Five Goal Period Finishes Titans Ealry
On Saturday Night, the Wheeling Nailers welcomed a crowd of 3,148 to WesBanco Arena on Girl Scout Night, and treated them to an incredible showing. Scott Darling was perfect on 27 shots, and Paul Crowder netted the club’s first hat trick since last October, powering the Nailers past the Trenton Titans, 5-0.
The first goal came just 49 seconds into the contest, when Paul Crowder lifted a backhander up and over Scott Wedgewood’s glove for a 1-0 Wheeling lead. Ben Farrer followed with a goal 1:01 later, taking a feed from Zack Torquato, as both players returned from lengthy absences in the lineup on the weekend. At 6:53, Paul Crowder added to the lead, undressing a defender, before waiting patiently, to beat Wedgewood. Cody Wild and Scott Darling assisted on Crowder’s second of the period.
After the third goal, Trenton made a goaltending change, replacing Scott Wedgewood with Niko Hovinen. 13 seconds after the goalie switch, Paul Crowder lit the lamp, finishing off his hat trick, drawing assists from Andrew Hotham and Peter Merth. Paul Crowder’s hat trick occurred in six minutes and four seconds, and was Wheeling’s first since Chris Barton on October 29, 2011, which was also scored against the Titans. Scott Zurevinski scored the Nailers’ fifth and final goal, tipping in Peter Merth’s one-time drive from the blueline.
The second period had the Nailers on the penalty kill three times, but Scott Darling and the defense stayed sharp, keeping all 13 Trenton shots out of the cage. Neither team scored in the second or third periods, as Wheeling completed the 5-0 thumping.
Scott Darling picked up his second shutout of the season, stopping all 27 shots he faced for Wheeling. Scott Wedgewood took the loss for the Titans, allowing three goals on seven shots, before being replaced by Niko Hovinen, who made 16 saves on 18 shots.
The Nailers will play their next three games against the Reading Royals, starting Sunday in Reading at 4:05. Wheeling will then play three straight home games, starting Friday night at 7:00, also against the Royals.