For the first forty minutes of Friday night’s game, things were looking good for the Wheeling Nailers, who carried a 2-1 lead into the dressing room. Unfortunately, the Toledo Walleye had other ideas in the third period, scoring four unanswered goals, defeating the Nailers, 5-2 at Huntington Center.
The Nailers opened the scoring a little more than seven minutes into the first period. Chris Barton fed the puck into the slot from the left circle, and the pass ended up bouncing its way into the back of the net. After originally having the goal waved off, Zack Torquato was given credit, as the puck deflected off of his skate for the marker. One hundred seconds later, Wheeling added to the lead. Cam Fergus took a shot from the left circle that got blocked, but Matt Germain was there to hammer in the rebound for a 2-0 advantage. Toledo got on the board later in the frame, when Nino Musitelli grabbed a loose puck on the left side of the crease, lifting it over a sprawled out Peter Delmas.
After a scoreless second period, the Walleye turned the game around in the third. Kyle Rogers tied the score at the 2:37 mark, when he took a feed from Willie Coetzee, and lifted a shot over Delmas’ right shoulder. 26 seconds later, Rogers gave Toledo the lead, when he flipped in the rebound of Joey Martin’s initial chance, as he cut in from the right side. Coetzee also assisted on the goal, before netting one of his own, into an empty net with 42 seconds remaining. Then, with two seconds to go, Byron Froese added one more insurance marker for a 5-2 final score in favor of the Walleye.
Jordan Pearce snagged the win for Toledo, making 19 saves on 21 shots. Peter Delmas suffered the loss for Wheeling, turning aside 38 of the 42 shots he faced.
The Nailers will continue their travels in Ohio on Saturday night, when they battle the Cincinnati Cyclones at 7:35