Wednesday night’s first period was a stellar one for the Wheeling Nailers, who put 19 shots on goal, while scoring the game’s opening tally. Unfortunately, the final two periods weren’t as successful. The Elmira Jackals scored twice in the second and three more times in the third, upending Wheeling, 5-1 at First Arena.
The Nailers struck first at the 9:25 mark of the opening stanza. Keven Veilleux rushed the puck through center ice, before sending a pass to Zack Torquato in the left circle. Torquato let a one-timer go, beating Maxime Clermont along the ice. Jordy Trottier also picked up an assist, as Wheeling carried the 1-0 lead into the dressing room, while leading 19-8 in shots on goal.
Less than one minute into the second period, Elmira tied the score. Matt Carter kept the puck in the zone at the right point, before putting a shot on goal. Peter Delmas made the save, but Brandon Blandina was there to lift the rebound over Delmas’ left pad and in. A little more than four minutes later, the Jackals took the lead. Chaz Johnson jumped onto the ice after a late line change, grabbed a lead pass from Jordon Southorn, and proceeded to score on a breakaway.
The Jackals added to their lead early in the third. With under two minutes gone by, Andrew Rowe stole the puck high in the zone, broke in, and lifted a shot into the top-right corner of the net. Less than five minutes later, Elmira lit the lamp again, as Matt Carter ripped a shot just under the crossbar for a 4-1 advantage. Jordon Southorn capped the home team’s 5-1 win, when he finished off the rebound of an incredible stop by Delmas against Chaz Johnson.
Maxime Clermont made 41 saves on 42 shots, earning the win in goal for the Jackals. Peter Delmas took the loss for the Nailers, allowing five goals on 34 shots.
The Nailers begin a four-game homestand on Friday night against the Trenton Titans at 7:00.