andrew Hotham.
Scott Darling earned the win for the Nailers, making 16 saves on 18 shots. Charlie Effinger took the overtime loss, stopping 36 of the 39 shots he faced for Fort Wayne.
The Nailers will continue their homestand on Sunday afternoon, when they play host to the Evansville IceMen at 2:00. Fan can skate with the Nailers following the game.
Group and single game tickets can be purchased by calling 304-234-4625 or 1-877-NAIL-TIX. All Nailers games will be broadcast on Wheeling’s rock station EAGLE 107 (107.5 FM). Fans can also listen to and watch all Nailers games on wheelingnailers.com.